November 18th, 2009

Sign: No Oxygen

Space and Astronomy Links

  • 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.