Archive for the ‘SETI’ Category

Weekly Links

Down to Earth

Some recent crew assignment changes for the ISS have been receiving a lot of press, including the replacement of Jeanette Epps with Serena Aunon-Chancellor for a launch this summer. NASA has not provided specific details on the reason for the change.

As of Saturday morning, the US federal government has no official funding and must shutdown many services. This shutdown affects NASA and its field centers. The specific impacts to NASA operations will become more clear if the shutdown extends into the work week on Monday morning. In the meantime, NASA will press forward with the ISS spacewalk on Tuesday.

There was a lot of talk last week about an update on the schedule for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which has slipped according to a report from the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP). There was also a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the same topic.. The reports outline a few issues that the commercial providers – SpaceX and Boeing – both need to work through before their rockets and capsules can be certified to flight NASA astronauts to the ISS. Both companies answered questions at a congressional hearing following the report on Wednesday.

SpaceX still has not conducted a static fire of the Falcon Heavy rocket on Pad 39A. They are expected to try again this coming week with a potential launch before the end of the month.

In Orbit

The following rocket launches occurred last week:

Out There

A detailed study of Fast Radio Burst (FRB) 121102, one of the few repeating signals, has yielded a new hypothesis that these highly energetic events are caused by massive black holes.

NASA has demonstrated the concept of deep space navigation using neutron stars with the NICER payload onboard the ISS.

Weekly Links

Down to Earth

Buzz Aldrin has published a new book titled “No Dream is Too High.”

United Launch Alliance and Bigelow Aerospace have announced a new partnership. Bigelow will launch their enormous BA-330 expandable module on a ULA Atlas rocket.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered first stage returned to port last week after landing on a droneship the week before. Check out the pictures.

An online auction for a camera lens used on the moon during Apollo 15 is now open.

Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, who was in the news last year for pledging millions of dollars to SETI, has announced his plan for a robotic interestellar mission called Breakthrough Starshot.

The last external tank from the Space Shuttle program left Michoud in Louisiana last week on an ocean voyage to California, where it will become a part of the display with Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Orbital ATK and Intelsat have struck a deal that may lead to the first commercial use of “robotic satellite servicing”.

In Orbit

NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope unexpected entered emergency mode last week, but has since been successfully recovered. The cause of the event is still being investigated.

The new Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) was installed on the Node 3 module of ISS on Saturday. Here is a time-lapse of it being moved from the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft via the robotic arm.

It’s been a while since I have shared links to some of my favorite tweets from ISS here. The three US astronauts onboard have been furiously posting beautiful pictures of Earth pretty much every day. Here are just a few recent ones from just the past couple of days.

And here is a quick video from Jeff Williams showing us around the cupola and their cameras.

Around the Solar System

This is pretty cool. An amateur astronomer captured a video of a fireball in Jupiter’s atmosphere, as a large asteroid or some other object slammed into the planet.

Last Week’s Links

Okay, really late this week. No excuses. I can and will do better! I have a lot of posts that (I think) should be interesting in the hopper. Hopefully coming soon! For now here’s what’s been going on in space news. But, before we get into that, the really exciting news is that CERN found the Higgs!

Okay, I tricked you a bit with that link. Here’s a real article about it, and a good video about the discovery below.

Down to Earth

Sad news last weekend. NASA astronaut Alan Poindexter – commander of STS-131 – died in a jet ski accident. Clearly a great loss.

Here’s one of my ideas of paradise.

A beautiful shot of Venus and Jupiter at dawn. More early morning conjunctions can be enjoyed later this week.

The exhibit of Space Shuttle Enterprise in New York will officially open on July 19.

Last week was one year since the launch of STS-135, the last space shuttle mission. A plaque has been installed on the runway at KSC to commemorate “wheel stop” of the Space Shuttle Program.

Astronaut Stephen Robinson has left NASA.

Straying into the realm of politics, I think this essay on the current state of human spaceflight policy is worth a read.

Similarly, this contrary take on the “STEM crisis” in America is enlightening (via SciGuy).

On a more inspiring tract, Bill Nye tells us why we need our space (well, I find the video inspiring anyway).

Or, if you like, how about a 50th anniversary video for KSC?

In Orbit

The Houston Chronicle did a nice interview with Expedition 31 before they left ISS.

One of the last pictures of Expedition 31 last weekend before coming home.

Before undocking, Andre posted a nice tour of ISS. There is a bite-size 4 minute version and a monster 90 minute version.

Don Pettit shows us the emotional side of returning to Earth through poetry.

Looks like returning to Earth from ISS isn’t all glory. Multiple posts prove my point.

Around the Solar System

While everyone else was talking about how Curiosity will land on Mars in 30 days, Opportunity silently rolled passed 3000 Sols (Martian days) of her mission.

Out There

Jill Tarter may be retiring from her life of hunting aliens, but she’s not done promoting the idea of SETI. Here’s a good interview with her from the Washington Post.