NASA and SpaceX are targeting a 3:25 p.m. EDT launch on Friday, April 18, of SpaceX’s third cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage will begin at 2:15 p.m.
The company’s April 14 launch to the orbiting laboratory was scrubbed due to a helium leak in the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Dragon spacecraft to the space station.
Dragon is carrying to the space station almost 5,000 pounds of science and research, crew supplies, vehicle hardware and spacewalk tools — all to support the crew and more than 150 scientific investigations planned for Expeditions 39 and 40. If needed, another launch attempt will take place at 3:02 p.m. Saturday, April 19.
NASA Television coverage of Dragon’s arrival at the space station will begin at 5:45 a.m. Sunday, April 20. Expedition 39 Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will use the space station’s robotic arm to capture the spacecraft at approximately 7 a.m. NASA’s Rick Mastracchio will support Wakata during the rendezvous. Read the rest of this entry »
Alyssa Denigelis reports: It’s a classic fact that astronaut urine can be processed into drinkable water. Now a new bioreactor could turn the waste filtered from that pee into an energy source as well.
When water supplies run low on a space mission, astronaut urine can be treated to become drinking water. But the waste removed is still, well, waste. University of Puerto Rico scientists Eduardo Nicolau and Carlos R. Cabrera, working in collaboration with the NASA Ames Research Center, came up with a new approach to make use of the waste.
AWR Hawkins reports: On April 2, Deborah Hughes looked out her front window and saw Steve Utash on the ground being brutally beaten by a gang of men–she grabbed her pistol and ran to his aid.
According to the Daily Mail, Utash had stopped to check on a 10-year-old child “he had accidentally hit.”
When Utash got out of the car a gang converged on him and had beat him unconscious “by the time [Hughes] got to his side.”
WASHINGTON — Some of the most iconic artifacts of aviation and space history will be getting an updated display for the 21st century, with the Apollo moon landing as the centerpiece.
“We’re trying to figure out what the museum needs to do to stay in touch. We want to inspire people of all ages to want to know more and to do more.”
– Museum Director J.R. “Jack” Dailey
For the first time since its 1976 opening, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum plans to overhaul its central exhibition showing the milestones of flight. The extensive renovation announced Thursday will be carried out over the next two years with portions of the exhibit closing temporarily over time, said Museum Director J.R. “Jack” Dailey.
Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis” aircraft from the first trans-Atlantic flight, John Glenn’s Mercury capsule from his first Earth orbit and an Apollo Lunar Module recalling America’s first moon landing will be among the key pieces to be featured. Such artifacts have made the Air and Space Museum the nation’s most-visited museum, drawing 7 million to 8 million visitors each year.
Saturn-Shuttle / The concept model for a Saturn V and Space Shuttle combo.
Discovery and Science Channels are headed to the moon.
The sibling cable networks have signed on to chronicle the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition for privately funded teams to land an unmanned craft on the moon by Dec. 31, 2015.
Lesley Goldberg writes: The networks will chronicle the historic race with a miniseries event that follows teams from around the world as they race to complete the requirements for the grand prize: landing a craft on the surface of the moon, traveling 500 meters and transmitting live pictures and video back to Earth.
Science and Discovery will follow the entire process — from testing and lift-off to live coverage of the winning lunar landing, estimated to take place in 2015.
“The $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE offers all the ingredients of fantastic television; stakes, competition, big characters and mind-blowing visuals.
1966 Apollo Command Module 007
Source: Laurentiu Cristofor
Rui C. Barbosa reports: The Chinese finally opened their 2014 campaign with the launch of a Shijian-11 class satellite. A Chang Zheng 2C (Long March 2C) rocket lofted a mysterious satellite – understood to be part of the Shijian-11 series of early warning satellites - from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center’s 603 launch pad at the LC43 launch complex at 02:46 UTC.
This is the sixth in a series of satellites that – according to the Chinese media – are only known to be “experimental satellites” developed by the DongFangHong Satellite Company of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.
As with the previous Shijian-11 satellites, the true mission of Shijian 11-06 was not revealed by the Chinese authorities. However, some observers noted that the Shijian-11 series could be related to a constellation of operational early warning satellites.
‘Shijian’ means ‘Practice’ and this series of satellites have been used in a variety of configurations and missions for scientific research and technological experiments. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been a black aircraft enthusiast all my life (and that goes back to the days when the SR-71 was still “secret”). Sweetman is one of the best aerospace/defense/mil-tech journalists around, although he’s been accused of being willing to run with a story a little too soon. I personally feel like he does sometimes report on rumors and informed speculation, but is careful to identify them as such.
At least as far as the available information on this one goes, I feel like this is a solid lead. The photos do not look photoshopped at all (there is a history of shopped pics among back plane chasers), and the aircraft does fit into a niche that many have wondered about — the US lacks a large, high-altitude, stealthy ISR platform and, as Sweetman points out, sat photos of Groom Lake (Area 51) show way more capability than can be accounted for with known programs.
So I put this one in the “definitely possible, maybe even probable” category.
Space Pilot X Ray
Gun Yoshiya/Taiyo (Japan) 1970s
Atlas launch vehicle carrying the Big Joe capsule, September 9, 1959