Welcome to another week for the GeekDad Space Report. I have been reporting for a few weeks now on the launch of a student CubeSat payload aboard a sounding rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia coast. I am very happy to report this week that the mission made it off the ground this past weekend! The mission launched on Saturday at 10:09 a.m. EDT and preliminary reports indicate that the payload performed well. Congratulations to the teams involved! We have one manned launch this week of a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) and a Space Shuttle launch to the ISS so early next week that I decided to report on the launch this week. I will provide more details in next week’s Space Report but wanted to make sure everyone knew about the launch.
Monday, April 5-
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA
Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Discovery
Launch Pad: Launch Complex 39A (Map View)
Launch Time: 10:21 GMT (06:21 EDT)
Notes: Dubbed the “Experiment Express” mission, this mission will consist of a changeout and addition of a number of scientific experiments.
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.
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.
This week, as noted above, brings the launch of the remainder of the Space Station Expedition 23 crew to the ISS aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. The new crew will join the three members of the Expedition 23 crew already in place at the station. The three new crew members are:
- Flight Engineer Alexander Skvortsov
- Flight Engineer Tracy Caldwell Dyson
- Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko
The launch of Space Shuttle Discovery has been set for April 5th and I will include more details on the launch, hopefully including information on a successful launch, next week.
New Space Program
This week, the United Kingdom announced the creation of a new Space Agency. The new UK Space Agency will be headquartered in Swindon, England and represents a new focus for space exploration in the UK. The UK has always been very active in space exploration but the goal of the new agency is to focus those efforts better and replace the British National Space Centre. Congratulations to the UK on the new program!
Have a great week everyone!