Archives for January 21, 2011

And such closeness has not been achieved before or since. Voyager 2 passed very close to the funny-named planet 25 years ago today (plus or minus) and that is the only close fly by to date.

One of the complications of interplanetary research is that the probes you’ve placed on the other planet can’t be reached via radio while the planet they are on passes to the other side of the sun, which happens now and then. In fact, for the days before and after Mars is opposite the sun, communication…

This came up a while ago and I assumed the idea would die the usual quick and painless death, but the idea seems to be either so fascinating or so irritating to people (mainly in various blog comment sections) that it still twitches and still has a heartbeat, but only as a result of the…

Oh. The NanoSail Popped Out

Surprise! HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 11:30 a.m. EST, engineers at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., confirmed that the NanoSail-D nanosatellite ejected from Fast Affordable Scientific and Technology Satellite, FASTSAT. The ejection event occurred spontaneously and was identified this morning when engineers at the center analyzed onboard FASTSAT telemetry. The ejection…