Some good news

Roamy here. You may remember back in August, a Russian Progress vehicle failed to reach orbit. This was a big concern because the Progress third stage is similar to the Soyuz third stage, and we are relying solely on the Russian Soyuz to change crews on the International Space Station until American commercial vehicles can take over. (Yes, I know. The whole situation makes me grumpy, too.)

Last week, a Progress vehicle successfully launched and docked with ISS. This means that the planned Soyuz launch on Nov. 14th with the next ISS crew can proceed. Another Russian rocket, the Proton successfully launched three Glonass-M (GPS) satellites on Friday. Still, I’ll breathe a little easier after launch.

Speaking of ISS, I submit this as pic of the day. Earth’s average albedo is 0.3, meaning about 30% of sunshine hitting Earth is reflected back into space, but this varies a good bit, depending on whether it’s soil or ocean and how much cloud cover there is. This is JAXA Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa backlit only by Earth’s albedo.

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