Preparing for launch

The International Space Station should start to get a bit busier soon enough. On Friday, three people will be blasted toward the trio already up there. The rocket that will carry Expedition 23 is already being rolled out for the launch.

Also ready and waiting is the shuttle Discovery, whose next mission to the ISS is pencilled in for a launch on Monday.

But shuttles and rockets aren’t the only thing getting launched over the next few days. Tomorrow, the UK Space Agency receives its actual launch (and it now even has a website!). An interview with the UK’s first official astronaut, Major Timothy Peake by Astronomy Now at the press conference is now on their youtube channel:

But where might the European Space Agency end up putting him? One idea they’re seriously considering is the south pole of the Moon, a place where water ice still exists and where no human footprint has ever been pressed into the regolith. They’ve issued a call for industry proposals to this end and hope for a launch by the end of the decade.

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