Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

FALCON 1 Clears The Tower - Malaysian satellite RazaSAT Launched to Orbit

Commercial launch of SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket a success
Posted: July 14, 2009

A Malaysian satellite rode a Falcon 1 rocket into orbit Monday night, marking the first time the privately-developed booster has successfully launched an operational spacecraft.

The 70-foot-tall rocket was making its fifth flight. Three of its four previous launches failed, dooming two small military satellites.

But SpaceX, the California-based company that developed the launcher, scored its second straight success Monday, almost nine months after the Falcon 1 first reached orbit last year.

"We nailed the orbit to well within target parameters, pretty much a bullseye," Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, told Spaceflight Now.

Musk confirmed Malaysia's RazakSAT satellite separated from the Falcon 1's upper stage and is communicating with ground controllers.

Another Launch Success for SpaceX and Falcon 1
[YouTube Video here as well. - LRK -]
SpaceX achieved its second successful Falcon 1 launch in a row tonight when it placed the Razasat spacecraft into orbit.

I hope they have much more success.
The YouTube view of the launch is good.

Hope the Shuttle clears the weather restrictions and launches as well.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

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NASA LRO LROC Image: The fractured floor of Compton
Date Released: Monday, July 13, 2009
Source: LRO LROC

Orbit 136 took LRO over the Imbrian-aged Compton Crater (162 km diameter) at an altitude of 172 kilometers. At this height, large boulders can be seen casting shadows, especially on the rims of the numerous secondary impacts that cover this ancient surface. But there is more to this image than craters and boulders.

In the upper part, the western edge of Compton's huge central peak is visible. The wide, sloping flat floored trough (or graben) records a period of uplift of the crater floor. The uplift caused the floor to break and pull apart, forming the graben. The cause of the uplift and fracture of crater floors is not yet fully understood. One possibility is the slow readjustment of the crust after the crater-forming impact. Asteroids and comets strike the Moon at speeds greater than 15 km/second. So much energy is released that rock behaves as a plastic for a brief instant - the crust is pushed down.

Over time the crust relaxes and uplifts towards its original position, fracturing lava flows that were erupted and hardened after the impact. Another idea concerns the intrusion of lava into the shallow subsurface. As this magma follows existing cracks, it exerts pressure on the surrounding rock causing uplift and more fracturing. Unraveling the origin of lunar tectonic features like this one is a primary focus of LROC science team.

To boldly go. where others have gone before
by Edward Ellegood
Monday, July 13, 2009

With the Review of US Human Space Flight Plans Committee deep into its deliberations, there's little doubt that this august(ine) group's findings will carry much weight with those in Washington who will set NASA's future priorities. The committee's final report is due sometime next month, so they have little time to spare.

Maybe the committee can borrow from previous blue-ribbon space panels. There's no shortage of ideas in their reports, and there's more than a little overlap in their missions and membership.

Norm Augustine's current committee is his second high-profile effort to reshape NASA's exploration plans. Sally Ride has also been-there/done-that, and Lester Lyles and Wanda Austin just turned in their own committee report on NASA goals. Here's a list of some of the committees, commissions and task forces that have tread this ground before:

NASA Releases Short List Of LROSS Target Craters. Sky & Telescope (7/13, Beatty) reported, "Late last week project officials released the 'short list' of candidate sites where, on October 9th at 11:30 Universal Time, LCROSS and the Centaur rocket that helped boost it will slam into the lunar landscape. These spots are lying in permanent shadow near the Moon's south pole." Brian Day, "who's coordinating amateur observations for the LCROSS project" at the Ames Research Center, stated that "ground-based observers probably" will not see the impact flash, but will likely see the plume of debris. "Although many professional telescopes will be turned Moonward that night, Day hopes amateurs will join the hunt."




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