This is a pretty good period for astronomy and space exploration. US news has been covering the upgrade and repair mission for Hubble Space Telescope. Glad that mission is going well.
Not as well known, here in the states, is the European Space Agency's successful launch of both the Herschel and Planck telescopes from one Ariane Rocket. Launched May 14.
Planck will analyse microwave background radiation from the big bank and ponder questions about the birth of this universe.
Herschel will look at far inferred and a portion of the microwave, sub millimeter spectrum to see dusty areas, forming proto stars and so forth. Herschel has the largest mirror ever sent into space.
Hurray for the success of both missions launched from one rocket.
Then there is the Kepler, launched by NASA a few weeks back. It has just passed it's calibration reviews (this week). Now in the main "science" part of the mission.
This morning at around 6:30 AM PSD, I happened to be up for a while. I found a live video feed on the web from European Space Agency. It was covering the launch of Herschel and Planck.
Reminded me of following Apollo on television during my childhood.
Remember ads for "Gulf Oil?"
Helped bring us TV coverage of Apollo. Nice memories.
The Europeans seemed a bit different. More reserved than Americans. Also spoke with accents. It was kind of mystical to watch things live from a German version of "mission control;" especially that early in the morning (our time). The sun was just rising. Also good memories, like my childhood, only this time it's May 14, 2009 and I'm watching on the "magic screen" we call Internet.
Looking forward to new discoveries.