Friday Links

Down to Earth

There has been a lot of articles the past few days about SpaceX publicly expressing interest in building a spaceport in Cameron County, Texas, which is near the border of Mexico on the Gulf Coast near Brownsville. Basically, SpaceX has told the FAA of their interest and an environment impact study is being started. Reportedly, SpaceX is also considering Puerto Rico and Hawaii. My feelings on this can be summed up below.

The idea of SpaceX launching from Cameron County, Texas has me daydreaming of living in South Padre flying spaceships!

The Smithsonian recently received donation from IMAX of two large-format cameras used on multiple space shuttle missions.

Speaking of museums in Washington, DC, you can pick out the Smithsonians in this shot of a NASA T-38 jet over the National Mall last week.

Kennedy Space Center has designed a logo to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The logo will be printed on special commemorative medals which are being distributed to KSC guests who pay for the “anniversary package.”

Speaking of new NASA logo designs, there is also a new patch for the “final flights” of space shuttles Discovery, Endeavour, and Enterprise… that would be their mach 0.65 flights to their new museum homes!

A new space themed blog called The Legal Spaceman just started up this week. Dr. Christopher J. Newman intends to explore the field of “space law” in layman’s terms. I am interested to follow along. He already has a second post up about North Korea’s failed rocket launch this week.

In Orbit

As I said yesterday on twitter, I am basically now in the habit of retweeting or posting links to every single one of Don Pettit’s blog posts. He tells us more about the “flashing” of the ISS earlier this year, with a cool photo, and also wrote another poem!

Happy Yuri’s Night! It was 51 years ago this Thursday that Yuri Gagarin was the first person to view the Earth from orbit. Here is a great shot of Moscow from the ISS.

Speaking of anniversaries, it was 42 years ago today that an explosion onboard the spacecraft Odyssey doomed the crew of Apollo 13 never to orbit or walk on the moon. I was brushing up on some history and reading the Wikipedia entry for the year 1970 and was surprised that the breakup of the Beatles and the Kent State shooting both happened within a few days of the Apollo 13 mission. It’s amazing how compartmentalized your view of history becomes for the events you didn’t actually live through. The civil unrest of the Vietnam years and the Apollo program are very separate in my brain, but they were happening concurrently.

The astronauts on ISS did some hands-on robotic practice for the arrival of SpaceX Dragon next month.

Because it’s Cool

Phil Plait reminds us of the scale of the universe.

This video that shows geostationary satellites glimmering in the sky as the star rotate past them simply blew my mind.

April 13, 2012 9:35 pm

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