Friday Links

Down to Earth

NASA JSC will allow tourists from Space Center Houston to tour the Shuttle Avionics Integration Lab (SAIL) – an “honorary” space shuttle.

Two space shuttles met during a KSC “rollover” for the last time.

The air force’s X-51 failed a flight test this week.

Early in the week the President of the United States made a phone call to the Mars Science Laboratory team at JPL. Politics aside, that’s pretty cool. (via Universe Today).

A sporty descent trajectory test by Masten Space Systems.

In Orbit

During an ISS reboost this week there was a failure (or perhaps “anomaly”) that caused the correction burn to end early. ESA’s ATV3 was controlling the reboost at the time. ISS and ATV teams are working together to correct the problem and plan for a repeat reboost next week. I was flying the ADCO console a few hours before the reboost on Wednesday morning but have otherwise not been involved.

More awesome ISS timelapse imagery…

Ron Garan highlights just one of the many reasons spaceflight is worth the investment.

Around the Solar System

While Curiosity is still warming up its wheels, Opportunity is roving strong on the other side of the planet.

Even though Curiosity is not yet on the move, there’s still a huge gallery of images already piling up on the JPL website. You can go dig through them, or just check out this list of the best images so far. Here’s the first full resolution mastcam panorama.

Here’s a video update of what’s been going on with Curiosity this week (mostly engineering tests to get ready for mobility) – via Universe Today.

Oh, and by the way… in one of the first images Curiosity sent back from Mars, JPL captured an image of the dust plume of the descent stage crashing 2 kilometers away. Whoa.

J.R.R. Tolkien finally has a solar system feature named after him – a crater on Mercury.

Mars may have plate tectonics?

Evidence of a crater on Mars that is less than 3 years old.

Out There

This is a very imaginative video of all the planets discovered by Kepler in orbit at once.

August 17, 2012 10:00 am

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