When it's time to shuffle off your mortal coil and find a place to spend eternity, there are plenty of futurific ways to do it — from screwdriver-like vertical burial, to cryogenic preservation, to the Best of What's New winner the Cryomator. Although it's not exactly new, there's just something extra special about the notion of being shot into space, returning to the star stuff from whence you came. Now the Commonwealth of Virginia would like to help you achieve this goal.
Have you, like us, been missing the rumble and hiss of a good old-fashioned NASA launch? Since the space shuttle retired this summer, there have been a few space payload deliveries, sure — but it's just not the same when it's not a human launch system we're talking about. There was always something special about that guttural roar and plume of white steam streaming from the launchpad.
NASA engineers are still working to figure out exactly what caused a brief, one-time irregular power drop to one of the main engine controllers on the shuttle Discovery. But even if they fix the glitch the thrice-delayed mission faces an 80 percent chance of being delayed by weather tomorrow, Kathy Winters – NASA's appropriately named shuttle weather officer – says.
An electrical issue affecting a main engine computer controller has prompted NASA mission managers to postpone the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery's final mission to Thursday at 3:29 p.m. EDT, further delaying a launch that has been pushed back twice already.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis is off to deliver a fresh crew, as well as about 30,000 pounds of equipment, to the International Space Station today as part of an 11-day mission that will also involve three space-walks. The mission will warehouse equipment too big for Russian, Japanese or European crafts to carry in what will be last launch of the year, with six slated for 2010 before the Shuttle is officially scrapped. Catch a live feed of the launch below.
It’s been a busy day for India’s space agency. Underscoring the world’s largest democracy’s desire to become a serious player in the space business, the Indian Space Research Organisation launched seven satellites today, six of which belong to foreign nations.
India’s satellite, Oceansat-2, will enhance the ocean monitoring capabilities of the original Oceansat, which launched in 1999. Four of the other six satellites were German, while one was Turkish and one Swedish. Each of those carries a university-funded payload designed to conduct research on various new technologies.