Friday Links

Venus transit this Tuesday!

This post from The Planetary Society is all you need to plan your viewing party.

Don Pettit will be having his own viewing party from ISS!

Gennady Padalka of Expedition 31 will have been on ISS for both transits of Venus this century!

Down to Earth

Yesterday, Friday, June 1, the space shuttle mock-up Explorer arrived by barge in Houston. I fought my way through traffic to hang out by the lake during the last half-hour of her coming in for “docking”. While the mock-up never flew in space, she is a good looking replica and will add some modern diversity to the artifacts at Space Center Houston. It’s not every day you see a space shuttle floating in the lake, real or otherwise.

Steve Robinson and I were flying the T-38 and noticed this unusual sight in the gulf. Not something you see every day. http://t.co/NAoFxutG
@Astro_Box
Gregory H. Johnson

The pictures of the Shuttlebration at CollectSpace, linked above, are better than the ones I took but I’ll post any pictures I get tomorrow. Tomorrow morning the replica will be rolled down NASA Parkway past JSC to the museum. I think I will get up early before my shift and go watch the fun, if I can. I have to take an alternate route to get to work at Mission Control on Sunday morning because they are closing the major intersection!

Apparently the astronaut band Max Q put on a good show at the Shuttlebration. Speaking of astronaut musicians, Cady Coleman finally returned her space flutes to The Chieftains and got to play a gig with them. Cool!

Onstage w The Chieftains in Dublin! Returning their flutes to Ireland after 6 mo on ISS. Every seat filled! Terrifying! http://t.co/C8rE8Hed
@Astro_Cady
Cady Coleman

Space Shuttle Enterprise arriving in NYC is old news, but I thought the candid-ness of this video made it interesting.

While we’re on old news, here’s a time lapse of Enterprise being removed from a carrier aircraft for the last time.

Enterprise will get moving in NYC on its way to the Intrepid this week on June 5th.

In Orbit

Of course, the big news was that the Dragon mission was completed successfully with a splashdown in the Pacific on Thursday. I’ve heard that there’s a pretty quick turnaround to get downmass cargo back to NASA so equipment might already be in hand!

This picture might be my favorite from the entire SpaceX mission. Andre has a good eye.

My Soyuz reflected in one of Dragon's solar panels. http://t.co/HAjjGiu9
@astro_andre
André Kuipers

Speaking of gorgeous orbital photography: the Himalayas.

It might be interesting to see what it looks like looking back at the astronauts while they take these photos. Well, here you go (via Bad Astronomy).

Andre writes about how it feels to be the veteran ISS resident teaching the new guys the ropes.

I really like this essay about “the orbital perspective” from a “guest bloggernaut” over at Fragile Oasis.

Out There

Here’s a cool science story about an exoplanet discovered by how it affects the orbits of other planets in the KOI 872 system.

June 2, 2012 4:36 pm

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