Category Archives: NASA

Ultima Thule Flyby

Here’s the video from the first part of the coverage – data acquisition.

Ultima Thule flyby signal acquisition comes first at 14:45 UT / 09:45 ET. I’ll leave the link up for the post flyby press conference a couple hours later (16:30 UT / 11:30 ET).

Note: it is 15:15 UT and the coverage is about to start.

The spacecraft has data!  Press conference in about 45 minutes @ 16:30 UTC.


Info on Ultima Thule Flyby Coming

There will be information on the Ultima Thule Flyby at 14:45 UT / 09:45 ET.

First is signal acquisition, it takes over SIX hours for the radio waves to reach us from the New Horizons spacecraft.

Catch it on NASA-TV or you can check back here. I’m sure there will be replays if you miss it live.

Around the Moon

Yesterday, 21 December marked the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8 which launched on 21 December 1968. Humankind’s first trip around the moon. A GREAT feat then and it hasn’t been done so many times that it won’t be a great feat when it gets again in the near future.

Seas of Infinity – Stargazer

The beginning – Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO) 2 and nicknamed Stargazer, it would become NASA’s first successful cosmic explorer and the direct ancestor of Hubble, Chandra, Swift, Kepler, FUSE, GALEX and many other astronomy satellites.

NASA Announces Moon to Mars Partnerships

The list is below. A couple of them may be familiar but there are probably a few you’ve never heard of check them out.

Check them out:
Astrobotic Technology, Inc.: Pittsburgh
Deep Space Systems: Littleton, Colorado
Draper: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Firefly Aerospace, Inc.: Cedar Park, Texas
Intuitive Machines, LLC: Houston
Lockheed Martin Space: Littleton, Colorado
Masten Space Systems, Inc.: Mojave, California
Moon Express: Cape Canaveral, Florida
Orbit Beyond: Edison, New Jersey

Martian Temperatures

Certainly is cold high in the Martian atmosphere. The NASA/CalTech graphic above gives us a global temperature profile at 16 miles / 25.7 km. The temperatures presented are in Fahrenheit so to make sense of it the scale to the right ranges from -53.3 C to -153.3 C. The marker indicating where InSight will touch down is in the -73 C to -93 C.

I saw a press conference yesterday and I believe they said the surface temperature at the landing site was gong to be around -4 F / -20 C, I could be mistaken however. If I can find a video of the press conference I will post it. The press conference was quite interesting and they talked about the MarCo CubeSats too – those things are cool even cooler than even I thought!

Here’s NASA’s caption: This map shows the temperature of the Martian atmosphere 16 miles above the surface. The data was taken on Nov. 18, 2018, about one week before NASA’s InSight lander is scheduled to touchdown on the Martian surface. The temperature indicates to mission scientists the amount of dust activity in the atmosphere. The map shows a range of latitudes, with temperatures clearly dropping near the planet’s north pole. The landing locations of various NASA Mars landers are shown for context.