The GeekDad Space Report for December 28th, 2009

Geek Culture

A Soyuz spacecraft bringing three new crew members to the ISS (Image: NASA)A Soyuz spacecraft bringing three new crew members to the ISS (Image: NASA)

A Soyuz spacecraft bringing three new crew members to the ISS (Image: NASA)

Welcome to 2009′s final edition of the Space Report! As reported last week there were no scheduled launches this past week. There was, however, an important event at the International Space Station, more on that below.

Let’s take a look at the activities for this week.

Launches (Sources: Spaceflight Now World Launch Schedule, Wallops Flight Facility Daily Range Schedule)

Tuesday December, 29 –
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Launch Vehicle: Proton
Payload: DirecTV 12
Launch Window: 00:22 GMT
Notes: A new satellite for the DirecTV service to be located at 102.8°W Longitude in a geostationary orbit. You can follow the countdown online.

Interesting Hubble Observations

In many ways, all of the Hubble observations are interesting, but here is a list of some of the standouts in the coming week. A more complete list can be found at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) This Week On HST Website.

The Wavelength Dependence of Accretion Disk Structure

Mysteries of the North Star: HST/COS confirmation of real-time evolution and upper atmospheric heating in Polaris

Bright Galaxies at z>7.5 with a WFC3 Pure Parallel Survey

This is a small list of the overall observations. You may also see some of these observations popping up in other weeks as many observation programs consist of several observations over time.

International Space Station

The Soyuz spacecraft that successfully launched to the ISS arrived this past Tuesday with three new crew members for the orbiting laboratory, bringing the total crew to five. Three of those crew members are on Twitter! Commander Jeffery Williams (@Astro_Jeff), Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi (@Astro_Soichi) and Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer (@Astro_TJ) are all tweeting their experiences. A full list of the crew with links to their biographies is available on NASA’s Expedition 22 website.

Elsewhere In The Solar System

The Cassini spacecraft captured an image of the sun reflecting off a hydrocarbon lake on Saturn’s moon Titan.

Have a great week everyone!

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