Weekend Roundup, July 25-27, 2008

(The latest installment in an on-going series, this post will recount relevant space news that you may have missed while out enjoying your weekend. It's not an exhaustive list--to get that, I recommend clicking through to the blogs in our blogroll--but it should contain the highlights, as least as I see them.)

The Launch Pad received a lot of new readers this weekend when the article NOAA Regulations was linked to by the popular news aggregator site Slashdot. This gives me the dubious distinction of having been the author of a post linked to by Slashdot and one of the subjects of an article linked to from the main page of another news aggregator, FARK. I'm not sure whether to be proud or terrified. In any case, welcome Slashdotters and Farkers, I hope you'll stick around.

Mojave Air and Space Port had a lot going on this weekend. The recent Popular Mechanics cover 'port installed a SpaceShipOne replica; hosted a memorial service for those lost in the 2007 incident at Scaled; and, this morning, hosts a large crowd of people (including X PRIZE's Peter Diamandis and Brett Alexander) for the unveiling of White Knight 2. Those of us not able to go in person can see some footage of the roll-out courtesy of the Today Show, and I'm sure videos and photos will continue to hit the Net throughout the day.

NASA announced on Friday that its next mission to the Moon, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, won't launch until early 2009. LRO will, of course, provide not only some great science, but some excellent surface imagery I'm sure will be exploited by the Google Lunar X PRIZE teams. I'm sorry to hear of the delay--but as long as she gets to the Moon safely, I'll be happy.

In other spacecraft news, ESA and Russia revealed some plans for a future crewed capsule, Orbital Sciences talked about possibly human-rating their Taurus II launch vehicle, and NASA fired an old Apollo LM ascent engine using some new propellants. Perhaps the Taurus II news will add to the COTS Conundrum.

Prospective Google Lunar X PRIZE team "White Label Space" provided a quick translation of the German article mentioned here previously. Hopefully we'll soon see a German team!

And lastly, this week marks the final week for X PRIZE intern Pierre-Damien Vaujour. Hopefully he'll post a farewell blog--be sure to wish him well as he departs X PRIZE to head back to school!

Until next week!

blog comments powered by Disqus