NASA and Northrop Grumman have delayed the launch of the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, to conduct further pre-launch testing on the rocket. Upon completion of the testing, a new launch date will be established.
At 3:31 AM Eastern Time on August 12, after a one day delay, the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft took off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for its “Mission to Touch the Sun”. On board two instrument suites, FIELDS and SWEAP, with many of its team members working out of the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab. Initial reports are that systems are nominal. Some early milestones achieved, Fairing Separation, Solar Array Deploy, Boost by the Third Stage and Separation from same. Over the next days and month, instruments from not only UC Berkeley but others will start to be turned on and checked out. Deployments will happen and Instruments checked out. By December we should be receiving our first data from the spacecraft. Congratulations to everyone that worked on this milestone project.
Above video (48 seconds) from Sergio Leite, friend of SSL. Below NASA-TV (7 minutes)
We are rolling in Vandenberg Air Force Base as our crew completed all-day operations to move and mate the #Pegasus rocket to the #Stargazer #L1011 airplane in preparation for the June 14 launch of #NASAICON. Developed, integrated and tested by our teams in Dulles, VA and Gilbert, AZ, ICON will be the newest addition to NASA’s Heliophysics missions. Led by UC Berkeley, the mission will help scientists better understand the relationship between Earth’s atmosphere and the space environment by studying the ionosphere. Next week, the unique air-launch vehicle will make the ferry flight to its Kwajalein Atoll launch site in the Marshall Islands. Stay tuned to NASA’s Launch Services Program for live launch coverage!
We mourn the passing for Frances Townes, wife of Charles Townes, on her 102nd birthday. You can read her obituary Berkeleyside.
The Flint native — who also went on to become a renowned aerospace engineer — was at the leading edge of a renaissance in Michigan’s distance running heritage that began in the mid-to-late 1970s, earning three Big Ten individual titles, four All-America awards and a school record at 10,000 meters that remains through the present day as the longest-standing in program history.
Read the complete article here
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August 21st, 2017 was the astronomical event of a lifetime, a total solar eclipse. This eclipse would span the entire United States from Oregon to South Carolina with a 70 mile swath of totality for over two minutes.
The hype had been building for months. Reservations for lodging had been made years in advance for some while others waited to see what the weather would bring and made a last minute excursion toward totality. For some, the weather, the location did not cooperate and we had to settle for NASA Live Streaming, Local News or Social Media.
Social media made it possible for folks to see totality no matter where they were and we have compiled a series of video presentations of the 2017 Great Solar Eclipse.