Space Roundup

The X-37B unmanned space plane has spent more than a year in space and will be landing at Vandenberg AFB. Today was mentioned as a possibility for landing, but the window extends to the 18th.

Second X-37B being readied for launch. It was launched on an Atlas V in March 2011.

The sun has been more active, with flares and the possibility of coronal mass ejections. The Solar Dynamics Observatory captured some of the active areas with two different detectors.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuVcTnCt1LI&w=560&h=315]

Tons of stuff on telescopes, and I’m overwhelmed on what to write. There’s the successful airborne launch of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuStar for short, on a Pegasus rocket. NuStar is an X-ray telescope and will focus (SWIDT) on black holes. NASA cancelled the Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer, or GEMS telescope due to budget overruns. *cough*JamesWebb*cough* Last but not least, the National Reconnaissance Office gave NASA two spy satellites with Hubble-quality optics. I guess those will be looking up from orbit, not down.

4 thoughts on “Space Roundup”

  1. Whatever are we going to do now that our earthquake weapon is no longer in orbit?

    On a more serious note, is anyone else wondering what kind of sensors our spy satellites have that would warrant the NRO giving away Hubble-quality optics to NASA?

    1. Don’t know, but we can still knock Russian stuff out of the sky. 😉

      It’s the optics, not the sensors that are Hubble-quality. One of the articles I saw said that NRO is going for a broader view rather than the narrow one provided by the telescopes.

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