*Partial Solar Eclipse This Sunday Evening!*
Sunday May 20th. For Portland, the eclipse gets underway at 5:04 p.m.
when the Moon makes first contact with the Sun. The maximum eclipse
accords at 6:21 p.m. when the Moon covers 81 percent of the Sun's
diameter at 25 degrees above the western horizon. The partial eclipse
will end at 7:29 p.m. as the Moon exits.
Remember since this isn't a total eclipse there is still enough sun
uncovered to do damage to eyes. OMSI will have a party and solar
glasses (aluminiumized Mylar that is thick enough to meet sun safety
standards). You can easily build a pinhole camera by poking a hole in
a cardboard box. The internet is replete with ideas for safe viewing.
*SpaceX Launch Scheduled for May 19*
I have a good feeling about this one. Liftoff is scheduled for 4:55 am
Eastern time this Saturday, 1:55 am in Portland: that's late Friday
night if your staying up! Webcast starts at 1:15 am Portland time.
*SpaceX teams up with Bigelow
SpaceX is teaming up with Bigelow Aerospace to start marketing private
space stations. But they're skipping over the US and Europe and
heading straight to Asia.
*ATK is Pushing Liberty Hard
ATK has backed their own entry into the private space race, a super
tall rocket called Liberty. It's a modified SRB from the space shuttle
with an Ariane 5 (ESA/France) upper stage. They claim it will be ready
to carry people to orbit by 2015. The reaction from the space
community has been cold at best.
*MER Opportunity Rolling Again
After waiting out Martian winter for 5 months commands were sent to
the Mars rover Opportunity to start moving again. It managed to move
about three and a half meters. We're now on (Martian) day 2954 of the
90 day mission. Keep on truckin'
*Expedition 31 Launch
Russia launches a Soyuz spacecraft to the space station with 3
astronauts onboard. There are 6 people in space right now. Photos:
*Eventful Weekend at FAR
Friends of Amateur Rocketry, a permissive launch/test site in Southern
California saw lots of action over the weekend. Here's the highlight
reel. (Sorry for the lack of info on some of the launches)
- Russia's latest, state of the art, high resolution weather
- Outer Space: Compositied raw images from Cassini and Voyager --
mostly of the Saturian system.
- Glint of Sun off the ocean from the ISS
- Long exposure from the ISS. Cities streak by underneath, stars above.
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