The GeekDad Space Report for April 5, 2010

Geek Culture

Space Shuttle Discovery's dawn launch this morning. (Image: NASA)Space Shuttle Discovery's dawn launch this morning. (Image: NASA)

Space Shuttle Discovery's dawn launch this morning. (Image: NASA)

Welcome to another edition of the GeekDad Space Report! Both launches I reported on last week have made it off the pad with a destination of the International Space Station (ISS). A Soyuz spacecraft launched earlier this week to bring three new crew members to the ISS and this morning, in a rare dawn launch, the Space Shuttle Discovery launched on its own journey to the ISS.

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

Monday, April 5- Launched
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA
Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Discovery
Launch Pad: Launch Complex 39A (Map View)
Mission: STS-131
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.

Thursday, April 8-
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Launch Vehicle: Dnepr
Spacecraft: CryoSat-2
Launch Time: 13:57 GMT
Notes: Launch of an ESA Earth observing satellite that will monitor polar ice as part of the Living Planet Programme.

No Earlier Than Thursday, April 8-
Launch Site: Guiana Space Center, Kourou, French Guiana
Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5
Spacecraft: Astra-3B & COMSATBw 2
Launch Window: 21:48-21:58 GMT
Notes: Launch of a pair of satellites for direct to home television broadcasts and a military communications satellite.

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 Star Formation Rate In Nearby Elliptical Galaxies

Instrument(s): WFC3

How Galaxies Acquire their Gas: A Map of Multiphase Accretion and Feedback in Gaseous Galaxy Halos

Instrument(s): COS

The Nearest Cold Interstellar Cloud

Instrument(s): STIS

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.

Manned Spaceflight

As I mentioned above, the Space Shuttle Discovery launched this morning for the ISS. The mission is bringing a number of new experiments to the ISS and will include three spacewalks. Here is a look at the crew:

Good luck to both the Space Shuttle and the ISS crews and have a great week everyone!

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