Sky&Telescope Sky Chart is Back! (see comment 225)

By: LowerCal , 10:39 PM GMT on June 20, 2011

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CURRENT MOON

moon phases


Scroll past the links below to find special events for current and future dates.
Scroll farther to find past events.


***** Links *****

Today - SpaceWeather.com
also EarthSky,
Astronomy Picture of the Day,
Lunar Photo of the Day,
365 Days of Astronomy
& Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
This Week - SkyandTelescope.com - This Week's Sky at a Glance
also Jack Horkheimer - Star Gazer, Current Scripts
This Month - SkyandTelescope.com - Sky Tour Podcasts
also HubbleSite - Tonight's Sky: Your guide to constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and events
Anytime - Stellarium (free planetarium for your computer)
also Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart (online planetarium)

Visible Satellites:
Simplest - Satellite Flybys by SpaceweatherPhone.com
More satellites and more info - Heavens-Above.com.

Launches:
Spaceflight Now - Worldwide Launch Schedule
also Vandenberg AFB Launch Schedule
& Wallops Flight Facility Launch Webcast & Blog
Reentries - Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies - Upcoming & Recent Reentries

Live Aurora Cams:
Sodankyla, Finland,
Kiruna, Sweden,
Yellowknife, Canada (click on CONNECT AURORAMAX LIVE)
& Poker Flat, Alaska


Most events described below can be viewed with your eyes alone.
Occasionally simple binoculars will improve the view and that will be noted.


***** Current & Future Events *****

See the comment section.

I'm sorry that I haven't had the time that I used to have to be able do justice to this blog. Almost all the events and WunderPhotos in the previous blog entry were from last year so I made this new entry with just the links (above) that will allow you to find out what's current and upcoming.

Your comments or images relevant to astronomy, spaceflight or weather are welcome. Any really big news on those subjects I'll probably post a comment or images myself.
- LowerCal


Events earlier than those listed below will be found in previous blog entries.

***** Past Events *****

None listed.


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Shuttle Atlantis last Flight (KI4MFU)
7-8-11 Kennedy Space Center,Floirda
Shuttle Atlantis last Flight
Final Space Shuttle Launch (turnuptheheat)
The beginning of the last shuttle mission (Atlantis STS-135) as seen from Titusville, FL on July 8 ,2011.
Final Space Shuttle Launch
Final Shuttle Flight (Skyepony)
Final Shuttle Flight
Final Shuttle Flight (Skyepony)
Big thanks to all the people involved in this program over all these years and a special thanks to my Dad for throwing me in the car in the middle of the night, so I could wake up on the NASA Causeway to see the first Shuttle launch. Hard to see an era end..now on to bigger, farther endeavors.
Final Shuttle Flight
Delta IV (Skyepony)
New GPS satellite going up from Cape Canaveral on a Delta IV Rocket. Launch time..2:41am.
Delta IV
Atlantis (Skyepony)
After her final trip home.
Atlantis
Juno Going to Jupiter (Skyepony)
Juno being launched on an AtlasV. It should be monitoring the weather on Jupiter in 5 years.
Juno Going to Jupiter
Aurora Borealis (den117)
After receiving an internet aurora alert yesterday, we headed out at 1:30 AM to a nearby dark beach with a north view.
Aurora Borealis

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Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

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Quoting LowerCal:
The next big event is the final flight of the Space Transportation System, STS-135. Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center on July 8 at 11:26am EDT ±5 minutes.

Spaceflight Now | STS-135 | Mission Status Center


I hope to be under that beauty in a big pontoon boat on the inter-coastal to watch it with the kids. It is the last one, sadly :(
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Im reminded of Reagen's words during his post Challenger Speech that night.


High Flight
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
— John Gillespie Magee, Jr



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Thanks Pat. That's July 8 at 11:26am EDT ±5 minutes... a good day to take the day off. Another great era of spaceflight is coming to a close.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690

Image above: In Launch Pad 39A's payload changeout room at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians close space shuttle Atlantis' payload bay doors in preparation for launch. Image credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann


Space shuttle Atlantis is set to liftoff on the final flight of the shuttle program, STS-135, a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. Launch is currently targeted for July 8. Atlantis will carry a crew of four: Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.
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Skye Glad you enjoyed it. I'll be trying to keep up with the heads ups again.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
22. Skyepony (Mod)
Great launch. Love those night ones. Looked like a shooting star.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 41044
Payload separation of the Air Force's ORS-1 tactical intelligence satellite. It should be in it's planned orbit now.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
4th stage burn complete.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
4th stage burn in progress.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
3rd stage jettison and 4th stage ignition coming up shortly.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
Payload fairing separation has occurred and the 3rd stage is coasting now.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
LIFTOFF! The Operationally Responsive Space-1 satellite is now making its climb to orbit.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
Hi Skye! :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
14. Skyepony (Mod)
Hanging out for the launch..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 41044
A new launch target has been set for 11:09pm EDT.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
The FTS problem is resolved and the launch may be retargeted for 11:28pm EDT.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
The larger rockets now launching from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia will be visible from Washington, D.C. not surprisingly but even from New York, New York.

Minotaur I Launch Visibility Map

A problem with the Flight Termination System (FTS) is the reason for the HOLD of tonight's scheduled launch. No word on if an attempt can be made before the launch window closes at 11:28pm EDT tonight.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
sp Those launch failures really got my paranoia subprocessor revved up. After the later incident at KSC involving the fatal fall, a quantity of cocaine and no details forthcoming I was thinking a good suspense novel or at least a Hollywood action thriller. ;^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
Re the clamshell - that is interesting, especially since they fixed it last time :-/
If I were a conspiracist I wouldn't worry about this one failing - it's military, not climate research ;)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4327
Minotaur I Launch Visibility Map
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
The Minotaur I launch from Wallops Island, Virginia is now targeted for 10:05pm EDT.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
from Spaceflight Now | Minotaur Launch Report | Mission Status Center:
....

5:58 p.m. EDT (2158 GMT)
HOLD. T-minus 2 hours, 30 minutes and holding. The countdown has paused as engineers study the anomaly with launch support equipment. This means launch will likely not occur as scheduled at 8:28 p.m. EDT. But there is a three-hour launch window extending until 11:28 p.m. EDT for the Minotaur to get off the ground tonight.

....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
For the NASA webcast of today's scheduled Minotaur I launch:

Wallops Flight Facility
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
Here is an interesting sidelight to tomorrow's scheduled Minotaur I launch. There have been two failed launches of NASA climate research satellites atop a Taurus XL, the OCO on February 24, 2009 and GLORY on March 4 of this year.
....

Although the rockets are different, they share a similar separation system in the payload fairing, a clamshell-like structure that protects the satellite during the early phases of launch. Once the rocket is above the dense lower atmosphere, the shroud is released to jettison weight.

Orbital Sciences Corp., the contractor for the Taurus and Minotaur rockets, completed its investigation into the March launch failure, according to Lou Amorosi, Orbital's vice president for the Minotaur program.

"They found a design susceptibility in the fairing separation system," Amorosi said. "That is the most probable cause of the failure, and that susceptibility was demonstrated through ground testing. We did do similar testing on Minotaur because we do share some components with Taurus, and what we found is the Minotaur is much less susceptible to this issue."

But "to be absolutely safe" in the wake of the Taurus mishap, Amorosi said Orbital recommended making minor modifications to the Minotaur rocket to ensure the ORS 1 mission is not struck by the same anomaly. The Air Force agreed with the changes, which included a software and a mechanical modification, according to Amorosi.

....
from Spaceflight Now | Minotaur Launch Report | Tactical military satellite due for launch on Minotaur rocket
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
A Wallops Island, Virginia launch visible from Mid-Atlantic states scheduled to take place this evening was scrubbed due to storms around the launch area.

The launch has been rescheduled for tomorrow with much more favorable weather outlook. The launch window runs from 8:28-11:28pm EDT.

Spaceflight Now | Minotaur Launch Report | Mission Status Center


Pat Thanks for update on Captain Kelly, Congresswoman Giffords and their family. I am humbled by the strength and love there.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690
Navy Captain and NASA Astronaut Mark Kelly to Retire from Active Duty and NASA effective 1 October.


The decision to retire will allow Kelly to spend more time with his family, and to continue to focus on his wife's recovery, he said.

"As life takes unexpected turns we frequently come to a crossroads," Kelly said. "I am at this point today. Gabrielle is working hard every day on her mission of recovery. I want to be by her side. Stepping aside from my work in the Navy and at NASA will allow me to be with her and with my two daughters. I love them all very much and there is no doubt that we will move forward together. After some time off, I will look at new opportunities and am hopeful that one day I will again serve our country.


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The next big event is the final flight of the Space Transportation System, STS-135. Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center on July 8 at 11:26am EDT ±5 minutes.

Spaceflight Now | STS-135 | Mission Status Center
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9690

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About LowerCal

Astronomy with a minimum of terminology and technology.

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