EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) 41 Tasks
On the video feed, 17 in right hand corner indicates Peggy Whitson’s camera and Shane Kimbrough’s camera is 18
NASA handily provided a schematic of the move of the pressurized mating adapter during the televised broadcast.
The mating adapter was moved to allow the International Docking Adapter to be installed early next year. The new docking port will allow commercial craft, such as SpaceX Dragon and Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station. Currently they are manually docked to the space station using the Canadian robotic arm, Canadarm2.
A Delta IV rocket carrying the WGS-9 SATCOM US Military satellite was launched successfully from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Delta IV WGS-9 SATCOM satellite will provide the US Military with enhanced capability to contact troops in the field.
This mission was launched aboard a Delta IV Medium+ (5, 4) configuration. This has a 5m diameter payload fairing for larger payloads, and 4 Graphite-Epoxy Motors (GEM-60s) strap-on boosters to provide the required thrust.
This was ULA’s 3rd launch of 2017 and the 118th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.
At the 2nd time of asking, a fully-expendable Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the 5 1/2 tonne EchoStar XXIII satellite the heaviest geosynchronous payload yet launched by the Falcon 9, was launched into Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).
The launch occurred at 5:35 am UTC on Thursday (17th March 2017).
Here are some pictures of the launch
The initial attempt was postponed on Tuesday due to high winds at high altitude above launch site 39A, at the Kennedy Space Center.
Due to the weight of the satellite, and its proposed orbit, the Falcon 9 1st stage was NOT returned to the launch site to be reused.
What a ride!!
Orion capsule seems quite unstable during the descent. NASA engineers will need to look at that.
Politicians on Capitol Hill in Washington have agreed to provide NASA with $19,508,000,000 as part of its 2017 budget. The figure, an increase on last year, but including mandatory spending (for James Webb telescope for example),will be allocated as follows:
The House debated the bill, the snappily titled ‘National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017′ , on 7th March, after a successful debate in the Senate in February.
It was debated in the House for less than 30 minutes. Following discussion, and virtually no objections, the bill was agreed by voice vote.
The bill will now be passed to the President, to become law.
The Summer of 2015.
Not much to write home about weather wise in my neck of the woods (south Wales in the UK), but during the next few weeks there’s a veritable smorgasbord of space events to get our temperatures rising…….
and of course, not forgetting:
All these stories, and much more besides will be reported on these pages… STAY TUNED, its going to be one HECK of a ride
Well, January is well amoung us, and here in Wales, January is something of a double edged sword.
Yes,the sun sets comparatively early here, at around 4pm, but along with the early sunset, comes clouds, LOTS of clouds. Now if these clouds were beautifully dainty wispy affairs then this wouldn’t effect my erstwhile hobby of astrophotography. But no, these are grey, heavy thugs, choked FULL of moisture. Added to that, after a long trip across the Atlantic Ocean, these clouds see the lush greenery of the Welsh coast, like a driver sees a rest room after a 300 mile drive.
Suffice to say, there aren’t that many clear evening in Wales that are worth getting my camera out for. But yesterday was one of those evenings.
I own a Nikon D90 with 2 lenses. The standard 18-105mm lens and the slightly more powerful 70-300mm. I used the 18-105mm lens, when I want to take pictures of ‘regions of sky’ or constellations. The other one is employed when I want to take images of specific objects. I’d call myself an enthusiastic, ‘but poorly executing’ amateur…
Yesterday evening, Jupiter lay low in the eastern sky, by far the brightest ‘star’ currently in the night sky. With a suitable exposure, as well as capturing Jupiter you can also capture its larger satellites (moons), the ones Galileo spotted when he looked through the ‘first’ telescope in early 17th Century. Nice to see, that I’m on a technical par with a genius from 400 years ago!! 🙂
Manual focus is a MUST as the sensor in my camera spends an inordinate length of time trying and failing to focus on virtually nothing. Open the lens as wide as it will go, (F number as low as it will go) and “up” the ISO, so it captures more photons of light.
Your rig (camera and tripod) must also be stable. Any wobble or vibration will ruin the picture, so a timer delay or remote control to activate the shutter is a MUST. I normally employ the timer delay.
This is what I captured. Even with a 2 second exposure, you can see the items in the image are already starting to trail. The solution, to decrease the exposure time, and “up” the ISO again.
Long exposures are a slightly more complicated due mainly to 2 unrelated, but equally annoying things.
The first, and easier issue to deal with is ‘star trail’ Any exposure of longer than around 20 seconds starts to show ‘star trail’. This is where the stars in the image no longer appear as point of light, but as ‘trails’. This is fine when you want to capture star trails, but somewhat inconvenient when you don’t. This ‘trailing’ is caused by the Earth rotating on its axis, which is a good thing, as it helped make life of this planet possible, and is an aftermath of the formation of the Solar System. But no worries, there’s a way around it. To maintain stars as ‘points of light’, means taking shorter exposures, and ‘upping’ the ISO, or tracking the object. This is a simple rig, so i’ll start by trying the first option.
‘Upping’ the ISO means making the sensor inside the camera more sensitive to light, so you need a less time to capture the same amount of light. Unfortunately, this is where another problem comes in. Light Pollution! This is the ‘glow’ you see from a city. Unwanted light, streaming upwards into the night sky, rather than downwards towards the ground, where (council) planners intended. Its the scourge of astronomers and wastes millions of pounds a year.
With a bit of suitable adjustment, you can remove ‘some’ of the light pollution. Here are pictures of Orion and Taurus, and if you know where you’re looking you’ll see a faint fussy blob that is Comet Lovejoy.
For those that can’t spot it, i’ve shown its location and its (very rough) track for the next few days in the picture below.
The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest man-made structure in space. The size of a football field, it circles the Earth every 90 minutes, at an altitude of around 230 miles (370 km) and is currently visible in the UK around sunset. It appears, normally from the West, moving towards the East, as a bright, slow moving star (normally the brightest) in the sky. Passes can vary from a few seconds, to around 6 minutes.
The international Space Station project is an collaboration between the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada. It’s current price tag stands at an enormous $100 BILLION.
It is permanently manned usually by between 3 and 6 occupants. To find out who’s aboard the ISS, visit Who’s in space?
I used to take many photographs of the Space Station, as it past, even had one published, but haven’t taken an image of an ISS flyby for MONTHS. Here are my latest attempts, as it passed overhead on Saturday June 14th 2014.
Most of these images are multiple exposures, each around 10 seconds long and stitched together using Photoshop.