This Week In Space

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Looking Down the WISE Telescope (Image From WISE Project)Looking Down the WISE Telescope (Image From WISE Project)

Looking Down the WISE Telescope (Image From WISE Project)

Welcome to another addition of This Week In Space! As reported last week, a Soyuz spacecraft returned three crew members from the International Space Station (ISS) to Earth bringing the crew of the ISS down to two. This reduced crew, down from a total of twelve on board when Atlantis was docked, hasn’t slowed activity at the ISS down. Among the activities on-board, there is an experiment with butterflies that is producing some very interesting results! Also, an update on the expected launch of the WGS-3 satellite. The launch did not occur on the 3rd, but did get off the ground on the 6th. Lets get down to the upcoming week’s activities in space!

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

Wednesday December, 9 –
Launch Site: Guiana Space Centere, Kourou, French Guiana
Launch Vehicle: Ariane V
Payload: Helios 2B
Launch Window: 16:26 GMT
Notes: The payload is a French military reconnaissance satellite.

Friday December, 11 –
Launch Site: Vandenburg Air Force Base, California, USA
Launch Vehicle: Delta II
Payload: WISE
Launch Window: 14:09-14:23 GMT
Notes: The launch of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission.

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 Mass-dependent Evolution of the Black Hole-Bulge Relations

A Complete Optical and NIR Atmospheric Transmission Spectrum of the Exoplanet HD189733b

Galaxy-Scale Strong Lenses from the CFHTLS 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

No major activity at the ISS this week as far as crew change-out or resupply. Of course, there is always science and other activities going on. Don’t forget to check out when the ISS will be visible over your area this week!

Have a great week everyone!

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