Posts filed under “space”

NASA Social: Antares

This is Antares, a commercial rocket assembled by Orbital Sciences to deliver the unmanned cargo capsule Cygnus to the International Space Station for NASA: Powered by two liquid fueled Soviet NK-33 engines refurbished by Aerojet and mounted into a Ukrainian-built first stage topped by a US ATK solid-fuel second stage booster, Antares A-ONE, the first […]

Red Shirt at Wallops

The day before Antares launched, I was hanging around Wallops Visitor Center waiting for news on that day’s scrub, when I noticed one of the museum staff (Susan, the Educational Resources Coordinator) wearing what appeared to be a Space Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU, or a spacesuit to put it simply). She had put it […]

Antares A-ONE Launch

I’ll have more to write about the Antares A-ONE NASASocial event later, but for now, here was my view of the rocket launch itself, recorded from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility press site, 2.1 miles from Pad 0A. I used my NEX3 on a tripod, zoomed out for a wide angle view, with an ECMSST1 […]

Recent Reading

More space-related reading from recent weeks: Why can Hubble get detailed views of distant galaxies but not of Pluto? (Emily Lakdawalla for Planetary Society) Because galaxies are really big and planets are really tiny by comparison and Hubble was made to look at big things. Up: the story behind Richard Branson’s goal to make Virgin […]

Comet PANSTARRS and the Moon

I got this picture of Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS at 8PM on Tuesday, 12 March 2013, about 2 days after the comet’s closest approach to the sun. I couldn’t see it with the naked eye due to haze and glare from the sunset and bright suburban lights, but a six second exposure with a narrow […]

Green East Coast Meteor

Saw a bright green fireball in the sky tonight, low over the northern horizon (as seen from Fairfax) going west to east. I couldn’t get a photo in time, but I sketched it with Paper app on my iPad mini while the image was fresh in my head. This fireball was nowhere near the intensity […]

Recent Reading

My article queue has been space-heavy lately: lots of space history, and a few recent developments which highlight what an exciting time we are in for human spaceflight potential. “For the Tenth Time”: the story of Soyuz 4 and 5 — Part 1, Part 2: The first Russian orbital docking and EVA transfer mission in […]

Asteroid 2012 DA14

A small asteroid named 2012 DA14 flew close by Earth on Friday 13 Feb 2013, flying south to north, 17,200 miles from the surface at closest approach: much closer than the moon and even within the orbits of farther-out geostationary satellites. This was going to be the live space event of the month — until […]

Chelyabinsk Meteor

A meteor (or bolide, the term for a bright, exploding fireball) exploded in the sky over Russia, with a bright flash of light and multiple loud bangs seen and heard in Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountains. The shockwave injured people and caused light damage to structures in the city. Since dashboard cameras are so prevalent […]


NASA Wallops launched two sounding rockets last night, each releasing a cloud of red lithium vapor into the upper atmosphere to test ground-based observation techniques for space phenomena.