Sunday, June 3, 2012

Past and Future

I'll just wrap up some past stories to make way for the future stuff.

San Francisco Giants:
While the Giants club dates to 1883, baseball didn't start keeping real stats until 1918. I became curious over the past weeks because so many club records were falling or in danger of falling, and usually the copy read: "...since 1918"

USS Iowa:
Smooth sailing for the big battlewagon, her hull work completed, she entered Los Angeles Harbor Saturday morning.

The photo is courtesy of Donna Littlejohn, The Victory Ship in the foreground is the SS Lane Victory built in Los Angeles and returned from distinguished service in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, she's a museum now. The Lane Victory has been restored to seaworthy condition and offers "Victory at Sea" summer cruises.

The Lane's website features an incredible photo album from the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond that includes day by day photos of a Liberty Ship on the ways under construction. It's really worth a look.

OK, now on to the Future:
There's bunches of spaceflight news this week.

Private/Public Spaceflight tallies historic first milestone.
The SpaceX Falcon/Dragon mission to the International Space Station is a rousing success. NASA says in light of the mission's success, approval for continued resupply missions under a $1.6 billion contract would be a mere formality.

Not everything in civilian spaceflight is rosy:
Sea Launch, another commercial spaceflight contractor successfully launched an  Intelsat 19 communications satellite into geosynchronous orbit. There was a problem with the satellite however when one of the spacecraft's two solar array wings failed to deploy.

X-Ray Space Telescope Nears Launch:
The NuSTAR space telescope will be launched by Orbital Sciences Corp. as early as June 13th, 2012. This satellite is launched from a converted Lockeed L-1011 airliner that launches a Pegasus rocket plane that carries the NuSTAR into orbit.

There's Military Spaceflight News...sort of:
The Air Force's XB-37B "Mini Space Shuttle" will return to Earth after it's classified 15 month mission in Low Earth Orbit sometime in the next few weeks...

Sutter's Mill Meteorites Found:
This story is getting a little long in the tooth, but I suppose it's the nature of the beast...I don't recall Mark Twain reporting on every nugget and vein discovered in the Comstock when he was a reporter for Virginia City's Territorial Enterprise

Video of the Sutter's Mill Fireball surfaced this week, and to date almost a pound of the meteorite has been found and reported. I wonder how many bits of the meteorite were found and sold on the spot to meteorite dealers at $1000/gram... At least one piece made it's way to a UC Davis geologist so far...

Don't toss those eclipse glasses just yet:
You'll need them again Tuesday June 5th to view the Transit of Venus across our Sun. Sky and Telescope have a good observation guide.

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