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Nicodemus

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Space and Astronomy Links [Nov. 18th, 2009|10:11 pm]
Nicodemus

  • Space Shuttle Atlantis had a great liftoff a few days ago. The crew is just a quarter of the way through their 11-day mission to the Space Station. You can keep up with the latest on this Shuttle news page. And isn't that the coolest mission patch?

  • The Ares 1-X test launch went well. Here's a nice writeup by LJ friend menagerie73. Bonus points for a cool photo showing the shockwave condensation! Everyone's still waiting to see what will happen with the Ares program, though.

  • Want to learn some astronomy? Ever better, have you ever wondered about the search for extraterrestrial life? Astronomy 141 - Life in the Universe at Ohio U is a great lecture series. It's a broad overview of topics, starting with Earth's geology, humanity's understanding of space, planetary science, chemistry, biology... then where to look beyond Earth. You can grab it as a podcast for some brain-enrichment during your commute! (Note that this class is happening now so the lectures are still being added to the feed regularly.)

  • Back on Mars, they're trying to free Spirit. The rover's been stuck in a sand trap and they're now trying some maneuvers to get out, having studied the problem as best they can in the test sandbox at JPL.

  • A personal fave, the New Horizons mission is still flying through interplanetary space... Yup... It'll get to Pluto (the last used-to-be-planet for us to visit and one I've always found intriguing) in, oh, another six years. Lessee... They're about to pass 1400 days mission elapsed time (MET). Yay! ...So check in again around 2015.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: harvardheinous
2009-11-19 08:09 am (UTC)
It was awesome seeing (on TV) the Shuttle go up smoothly once again.
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[User Picture]From: jovino
2009-11-19 08:24 am (UTC)
It amazes me that no matter what speed we make those probes go, it's never fast enough to span the vastness of space.
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[User Picture]From: menagerie73
2009-11-19 10:34 am (UTC)
Thanks for the nod. :)

Thanks for the point to the link too. I've been looking for podcasts lately. I'm downloading the astronomy lecture now, and listen to it at slow times during work. Which next week probably will be.

I wonder when we'll start getting some long range shots of Pluto. Cassini was taking some good pictures of Saturn before it made orbit. The only other planet I can remember being surprised at what it looked like was Voyager's arrival at Neptune. The other encounters happened so early in my life I can't remember when I didn't know what they looked like. 2015 isn't as long away now.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2009-11-19 09:53 pm (UTC)
A well-deserved nod. :)

Yeah, I'm hoping we'll get lots of interesting Pluto (and Charon and Nyx and Hydra) info as it gets closer. Recently it passed Jupiter and got some nice photos.

Dunno why but I've always found Pluto intriguing. Just so distant, so unknown, so different from the others.
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