Saturday, October 27, 2012

More late space and astronomy news

Remember this?
I was so busy posting election news last week that I never got around to posting my roundup of space and astronomy news.
The same thing happened this week. So, here is the space news from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (2012 Nobel Prizes edition) on Daily Kos, a week late.

The week's lead story took place on the streets of Los Angeles, as the shuttle was towed from LAX to Exposition Park.

ABC News on YouTube: Space Shuttle Endeavor to Reach Final Resting Place; Retired Ship Makes Way Through Los Angeles

L.A. Times: Space shuttle Endeavour rolls on toward its new home October 13, 2012
The space shuttle Endeavour rolled across its final frontier Saturday, successfully crossing a bridge over the 405 Freeway and pivoting through tight spots en route to its new home at the California Science Center in Exposition Park.

Thousands of people thronged the streets to watch the shuttle crawl through the streets of Inglewood and then Los Angeles.

The massive space vehicle made a two-hour stop at the Forum in Inglewood, arriving early to the delight of crowds and politicians who crowed about Southern California landing what they called a national treasure.
The rest of the week's space and astronomy news from deep space to classrooms in Virginia over the break.

NASA Television on YouTube: Dragon Delivers on This Week at NASA...

With its arrival at the International Space Station, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft becomes the first commercial resupply mission to the orbiting laboratory, and the first U.S. spacecraft in the post-space shuttle era capable of transporting significant amounts of supplies between Earth and the station. Also, booster progress; ISS crew training; Curiosity update; robotic exoskeleton; Whitcomb Hall of Famer; international space orchestra; and more!
DarkSyde on Daily Kos included more general space news in This week in science: Chutes and ladders.

For deep space news, read God seen in space from Chili Observatory! by Anton Bursch on Daily Kos. He has a photo of Thor's Helmet--the nebula, that is.

University of Arizona: Bounce, Skid, Wobble: How Huygens Landed on Titan Piecing together the events of the farthest touchdown a manmade spacecraft has ever made on an alien world reveals new clues about Titan's surface and helps plan future missions to moons and planets.
By Jia-Rui Cook/JPL and Daniel Stolte/UANews
October 11, 2012
The Huygens probe, ferried to Saturn's moon Titan by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, bounced, slid and wobbled its way to rest in the 10 seconds after touching down on Titan in January 2005, a new analysis reveals. The moon’s surface is more complex than previously thought.

Scientists reconstructed the chain of events by analyzing data from a variety of instruments that were active during the impact, in particular changes in the acceleration experienced by the probe. The probe was supplied by the European Space Agency and named after the Dutch 17th century astronomer Christiaan Huygens.

The analysis reveals that, on first contact with Titan’s surface, Huygens dug a hole about 4 1/2 inches (close to 12 centimeters) deep, before bouncing out onto a flat surface. The Huygens probe had a mass of 450 pounds (204 kilograms). It hit the ground with an impact speed that was similar to dropping a ball on Earth from a height of 3 1/2 feet (1 meter). Due to the lower gravity on Titan, the probe weighed only 60 pounds or 28 kilograms on Titan.
L.A. Times: Latest images from Mars' Curiosity rover
As the Curiosity rover motors toward its 60th day on Mars, here are some recent images of the Red Planet and signs of ancient flowing water.
LeftOfYou on Daily Kos had more on Mars in On Mars: Clues to the Red Planet's Wet Past Continue to Pile Up.

NASA Television on YouTube: ScienceCasts: A Meteor Shower from Halley's Comet

Soon, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet, source of the annual Orionid meteor shower. Forecasters expect 25 meteors per hour when the shower peaks on Oct. 21st.
Virginia Tech: Aerospace engineering student team wins space vehicle design contest Oct. 12, 2012
BLACKSBURG, Va., – A student team from Virginia Tech’s Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, part of the College of Engineering, has won first place in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation’s 2011–2012 Undergraduate Team Space Transportation Design Competition.

Representatives of the team presented their design at the institute’s September SPACE 2012 Conference & Exposition in Pasadena, Calif. The contest required entrants to design, and produce a business plan for a commercial Earth-to-orbit passenger vehicle. Among the tasks: The theoretical vehicle should take paying customers from Earth to orbit and back for a variety of research and tourism purposes.
And that's it for the week's news. I may be on time for the next report, or I may be delayed until after the election. We'll see.

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