Space roundup

Nanosail-D finished its mission and burned up on reentry Sept. 17. Not sure why it took NASA more than two months to have a press release about that, but they did say they gathered a lot of data on upper atmosphere drag.

Got your 3-D glasses? Try out the 3-D movie that the spacecraft Dawn took of the asteroid Vesta. A 2-D photo for you:

The Mobile Launcher (ML) that had been built for Ares is being recycled for the new SLS rocket and possibly for the ATK Liberty launcher. The ML is the platform that the crawler carries, and it went through several pad tests in the last month. It’s now been rolled back to a parking spot near the Vehicle Assembly Building and will get another coat of paint to prevent rust.

Last but not least, the Aussies added a feedhorn to their 15-m diameter dish to send low-power signals over a wide angle and were able to contact the crippled Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft. While Phobos-Grunt has spent too much time in low Earth orbit to make it to Mars now, there is now the possibility of a different mission or a controlled reentry.