Spaceflight roundup

(minus all the STS132 stuff with the shuttle and the space station, which gets its own post)

The Opportunity Mars rover now joins Spirit (should she be found to wake up when Spring is sprung in her bit of Mars) as the longest lived surface mission to have visited the Red Planet.

Cassini is presently beaming down great images of the double flyby of Saturn’s moons Titan and Enceladus. Some more detail here. Meanwhile observations from the Hubble Space Telescope have been used to do some ground work before the arrival of the New Horizons probe at Pluto on the 14th of July 2015 (keep that one in your diary). The two small satellites, Nix and Hydra were the target of the observations, with brightness variations suggesting the two are potato shaped objects rather like asteroids, with mean diameters between 30-150km.

Astronaut Jose Hernandez (who tweets here), who flew on mission STS-128, on the space shuttle Discovery, to the ISS, has been profiled in a video of his transition from Migrant worker to Astronaut.

And finally, with lots of debt, NASA pulling out of inhouse human spaceflight capabilities, at least for the time being, and a thawing in the relationship between Russia and the USA, who have cooperated in spaceflight at one level or another for decades, it is no surprise that a suggestion of stronger bonds between the space capabilities of the two countries should now be suggested by the Russians. Full story here.


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