Monday, June 02, 2008

Busy Weekend!

It was a busy weekend for me, with my younger daughter's high school graduation and lots of related family stuff. So I barely had time to follow the big space news - likely ice on Mars, and the launch of Discovery on STS-124. A big patch of smooth, light colored material was seen directly beneath the Phoenix spacecraft in early images from its Robotic Arm Camera. "Holy Cow" has not yet been confirmed to be ice, but that's the leading theory, and it's what the Phoenix mission was expected to find. Now that the robotic arm has started digging, I'm sure we will learn more soon.

I only saw the replay, but Discovery's Saturday launch looked beautiful, and they will rendezvous with the ISS this afternoon. Their huge payload is the main "pressurized module" of the Japanese Experiment Module known as Kibo. The JAXA image here shows the configuration of the ISS after the PM is installed this week.

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