Here is a little something from Dark Roasted Blend, remember the Soyuz TMA mission that returned the first South Korean astronaut from the ISS (International Space Station)? There was speculation that it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere nose first, well, take a gander at these pics and you be the judge.
No, this is not a picnic from Bradbury’s “Martian Chronicles” – this is a bunch of pictures from Soyuz TMA-11 extreme landing: very steep descent and ballistic re-entry… Read more about this mission here.
(image credit: Novosti Kosmonavtiki)
Recently, Paul at Centauri Dreams posted about an Enceladus fly-by:
Although the Cassini spacecraft has just passed no more than fifty kilometers from the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, the investigation of the intriguing object will only intensity in October, when Cassini moves to within half that distance. With astrobiological interest high, Enceladus is a hot place to be. Data from the most recent flyby began streaming in to the Deep Space Network station in Canberra last night, with the downlink scheduled to continue into the afternoon of the 12th (EST).
The prime target, using every camera resource available and covering infrared, visible light and ultraviolet, is the area of the moon’s southern pole that houses the fissures now known as ‘tiger stripes.’ Under intense scrutiny will be the terrain of the fissures as well as the composition of the ice grains inside, and tuning up our data on temperature should provide a better idea of whether or not liquid water lies close to the surface. Cassini will be looking for other elements — oxygen, hydrogen or organics — mixing with the ice. “Knowing the sizes of the particles, their rates and what else is mixed in these jets,” says ultraviolet imaging spectrograph team member Amanda Hendrix, “can tell us a lot about what’s happening inside the little moon.”
Below is the recent Cassini fly-by photo, pretty close!
|Enceladus Rev 80 Flyby Skeet Shoot #3
August 12, 2008
|This image is the third skeet-shoot image taken during Cassini’s very close flyby of Enceladus on Aug. 11, 2008. Cairo Sulcus is crossing the southern part of the image. The terrain is littered with blocks of ice. (The image is upside down from the skeet-shoot footprint shown here.) The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 11, 2008, a distance of approximately 1,567 kilometers (974 miles) above the surface of Enceladus. Image scale is approximately 18 meters (59 feet) per pixel. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.|