Thursday, March 19, 2009

S6 truss in place

Finally in today's spacewalk the S6 truss segment was bolted to the International Space Station by spacewalkers Steve Swanson and Richard Arnold.

The spacewalk is now ongoing since 5 hours and will last for another hour or so.

The coming actions will be the connection of data and power cables to fully setup the S6 truss segment with battery and radiators.

Once the astronauts will be safely inside the station there will be the solar array deployment after which ISS will achieve for the first time its complete power configuration.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

GOCE launched!

This afternoon at 15.21 CET, ESA's GOCE satellite (Gravity and Ocean Circulation Explorer) was launched from Plesetsk atop a Rockot launcher.

Its task is to complete a new mapping of Earth's gravity field distribution with unprecedented accuracy. Such accuracy will be able to analyze and study the difference in altimetry of the ocean surface that is tightly linked with ocean temperature and circulation.

If you like you can enjoy the launch replay HERE

and some other animations HERE

Monday, March 16, 2009

Go Discovery!

Here we are!

Another mission for Space Shuttle Discovery launched successfully from Kennedy Space Center carrying the last truss segment with the last set of solar arrays for the International Space Station.

This mission will mark a symbolic achievement giving to the station its final power configuration available to support the next few modules left for its completion and six crew member capability.

As for now let's admire the beautiful pictures of this nice launch, made slightly after sunset and because of this, characterized by a strange enlightement once the shuttle was high in the atmosphere. (i.e. in the images you could see the color of External Tank and the clear rotation of the boosters after their separation!).

Here you are a dramatic image of instants after the liftoff!

Enjoy space!

see ya!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Andy returns

here you are a brief post, with the "write-and-go" style I supposed as new needed editing policy, to say that I'm back from the university exam session though at the moment I'm working for ESMO and for Attitude Control and Dynamics exam :-)