Parker Solar Probe Launch

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)

ICON on the move

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! ‬

Bill Donakowski (1956-2017)

Bill Donakowski, mechanical engineer, runner and a quick wit…

Remembering Hall of Fame Distance Runner Bill Donakowski
The University of Michigan cross country and track and field programs are mourning the death of Hall of Famer Bill Donakowski, who passed away Sunday, Oct. 15, at the age of 61.
One of the finest distance runners in the nation and a model student-athlete during his Wolverine career from 1974-78, Donakowski was inducted into the program’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

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

Cards and condolence can be send to:

William Donakowski
c/o Mark Donakowski
7897 S Valleyhead Way
Aurora, CO 80016

Eclipse Megamovie Movies

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.

Like a Premium Edition DVD or Blu-Ray, watch the “making of” the Google sponsored video, the Eclipse Megamovie
….Now that the preview is over watch the complete Eclipse Megamovie:

There were also other movies made by the The Crowd & The Cloud.
Video about the Eclipse Megamovie:

Here is a behind the scenes video of the Crowd and Cloud Eclipse Road trip, with interviews, insights and a generally fun time with Eclipse Megamovie volunteers: