The full Moon tonight is the Harvest Moon, the full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox. I'm still too busy to read much or blog but I'll try to be uncharacteristically brief and mention a few things of interest.
If all goes well, Dawn will finally launch tomorrow morning on its mission to the asteroid belt and the early history of the solar system. Good materials on that mission home page.
There's a nice interactive timeline on the history of the Space Age at the New York Times. It features links to PDF's of original articles from the Times.
Amazon has launched its MP3 download service this week, with non-protected 256K MP3 files for some 2 million songs, though only two major labels are initially offering their music this way. It works very well and many songs and albums are a bit cheaper than iTunes. These files will work on nearly any MP3 player including my new third-generation iPod Nano with video, which is awesome. The tiny color display is one of the sharpest I have ever seen (205 dots per inch). It has prompted me to buy a couple of movies to try out the video - probably just a novelty since I can watch DVD's on my notebook in most situations, but it definitely makes it feasible to watch a movie on a plane, even in an economy seat. Very cool.
AND ALSO VERY COOL is this brief interview with former astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz on the upcoming ground test of an advanced space propulsion system called VASIMIR. He is very optimistic about the future of humans in space (and private space) if we can create better and faster propulsion and power systems.