Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Yuri's Night 2016

I made the following program note in the concluding paragraph of Saturn Awards leftovers plus 'Batman vs. Superman' loses to 'The Boss'.
Tomorrow is Yuri's Night followed by Apophis Day.  I don't think I realized that I celebrate two space days one right after the other, the first about the promise of space and the second about its perils.  Now that I do, I'm appreciating the juxtaposition.
It's tomorrow, so it's time to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the first crewed space flight and the 35th anniversary of the first operational launch of the space shuttle.  I begin by embedding the video I should have used last year, when I forgot Yuri's Night, instead posting a retrospective, a driving update, and an entertainment feature.  I present Yuri's Night Greetings from Samantha Cristoforetti from April 2015.

Italian Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who is on the ESA Futura mission onboard the International Space Station, sends her greetings to Yuri's Night events around the world that are planned around April 12, the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's spaceflight in 1961. Yuri's Night would like to thank Samantha and our friends at the European Space Agency for sending us this video to share with events worldwide. Rock the planet!
Samantha is celebrating Yuri's Night this year, albeit on Earth.  The Planetary Society posted a podcast this morning, Celebrating Yuri’s Night 2016 with Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
Happy Yuri’s Night! We’re partying under Space Shuttle Endeavour in the first of two shows featuring interviews from the worldwide celebration of space. Star Trek’s Robert Picardo will talk about his new video newsletter, the Planetary Post, and we’ll visit with Samantha Cristoforetti, who returned last June from 200 days aboard the International Space Station. Emily Lakdawalla reports on the spacecraft exploring our solar system this month, while Bruce Betts tells us What’s Up.
Also, to make up for missing last year, I'm sharing NASA Johnson's Yuri’s Night Greeting from Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts.

Expedition 43 commander Terry Virts of NASA took time to send a special message to celebrators around the globe recognizing the anniversary of the first human space flight. On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space, making a 108-minute orbital flight in his Vostok 1 spacecraft.

Space cooperation has been a hallmark of U.S.-Russia relations, including during the height of the Cold War, and most notably, in the past 14 consecutive years of continuous human presence on board the International Space Station.
since today is a celebration of space exploration, follow over the jump for the latest news, especially for crewed spaceflight.

No fooling, April 1 brought Suited Test in Orion on This Week @NASA – April 1, 2016.

Engineers at Johnson Space Center in Houston are using a mockup of NASA’s Orion spacecraft to evaluate how well astronauts are able to operate Orion’s rotational hand controller and cursor control device, while dressed in spacesuits. The controllers operate the displays and control system used to maneuver and interact with the spacecraft. The testing aims to provide data that can be used to make adjustments needed to ensure future Orion crews can interact appropriately with the spacecraft’s control system during deep space missions. Also, Milestone for Spaceport of the Future, Russian Supply Ship Launches to ISS, Team Selected to Build Planet-Hunting Instrument, First Heat Map of Super Earth and Milestone for Green Propellant Mission!
The next week followed up on some of these stories with SpaceX Dragon Launches to the ISS on This Week @NASA – April 8, 2016.

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on April 8, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to resupply the International Space Station. Among the almost 7,000 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware being delivered is the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM. This technology demonstration will study the radiation protection, thermal performance and operations of expandable habitats for possible use on future deep space missions – including the journey to Mars. This is SpaceX’s eighth contracted mission to the station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract. Also, NASA Seeds Planted in White House Garden, Grunsfeld Retiring on April 30, Orion Water Impact Testing, SLS “Confidence” Fuel Tank Completed, Environmentally Responsible Aviation and more!
Now to focus on the coolest space news of the past week, SpaceX Successfully Lands On Barge from Global Leaks.

For the first time, SpaceX has successfully landed its Falcon 9 thrust rocket on a barge in the Atlantic ocean. They've landed their booster on the ground before, but never successfully on an Atlantic barge. The booster was decoupled after is successfully brought the CRS-8 Dragon capsule into space. The CRS-8 will deliver valuable resources to those on-board the International Space Station.
Happy Yuri's Night!  Stay tuned for stories about near misses and other risks from space in tomorrow's Apophis Day post.


  1. I'm not up to date on space-related anything. So, I had no idea it was Yuri's Night. Thanks for that:)

    1. Quite welcome. Glad to increase your knowledge about space.