Scott Kelly of NASA and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos discuss the final phase of their year-long mission on the International Space Station.
Sad news. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell (USN Capt. Ret.), who became the sixth man to walk on the moon during the Apollo 14 mission to the highlands of Fra Mauro, died on Feb. 4 in West Palm Beach, Florida at the age of 85. Mitchell’s death occurred on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his landing on the moon aboard the lunar module Antares with Apollo 14. Mitchell spent 33 hours on the lunar surface.
The Sun and us (and the rest of the planets).
2016 CG18 is a newly discovered asteroid and it will pass very close to us tomorrow (06 Feb), just 0.39 Lunar Distance or 149,916 km / 93,153 miles away. The closest point will occur at 13:29 UTC.
149,000 to 150,000 km is really close in cosmological terms fortunately there isn’t any worries about 2016 CG18 getting any closer for a while. Orbital calculations shown at ESA’s NEODys-2 site show this is the closest approach until at least the year 2100.
The most remarkable thing about the asteroid is that it is only 7 meters across and the Catalina Sky Survey was able to find it on 03 February — that’s really good!
Image: JPL / NASA hat tip to Ron Baalke
UPDATE: Just learned of another asteroid called 2015 NJ3, this is termed as a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid”, NOT that is is a danger anytime soon that we know of but one that bears watching. Preliminary data is just out, more to come.
What happened right after the Big Bang?
We’ve been patiently waiting for the Juno spacecraft to arrive at Jupiter and finally: Here we go!
Click NASA’s infographic above for a larger (more readable version),
NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft successfully executed a maneuver to adjust its flight path today, Feb. 3. The maneuver refined the spacecraft’s trajectory, helping set the stage for Juno’s arrival at the solar system’s largest planetary inhabitant five months and a day from now.
“This is the first of two trajectory adjustments that fine tune Juno’s orbit around the sun, perfecting our rendezvous with Jupiter on July 4th at 8:18 p.m. PDT [11:18 p.m. EDT],” said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.
The maneuver began at 10:38 a.m. PST (1:38 p.m. EST). The Juno spacecraft’s thrusters fired for 35 minutes, consumed about 1.2 pounds (.56 kilograms) of fuel, and changed the spacecraft’s speed by 1 foot (0.31 meters), per second. At the time of the maneuver, Juno was about 51 million miles (82 million kilometers) from Jupiter and approximately 425 million miles (684 million kilometers) from Earth. The next trajectory correction maneuver is scheduled for May 31.
Juno was launched on Aug. 5, 2011. The spacecraft will orbit the Jovian world 33 times, skimming to within 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) above the planet’s cloud tops every 14 days. During the flybys, Juno will probe beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and study its aurorae to learn more about the planet’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.
Juno’s name comes from Greek and Roman mythology. The god Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief, and his wife — the goddess Juno — was able to peer through the clouds and reveal Jupiter’s true nature.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.