The GeekDad Space Report for January 25, 2010

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Image of Mars from the MRO HiRISE Camera (Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)Image of Mars from the MRO HiRISE Camera (Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

Image of Mars from the MRO HiRISE Camera (Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

Greetings all and welcome to another edition of the GeekDad Space Report. We expected to be coming off another quiet week for launches, however we were surprised with a launch by the Chinese government. Here are some stats on the launch:

Saturday January 16, 2010
Launch Site: Xichang Launch Facility, People’s Republic of China
Launch Vehicle: Long March 3C (Chang Zheng 3C)
Payload: Beidou-2 G1 (Compass-G1)
Launch Time: 16:12 GMT
Notes: A new satellite in the Chinese navigation constellation program.

We also have a launch scheduled for this coming week:

Thursday January 28, 2010
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Launch Vehicle: Proton
Payload: Raduga Communications Satellite
Launch Window: 00:18 GMT
Notes: A communications satellite for the Russian military.

That’s it for launch information for the week so let’s take a look at what else is going on around and about space.

Interesting Hubble Observations

Here are some interesting observations scheduled for Hubble. A more complete list can be found at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) This Week On HST Website.

The Cycles of Alpha Centauri

Globular Cluster Candidates for Hosting a Central Black Hole

Observing Cluster Assembly Around the Massive Cluster RXJ0152-13

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.

Student Program

NASA has announced a new student competition, the Environmentally Responsible (Green) Aviation High School Student Challenge. The competition is open to High School groups and individuals. Check out the NASA Press Release and if you have a High School level Geek-In-Training they may enjoy participating.


Want to help NASA pick targets for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)? Consider yourself invited. A new program allows students and the general public to select targets on the Martian surface to be imaged with the HiRISE camera, fulfilling the original nickname of the “The People’s Camera”. The program is HiWish and is definitely worth checking out!

Manned Spaceflight

Spaceflight Now is reporting on the movement of the Tranquility module out to the Space Shuttle Endeavour on the launch pad in preparation for the launch of STS-130. Tranquility will provide a “room with a view” for the crew of the International Space Station.

Have a great week everyone!

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