That Was the Week that Was, January 24-28, 2011. . . A Digest of Goddard People, Science, & Media, PLUS Historical Tidbits and Our Best Stuff in the Blogpodcastotwitterverse
MABEL’s maiden voyage: An instrument team from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is using the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL) to test a technique that will someday fly on a satellite to measure Earth’s surface with great precision.
More awesomeness: The NASA Blueshift blog comments on wintry weather at Goddard, the Optimus Prime video contest, blazing galaxies, and the latest 2012 apocalypse foolishness.
TUESDAY January 25: On this day in 1984, President Ronald Reagan made an Apollo-like announcement to build a Space Station within a decade as part of the State of the Union Address before Congress. What came to be called Space Station Freedom evolved into a new program: the International Space Station, now complete after $100 billion and 11 years of construction — and 27 years since Reagan’s announcement. Early concepts for the station look nothing like today’s ISS.
“America has always been greatest when we dared to be great. We can reach for greatness again. We can follow our dreams to distant stars, living and working in space for peaceful, economic, and scientific gain. Tonight, I am directing NASA to develop a permanently manned space station and to do it within a decade.”— President Ronald Reagan, 1984.
New eyes on the sky: On this day in 1983, NASA launched the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) mission. During its ten months of operation, IRAS scanned more than 96 percent of the sky four times, discovering a half-million new infrared sources for subsequent exploration and discovery.
Go to the SORCE: On this day in 2003, NASA launched the SOlar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite to mske precise measurements of the amount of energy Earth receives from the sun.
Russian beauty: The ASTER Featured Image released today shows Arkhangelsk (or Archangel in English), the administrative capital of Archangelsk Oblast, Russia. It is situated on both banks of the Dvina River near where it flows into the White Sea.
My darling Clementine: On this day in 1994, NASA launched the joint Department of Defense/NASA Clementine mission. It mapped most of the lunar surface at a number of resolutions and wavelengths from ultraviolet to infrared.
WEDNESDAY January 26: The leading NASA science news of the week: The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted the most distant object ever seen in the universe.
Bright idea: Beautiful night shining clouds grace the NASA Earth Observatory Featured Image today.
THURSDAY January 27: Today NASA holds a Day of Remembrance for the space explorers who died in the line of duty on Apollo 1 and the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia. On January 27, 1967, the Apollo 1 crew of Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were killed in a fire in the Apollo Command Module during a preflight test at Cape Canaveral. On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff. On February 1, 2003, the shuttle Columbia was lost shortly before landing.
“The last week of January every year brings us the opportunity to reflect on the sobering realities of our space exploration enterprise. Each time men and women board a spacecraft, their actions carry great risk along with the opportunity for great discoveries and the chance to push the envelope of our human achievement. Today, we honor the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia crews, as well as other members of the NASA Family who lost their lives supporting NASA’s mission of exploration. We thank them and their families for their extraordinary sacrifices in the service of our nation.” — Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator
FASTSAT update: Two of FASTSAT’s three instruments are collecting data; a third comes online February 1.
A blast: NASA Earth Observatory features the latest image of the eruption of Mexico’s Colima Volcano.
FRIDAY January 28: See the latest images and video of this week’s East Coast snow storm!
OH AND DID I MENTION? All opinions and opinionlike objects in this blog are mine alone and NOT those of NASA or Goddard Space Flight Center. And while we’re at it, links to websites posted on this blog do not imply endorsement of those websites by NASA.