Monday, December 26, 2011

Phobos/Grunt Lost In the Holiday Shuffle

With Christmas crowds on My Mountain, chores around the DaveCave, and Holiday closures, lots of stuff that interests me has escaped through the cracks this week.

After I took Christmas Night off when lack of snowmaking temps lightened the work load, I returned to the DaveCave around 0100, and started looking for some Phobos/Grunt's been quiet all week...too quiet...

Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency continues to struggle. Friday, a Soyuz rocket carrying a Russian military communications satellite failed during it's third stage rocket burn, and crashed in Siberia. Ironically, some debris landed on a house on Cosmonaut Street!

On the Phobos/Grunt front, not much new was forthcoming until today. Russia's National News Agency, RIA Novosti reports that USSTRATCOM says Phobos/Grunt will reenter over Afghanistan on January 14th, around 2:22PM PST

I'm not a rocket scientist, but the Sun has been stirring a bit of late, sunspots are appearing with greater frequency, and a Coronal Mass Ejection emanating from Sunspot 1387 will strike a glancing blow to Earth on December 28th. While not a "Killshot" by any means, the M4 class flare will cause auroras over the poles, and may puff up the atmosphere enough to increase drag on Phobos/Grunt, and hasten it's orbital decay.

CorduroyPlanet's Phobos/GruntWatch is anxious to fire up after the New Year's Celebrations!

Stay tuned.

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