Welcome to the GeekDad Space Report for the week of May 31st, 2010 (publishing the day after Memorial Day). If you are in the United States, I hope you enjoyed Memorial Day and if you aren’t in the United States, I hope you are had a great Monday as well! The Space Shuttle Atlantis landed this week, possibly for the last time, after a very successful mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The GPS satellite I have been reporting on the launch for finally launched this past Thursday but the Flacon 9 flight has still not occurred and is scheduled, along with three other launches, for this week.
Wednesday, June 2
Launch Site: Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia
Launch Vehicle: Rokot
Payload: SERVIS 2
Launch Time: 01:59 GMT (21:59 EDT on June 1st)
Notes: Mission to evaluate commercial parts for utilization in space.
Thursday, June 3
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Launch Vehicle: Proton
Payload: BADR 5
Launch Window: 22:00 GMT (16:00 EDT)
Notes: Launch of a telecommunications satellite for the Middle East.
Friday, June 4
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, US
Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch Pad: SLC-40 (Map View)
Launch Window: 15:00-19:00 GMT (11:00-15:00 EDT)
Notes: Maiden launch of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle carrying a qualification unit of the Dragon re-supply vehicle. Launch delayed from last week.
Saturday, June 5
Launch Site: Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India
Launch Vehicle: Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)
Payload: Cartosat 2B, StudSat,
Launch Window: 03:53 GMT (23:53 EDT on June 4th)
Notes: Launch of an Indian remote sensing satellite, a nano-satellite built by Indian students, and 3 other small satellite payloads.
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.
Hurtling through the outer solar system the Voyager 2 spacecraft just keeps going. Voyager 2 stopped transmitting science data a couple weeks ago but after a fix by software engineers, the science data is flowing once again. As of this posting, Voyager 2 is just over 92 Astronomical Units (AU) from our Sun. An AU is defined as the mean distance from the Earth to our Sun which puts Voyager 2 around 8.56 billion miles from our Sun. For reference, the orbit of Pluto has an average distance from our Sun of 31 AU.
Have a great week everyone!