The GeekDad Space Report for April 26, 2010

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A stunning view of the sun courtesy of SDO. (Image: NASA)A stunning view of the sun courtesy of SDO. (Image: NASA)

A stunning view of the sun courtesy of SDO. (Image: NASA)

Hello all and welcome to this week’s GeekDad Space Report! Hot off the presses last week was the delay in the landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery by a day. The Shuttle did indeed land the next day at the Kennedy Space Center. The launch of the SES 1 satellite went off on time while the launch of the secretive X-37B was delayed by a day due to the delay in the Shuttle landing but did launch successfully.

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

SWednesday, April 28
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz
Payload: Progress 37P
Launch Time: 17:15 GMT
Notes: Resupply mission to the International Space Station. Expected to dock to the ISS on May 1st.

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.

Investigations of the Pluto System

Instrument(s): WFC3

The Host Environments of Type Ia Supernovae in the SDSS Survey

Instrument(s): ACS

Monitoring the Aftermath of an Asteroid Impact Event

Instrument(s): WFC3

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.

Solar Dynamics Observatory

Big news this week in the release of the first images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO for short. SDO is designed to take very high resolution images of the sun and the images released show that it is doing exactly that. I reported on this observatory when it launched and that article has some great information on the observatory. Congratulations to the SDO team for their success!

Hubble Space Telescope

This past weekend marked the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. The orbiting observatory has provided humanity with a completely new outlook on the universe and has become a yardstick upon which many other observatories are compared. Space.com has a great article about Hubble to celebrate the anniversary but any even cursory search will show articles from many sources from all over the world celebrating this momentous achievement. Congratulations to all who have worked to make humanities eye on the universe the success it is today and a thank you to all of the people around the world who are the “Hubble Huggers” that support the observatory and appreciate the awe inspiring views of the universe that it provides.

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