Saturday, September 20, 2014

Space news from the University of Colorado

I'm traveling this weekend,* so once again I'm taking advantage of Blogger's ability to program entries in advance.  If all goes as planned, I'll be in Boulder, Colorado, when this posts.  To mark my visiting the home of the Buffalos, I'm posting space news from the University of Colorado, which I just happened to have already included in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Solar storm and aurora) on Daily Kos.  Handy, that.

University of Colorado: CU-Boulder to host free event Sept. 21 to watch orbit insertion of Mars spacecraft
September 10, 2014
The public is invited to attend a watch party at the University of Colorado Boulder on Sunday, Sept. 21, when NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft, designed to understand past climate change on Mars, inserts itself into orbit after a 10-month journey to the planet.

The orbital insertion, the most important maneuver of the mission, will involve firing six thruster engines to shed velocity from the spacecraft, allowing it to be captured into Mars orbit. Televised by NASA, the event will be shown at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) Space Technology Building on the East Campus.

CU-Boulder is leading NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN mission. The event is free and open to the public, although seating will be limited. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and there is free parking. The orbit insertion, expected to last 34 minutes, will begin at 7:50 p.m. and end at 8:24 p.m.
Unfortunately, I will miss this, as I will be back in Detroit when it happens.  Darn.

I conclude with an event that already happened.

University of Colorado: CU-Boulder alum and NASA astronaut Steve Swanson set for return to Earth
September 9, 2014
After spending nearly six months on the International Space Station, University of Colorado Boulder astronaut-alumnus Steve Swanson is slated to drift back to Earth in a Russian space capsule Sept. 10 before banging down on the steppe of Kazakhstan.

Swanson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from CU-Boulder in 1983, launched to the International Space Station, or ISS, March 26 aboard a Russian Soyuz TMA-12 rocket and served as flight engineer for Expedition 39. Since late May, Swanson -- who considers Steamboat Springs, Colo., his hometown -- served as space station commander for Mission 40 on the ISS.

Swanson’s return will end 169 days in space, a mission that covered almost 72 million miles in orbit. The return journey from the ISS to Earth is expected to take about three and a half hours.
Colorado is expected to have a close election for the U.S. Senate and probably Governor, too, so expect more entries with stories from the state until election day.

*It's business--Coffee Party board meeting.  I'm an officer of the board.

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