Virgin Galacitc's SpaceShipTwo First Flight Tests

SpaceShipTwo underwent a "drop-test" earlier this month from the White Knight aircraft. The goal of the test flights were to test the "feathering" reentry technique in which the ship effectively folds in half, providing vast amounts of drag while being dynamically stable.


New Launch Vehicle?

Tomorrow at 3:30 pm Eastern Time, NASA will have a press conference in which it will discuss a new decision that will affect the future of deep space manned exploration.


So you should watch it live tomorrow on NASA TV.

EDIT: It won't be on NASA TV. It is a teleconference, so it will be audio only: NASA News Audio


Space Junk

Orbital debris is a topic of much concern. At several thousand miles per hour, even a small object like a pebble could do serious damage to a spacecraft or a spacesuit.

That's why NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office tries to catalog, predict and control the activity of space junk in LEO.

There can also be another potentially deadly problem, known as the Kessler effect, or collisional cascading, in which one piece of wondering orbital debris collides with a satellite, and that satellite in turn sends out more pieces of shrapnel that will eventually collide with other satellites--a domino effect.

This problem can be combated by deorbiting old satellites or boosting them into a graveyard orbit.

In 2009 there was a collision between two satellites that added a good deal of orbital debris into LEO. It was the first time there was such a drastic collision in space between two man-made satellites. Here is a video plotting the statistical trajectories of the resulting debris:

I did not know this until just recently, but they have actually had to move the International Space Station on several occasions because of overlapping trajectories with cataloged space debris

Just a tidbit I picked up surfing the net yesterday.


All Fixed

My blog is better now. Thank you Blogger for your eventual fix.


I Found a Way to Post!

In case you hadn't heard, Blogger had a little "oopsidaisy" on the 11th, and I have not been able to log in to it ever since. I just found a way to get around this:

Even though I still can't log-in to Blogger Dashboard, I can still go to my blog, click on the edit icon of one of my posts, and then click on New Post.

Loopholes, for the win!


School's Out for the Summer -- Time for Summer Goals!

  1. Get certified for level 2 high-power rocketry!
  2. Create a video game (that's another post)
  3. Make a short film (we're thinking Steampunk :)
  4. Earn lots of money by getting a good job.
  5. Apply for lots of scholarships.
The last two are the most boring but are also probably the most important.

Got any good plans for the summer?