Weekly Links

Down to Earth

The bad winter weather hasn’t been a problem down here in Texas, of course – but we’re all thinking of our friends in the Northeast that are snowed in. Here’s a NASA satellite timelapse of the blizzard that has been affecting the East coast.

Tomorrow night, Orbital Sciences Corporation will be doing a “hot fire test” on their launch pad in Virginia. the test is in preparation for their first test flight to ISS later this year.

In Orbit

Listen to this duet between Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies and ISS astronaut Chris Hadfield… recorded during Hadfield’s current stay in orbit.

Here is a video of Chris Hadfield’s live discussion with William Shatner last week.

In ISS ops, it has been a busy few days. early Friday morning the ISS did a long maneuver (with myself happily monitoring from the ground!) from facing forward to facing directly backwards to prep for the Progress 48 cargo craft to undock early Saturday morning, which happened as planned (unless you are a huge geek the video below is pretty boring).

Then ISS stayed in that backwards attitude over the weekend awaiting the new Progress 50 cargo craft, which launched earlier today and just docked to ISS at just before 4 PM Eastern.

Since those docking ops are complete, the ISS will be maneuvered back to the normal flight attitude on the night shift tonight (early Tuesday morning). Once again, I have the privileged responsibility of being the guidance and control officer for the maneuver. This will be about the 4th major activity I have worked in the front flight control room for since my most recent certification last year. Very exciting!

There were actually two launches today. In addition to the Progress supply vehicle, NASA launched the LDCM out of Vandenberg in California. LDCM is an Earth observation mission.

Around the Solar System

Curiosity has done its first drilling on Mars.

There is open public voting at plutorocks.com to name the 4th and 5th moons in the busy Pluto system. Voting is only for the next two weeks. You can write-in suggestions if you do not like the list of names they already have.

Live in the Southern hemisphere? Then comet Lemmon may be visible to you if you have a small telescope.

February 11, 2013 6:48 pm

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