Archive for October, 2012

A Halloween Dragon

A Halloween Dragon

How many Saturday night SciFi movies do you have to watch to learn a couple of key survival tips? Never go back into Dracula’s castle just as the sun is going down, even if you did leave your car keys and Never, ever get a couple of buddies and go winch a mysterious object out of the ocean […]

Posted in: SpaceX
Results of First Curiousity Soil Sample

Results of First Curiousity Soil Sample

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory yesterday released the results of the Mars Curiosity rover’s initial soil sample.  The sample, conducted by the Chemistry and Minerology CheMin instrument on the rover, characterized both planetary windblown dust and as well as local material,  as similar to basaltic soils found in Hawaii. The predominate minerals recorded so far are feldspar, pyroxene and olivine, with almost half […]

Posted in: Mars, NASA
Hurricane Sandy and the U.S. Weather Satellite Program

Hurricane Sandy and the U.S. Weather Satellite Program

Only slightly less miserable than the weather in the Northeast as a result of hurricane Sandy is the abysmal state of the nation’s weather satellite programs which are charged with tracking such occurrences. As Marcia Smith points out at spacepolicyonline,  one impact Sandy is having is to focus some media attention on the fact that the U.S. is facing a potential gap in coverage from both polar and […]

Posted in: NASA, Space Science
Sticking the Landing

Sticking the Landing

Video of SpaceX Dragon capsule  landing yesterday.  Tweeted by SpaceX, this video shot from a recovery boat, underscores the accuracy of the Dragon’s re-entry and landing profile. With a splashdown nearly on top of the waiting recovery team,  SpaceX demonstrated an accuracy that is sometime elusive in Russian Soyuz capsule’s 25 miles landing ellipse. As long time Russian space industry analyst James Oberg  has pointed […]

Posted in: NASA, Soyuz, SpaceX
NARO Launch Delayed Until November

NARO Launch Delayed Until November

A faulty fuel coupler which prevented the liftoff the South Korean Naro-3 rocket is being sent to Russia for an examination of suspected leaking seals. A fuel leak was discovered in the Russian built first stage, scrubbing the launch attempt five hours before scheduled liftoff on Friday, October 26th. According to Chosun Media,  South Korea’s third attempt to launch its Naro […]

Steaming for Home

Steaming for Home

The SpaceX CRS-1 Dragon capsule is stowed safely aboard the American Marine Corp vessel American Islander and is headed to a port near Los Angeles.  After arrival and unloading of time sensitive cargo, the Dragon will be shipped to the SpaceX facility at McGregor, Texas where the remainder of the 1,673 lbs of cargo will be unloaded and turned over to […]

Once More, A Dragon at Sea

Once More, A Dragon at Sea

The SpaceX  Dragon capsule safely returned to earth, or more accurately, to sea today, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja at 12:22 PM PT.  The return marks the end of NASA Commercial Resupply Flight number  1, and a conclusion to the first official commercial supply run to space in history. Future cargo trips, whether to private stations, […]

Dragon Released from ISS, Heading Home

Dragon Released from ISS, Heading Home

High above Burma, ISS astronauts released the SpaceX CRS-1 Dragon capsule at 8:29 AM CST.  Following two brief burns to safely remove the spacecraft from  the International Space Station’s “keep out sphere”   the craft rotated, accelerated and began heading back to Earth for an estimated landing at 2:20  PM CST. The deorbit burn, which will lower […]

NARO Launch Delayed

NARO Launch Delayed

South Korea will have to wait a few more days for its next attempt to join the club of space faring nations.   The countdown of Friday’s planned launch of the Naro-3 rocket was halted when helium pressurization of flight systems revealed a leak in a fuel coupler at the pad / rocket interface.  The next launch attempt could […]

Korean Rocket Counting Down to Third Launch Attempt

Korean Rocket Counting Down to Third Launch Attempt

South Korea is counting down to the third launch  attempt of its NARO rocket, a two stage vehicle comprised of a Russian built liquid fueled first stage and a domestically produced solid second stage. The rocket, which was originally designated KSLV-1, is  named for the Korean Space Center on Outer Naro Island, 300 miles south of Seoul, […]

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