A European Push to Save the International Space Station

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 15, 2010 in Science

International Space Station

According to this article at the BBC News website the European Space Agency’s Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain is pushing to keep the ISS going until the year 2020. This is critical as support for the station is up for review, and signs are pointing to pulling the plug by 2015: Read more…

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Hubble Shines, But Gets No Respect

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 31, 2008 in Science

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is back in business. Just a couple of days after the orbiting observatory was brought back online, Hubble aimed its prime working camera, the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), at a particularly intriguing target, a pair of gravitationally interacting galaxies called Arp 147. The two galaxies happen to be oriented so that they appear to mark the number 10. The left-most galaxy, or the "one" in this image, is relatively undisturbed, apart from a smooth ring of starlight. It appears nearly edge-on to our line of sight. The right-most galaxy, the "zero" of the pair, exhibits a clumpy, blue ring of intense star formation.Credit: NASA, ESA and M. Livio (STScI)

Just a few days after coming back to life Hubble rewards us with the fantastic image above of a pair of double galaxies, and yet like some sad ignored family member will have to wait for a repair mission for a few months:

Revived Hubble snaps perfect picture

“The Hubble Space Telescope is working again, taking stunning cosmic photos after a breakdown a month ago. But the good news was quickly tempered by NASA’s announcement Thursday that a mission to upgrade the popular telescope will be delayed at least until May.

A key replacement part that is essential because of the telescope’s failure in September won’t be ready for at least six months. It was the latest twist in the long-running drama surrounding the 18-year-old space telescope — one that initially took only fuzzy photos, then when fixed, provided dazzling and scientifically significant pictures of space, including a new one NASA showed Thursday.”

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