The GeekDad Space Report for June 14, 2010

Geek Culture

Re-Entry of the Hayabusa Sample Return (Image: Clay Center Observatory at Dexter and Southfield Schools)

Hello all and welcome to this week’s edition of the GeekDad Space Report. There was a single launch on the schedule for last week, the launch of the STSAT-2B satellite on the Naro-1 rocket. Unfortunately, this launch was not successful and the rocket exploded just over 2 minutes after launch.

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

Tuesday, June 15
Launch Site: Dombarovsky Cosmodrome, Yasny, Russia
Launch Vehicle: Dnepr
Payload: Prisma & Picard
Launch Time: 14:42 GMT
Notes: Mission to launch two satellite payloads using the Dnepr rocket, a modified ICBM. Prisma is actually a pair of satellites that will test formation flying techniques. Picard is a satellite that will observe the the Sun and is named for French astronomer Jean Picard, the namesake of a certain Starfleet Captain.

Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz Rocket
Payload: Soyuz Spacecraft
Launch Time: 21:35:19 GMT
Notes: Launch of three new crew members to the International Space Station.

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 Origins of Short Gamma-Ray Bursts

Instrument(s): WFC3, ACS

Detecting Isolated Black Holes through Astrometric Microlensing

Instrument(s): WFC3

Rapid Response: Unexpected Jupiter Impact

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.

Manned Spaceflight

As mentioned above, there is a launch this week of three new crew members to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. The three new crew members are:

Good luck and a safe flight to the crew!


Congratulations to the whole team behind the return of the Hayabusa capsule from the asteroid Itokawa. The sample return blazed a trail through the sky on its way to a landing in Australia. Crews have located the tracking beacon for the sample return canister and it should have been recovered by the time you read this article. There is some doubt as to the contents of the canister due to a hiccup during sample collection, however, scientists are hoping to find some useful information in the canister.

Have a great week everyone!

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