Sunday Space Blogging – 14 Jun 2009

Happy Flag Day:

Apollo 12 astronaut Charles \"Pete\" Conrad stands beside the United States flag after is was unfurled on the lunar surface during the first extravehicular activity (EVA-1), on November 19, 1969. Several footprints made by the crew can be seen in the photograph.

Apollo 12 astronaut Charles 'Pete' Conrad stands beside the United States flag after is was unfurled on the lunar surface during the first extravehicular activity (EVA-1), on November 19, 1969. Several footprints made by the crew can be seen in the photograph.

Trackers of Orbiting Junk Sound Warning

There are 19,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at about 17,000 miles per hour, fast enough for a relatively small piece of junk to destroy a satellite or even the space shuttle.

There are 300,000 pieces of debris the size of a marble or larger, according to Paul Graziani, chief executive of Analytical Graphics, Exton, Pa., a maker of software for the space and defense industries.

There are 3,000 “payloads” in space – sensors, transponders and other equipment used by the communications industry, the military, scientists and others, Graziani said. And 1,400 times each week, a payload comes within three miles of a piece of debris that could damage or kill it.

NASA Announces Winners in Second Annual Lunar Art Contest

WINNER: Crater Core Sample by Zachary Madere Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Lakewood, CO

WINNER: Crater Core Sample by Zachary Madere Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Lakewood, CO

Check out the full gallery of finalists here.


Boy Hit By Meteorite Travelling At 30,000mph: Gerrit Blank was on his way to school when he saw a massive fireball heading straight towards him from the sky.

The white-hot meteorite bounced off the schoolboy’s hand and hit the ground so hard it left a foot-long crater in the tarmac – as well as a three-inch scar on his hand.

Gerrit, 14, said: “At first I just saw a large ball of light and then I suddenly felt a pain in my hand.

“Then, a split second after that, there was an enormous bang like a crash of thunder.”

More Space Links:

US space shuttle launch delayed over hydrogen leak
Endeavour will now launch on Wednesday at the earliest.

Tight squeeze ahead on space station
There will be 13 astronauts aboard the ISS/Shuttle when Endeavour arrives, the most ever.

NASA’s Ares I-X Rocket Achieves Historic Hardware Milestones
The pogo stick progresses.

Commissioning Hubble – Preparing For Science Observations
Checking and calibrating instruments for the next 15 weeks.