First the sizzle:
ISON appears to have lost a lot of it’s “comet goodness” during its sizzling close-encounter with the Sun. There does seem to be a little bit of it left and a tail seems to be growing as you can see at the very end of this (SOHO) video at the ESA channel. How long will it last and is there really anything left that the solar wind won’t strip away? Too soon to tell.
I was watching television this morning and the program did one of those “cut-ins” with a “news” network, one that I never watch on its own, and they were declaring ISON dead. This is the same “news” network ridiculing SpaceX for aborting last afternoon’s launch attempt, the attempt being the second this week and how inept they were yada-yada.
I did see the launch attempt and no the launch didn’t happen, still, it was quite exciting. The abort came at the moment after the main engines lit off, then poof it was over. No word on the reason for this abort yet. You must know the coverage by Space X was excellent, the two hosts and non-PR Space X employees, Molly and John were awesome in their explanations of the events of the countdown and mission. They made the time spent watching worth it. Really a very-very good job.
Here is a video taken yesterday (02 Nov 13) of the Dream Chaser. The Dream Chaser is billed as a space taxi and it being built by Sierra Nevada Corporation.
This was a debut test flight for the spacecraft in California and while all appearances the flight went quite well right up to the end. You can see that there was a problem in the deployment of a wheel on the landing gear. The resulting skid of the unmanned vehicle was not shown.
You at first think this would be a setback, but I am willing to bet Sierra Nevada would not necessarily agree. sure there was a problem and they would be much more pleased if things went perfectly, however progressive companies tend not to dwell on the negatives as much as they do with learning how to avoid such instances in the future. It’s easy to see far more insight was gained than just the flight dynamics of Dream Chaser – they got to see what happens when things go bad.
Interesting to see the different approaches to space travel the private industry is brining to the table. Sierra Nevada Corp. may be only in the development phase of the Dream Chaser they are anything but new to space and other advanced technologies, for example they helped get the rover Curiosity on the surface of Mars. Check them out.
Fuzzy dice? Watch the video and you will know where that came from.