From the rooftops one can look up at the moon and sky. This is where I post some space science news and links.
Not as many mission on their way to Mar this cycle as there was last decade, but there is a record number there. One of the old-timers, the Opportunity Rover is currently out of commission due to a recent global dust storm though mission operators hope to be able to revive it, eventually.
The new mission on the way is the InStight lander. Instead of exploring the surface, InSight hopes to study the ‘Inner Space’ deep beneath the surface, to learn about not only the Martian formation process, but that of rocky planets everywhere.
Cassini Completes Its Mission at Saturn
The last time I updated this page Cassini had just arrived at Saturn and hadn't even released the Huygens Probe down to the large moon, Titan (yes I haven't been udating this page much). I was pleasantly surprised to find the old links still worked (unlike most external links I put up over a decade ago). The misson finally ended at the end of 2017. One of the most successful of NASA's missions to date. Check out the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerations (CICLOPS) for all the pictures. Saturn is probably the most photogenic planet in the solar system, from a distance anyway (a distance far enough back to see those gorgeous rings.)
Space Science/Astronomy Links
These are all pretty old, even historical. I've removed the ones that no longer work, and soon(ish) I will post some new ones.
- This is part of a very well done NASA site, the Center for NEO Studies. On the Orbits page you can search for your favorite asteroid or comet (Say asteriod Eros, or Comet Borrelly) and see a small cool 3D simulation of it's orbit.
- PERMANENT: Asteroid mining, space colonies, commercialization
- So what do you do with all those asteroids? This web site advocates Permanent Manned Enterprises in space. I guess we want to live in space to mine the mineral rich asteroids so that we can make the stuff needed to support all the people living in space, mining the mineral rich asteroids. (This is simular to Earths economic system). There's lots of info here about how to go about doing that, which asteroids to mine, where they are, what they are made of, how to mine them, where all these people will be living, and things like that. I don't think I'll buy the book yet though, but an interesting site.
- Deep Space 1
- This spacecraft was retired on December 18, 2001 after an extremely successful extended mission. It encountered comet Borrelly and returned the best images and other science data ever from a comet, long after it's successful primary mission was over in September 1999. Comets are turning out to be the darkest things in the solar system, it's like a Dove Bar the size of Mount Everest. said one DS1 team member.
- Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Mission (aka. NEAR)
- This highly sucessful mission ended back Feburary 2001, after it touched down on asteroid Eros, (ie. crash-landed) and survived to send back data for an additional 10 days! Now all that data, ten times more than originally planned, is being analyzed... why all the boulders? why does it's soil make ponds? what is this 4+ billion year old rock really made of? Anyway, here you can find some of the answers, or theories, and of course the only real close up pictures of an asteriod. There's also more background infomation at the NEAR Information site.