Are you Ready for the NASA Atlantis Shuttle Launch Countdown?

The Atlantis Space Shuttle is scheduled to launch on Friday afternoon at 2:20 GMT.  The Atlantis so far had 32 trips and it is said that today will be its last trip.  In last week’s comprehensive conference, NASA spoke of the list and figures for the Atlantis.

Important notes were jotted down for the stats of Atlantis.  So far, it had 31 flights, 282 days in space, a crew of 185 and 116 million miles 0,4462 Earth orbit.

NASA is always mysterious on their projects but one thing is for sure.  It’s always interesting to hear news about our universe.  NASA is our only link and eyes for now.

Space Shuttle Landing Today

The NASA Discovery Space Shuttle crew has finally landed today after previous attempts on landing back to Earth. The Space Shuttle landed 9:08am Tuesday. Rain and Unfavorable weather conditions limited the crew in landing the space shuttle in two previous attempts.

Seven astronauts spent 14 days in space and extended a day before landing back to Earth. The Discovery mission in space made history by including 3 lady astronauts, which altogether worked with one female astronaut who was already at the space station. It was first-ever in history that 4 female austronauts worked in space.

The Discovery Space Shuttle (Orbiter Vehicle Destination OV-103) came from the west after flying over the various states of USA including Vancouver, British Columbia. It went Southeast, flying over north-eastern Washington; Montana; Wyoming; South-Western Nebraska; North-Eastern Colorado; South-Western Kansas; Oklahoma; Arkansas; Mississippi; Alabama; Georgia and finally making its home landing in Florida.

The Discovery is the third operational orbiter vehicle in space and is considered the oldest orbiter in service.

Space Shuttle Launch at the Kennedy Space Center

Space shuttle Discovery was launched early today, Monday, April 6, 2010 at 6:21 am at the Kennedy Space Center aboard its six-member astronaut crew headed by U.S. Navy Captain Alan Poindexter.

Dubbed as the “STS-131” mission, the astronauts will be on a 13-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS) to perform three spacewalks to deliver the multi-purpose logistics module containing science racks for use in the various labs throughout the space station.

According to NASA, the astronauts will also collect a Japanese science experiment thereby including mission specialist Naoko Yamakazi of the Japanese Space Agency in the space mission. In addition, they will also switch out a gyro assembly on part of the station’s truss structure.

“If you take a look at the spacewalks and the time of this mission, it’s an extremely packed mission,” says William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Space Operations of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

A lot of critics have expressed their disappointment to the Obama Administration for cancellation of the Constellation Program of NASA. The programs aims to develop a new rocket and space capsule to lift astronauts into orbit which would have seen astronauts return to the moon again by the year 2020.

Moon and Mars August 2010: The Truth Behind Mars as Another Moon on August 27

Moon and Mars August 2010: The Truth Behind Mars as Another Moon on August 27– There has been a lot of controversy about two moons occurring in the sky today, August 27, 2010 of which Mars is considered as the “other moon” aside from the natural moon that we usually see here on Earth.

The rumor started through an email circulated way back in 2003 where Mars indeed make an extraordinary approach to our planet Earth to just approximately 56 millions kilometers which prompted the red planet to appear as another moon in the sky as seen in the photo below:

One of the emails that circulated at that time reads as follows:

“The Red Planet Mars is about to be spectacular as it can be seen in the sky. Earth and Mars will be at its closest in 60,000 years. The next time Mars may come this close may be after several years in the year 2287. The encounter between Earth and Mars will culminate on August 27 when the red planet comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be next to the moon the brightest object in the sky at night. It will have a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. In its 75-power magnification, Mars will look as large as the full moon through the naked eye.

By August 27 where both planets will be closest to each other, Mars will rise at nightfall and will reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30 am. As such, we will be able to see two moons in the sky – one is the actual moon and the other is the red planet Mars. Mark your calendars to see Mars as the second moon in the sky. This is a rare opportunity as no one alive today will ever witness the second event when this happens again.”

Apparently, that was an old email back in August 2003. If ever you received it again today with a date of the occurence changed today, August 27, 2010, delete it since it’s just a hoax. In fact, NASA reported that there is no such two moons that will occur in the sky today, August 27, 2010. This rumor, as stated, started in 2003 and has since reoccurred at the end of August every year since. NASA even stated that at the sunset today, go outside and face west. The bright light you see shining through the twilight is lovely Venus. Grab a pair of binoculars and scan the sky around Venus. A few degrees to the right, you’ll come across a little orange star-like object. That is the red planet Mars.

After that phenomenal event last August 2003, Mars had another close encounter with Earth in the year 2005. However, that event took place in October and not in August. It also did a close approach in December 2007 but not as close as what happened way back in August 27, 2003. According to astronomers, not until 2018 will our view of Mars be similar to the one that was available in 2003 and it won’t be until 2287 will Mars come closer to Earth than it did back in 2003.

Two Moons Tonight, August 27, 2010

Two Moons Tonight, August 27, 2010 – The news is spreading that tonight, the moon and mars will be close together and will form into the so called “Two Moons 2010” event.

For those who have waited for this tonight, August 27, 2010, the reality of the matter is that you already missed this event. The real two moons event happened one in 2003 and the other in 2005.

In 2003, Mars had been closest to Earth in 50,000 years and the moon appears to be close to the red planet. The two had been the brightest objects in the sky during August 27, 2003.

A greater publicized close encounter also dubbed as Two Moons happened in October 2005. However during that time Earth and Mars were about 13 million kilometers further than during the two moons event in 2003.

This 2010, the reality is that there is no two moons, moon and mars on August 27, 2010. This news is being triggered by the continuous circulation of an e-mail made in 2003. Below is the content of the original two moons e-mail published in 2003.

FW: TWO MOONS

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THIS

** Two moon on 27 August ***

27th Aug the Whole World is waiting for………….

Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky Starting August.

It will look as large as the full moon to the naked Eye. This will happen On Aug. 27 when Mars comes within 34.65M miles of earth. Be sure to watch The sky on Aug. 27 12:30 am. It will look like the earth has 2 moons. The Next time Mars may come this close is in 2287.

Share this with your friends as NO ONE ALIVE TODAY Will ever see it again.

The e-mail above is courtesy of Urban Legends at http://urbanlegends.about.com/

Perseid Meteor Shower in August 2010 Can Be Seen in the Sky Until August 24

Perseid Meteor Shower in August 2010 Can Be Seen in the Sky Until August 24: – Perseid meteor shower is expected by millions of star gazers tonight. The well known annual meteor shower which are debris and left overs from the comet Swift-Tuttle is expected to be at its peak past midnight of August 12, 2010 and until the predawn hours of the next August 13, 2010. Even though the peak is already finished, you can still watch it since they will still be visible in the sky up to August 24, 2010.

According to NASA, the “shooting star” show will begin when planets alight at sundown. That is four celestial bodies Venus, Saturn, Mars and the Moon pop out of the western twilight in tight conjunction. All four heavenly objects will fit within a circle about 10 degrees in diameter, beaming together through the dusky colors of sunset. No telescope is required to enjoy as it will be visible through the naked eye.

In addition, NASA said that this year’s Perseid Meteor Shower show is a good year for spectators since the Moon won’t be up during its peak from midnight to dawn. As the night deepens, the constellation Perseus where the Perseids originate rises and the meteor shower rates increase up to 60 meteors or more per hour.

In the US, people gather in several county and national parks just to witness the Perseid Meteor Shower tonight. In St. Louis, residents are advised to go to St. Charles County Parks. In San Diego and Southern Carolina, Joshua Tree National Park, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Mount Pinos, and Anza Borrego Desert State Park are among the parks where people are advised to head into. However, for New York and New Jersey residents, rainy clouds might prevent people from seeing the wonderful Perseid Meteor Shower tonight.

For best results of the Perseid meteor shower show, astronomers advise people to find the best spot where the sky is at its darkest and stay away from city lights. Perhaps this is a good time to have camping together with your family or be with your partner.

The night continues. Have you seen any Perseid Meteor Shower in your area tonight? Let us know by commenting below. It will be best if you can also send us pictures and photos so that other visitors can also witness the actual “shooting stars”.

Meanwhile for those who don’t want to spend the rest of the night just waiting outside of their homes, NASA set up a live video feed of the Perseid Meteor Shower tonight using a camera mounted at its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. here.

Perseid Meteor Shower August 2010 Tonight: Best Time to View Meteor Shower Until August 24

Perseid Meteor Shower August 2010 Tonight: Best Time to View Meteor Shower Until August 24 – After the beautiful aurora borealis caused by the solar flare which some of us witnessed last week, the sky will once again light up because of a meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle known as Perseid Meteor Shower.

The Perseid meteor shower has been observed for about 2000 years, with the earliest information on this meteor shower coming from the Far East. Some Catholics refer to the Perseids as the “tears of St. Lawrence”, since August 10 is the date of that saint’s martyrdom. Originating from the constellation Perseus, Perseid Meteor Showers are active this year 2010 from July 23 to August 24. However, it will peak on the night of August 12, 2010 where 60 or more meteors per hour will be visible in the sky.

According to Space.com, the best window of opportunity to see the shower will be the late-night hours of Wednesday on through the first light of dawn on the morning of Thursday, and then again during the late-night hours of Aug. 12, 2010 into the predawn hours of Aug. 13, 2010. They can be seen all across the sky, but because of the path of Swift-Tuttle’s orbit, Perseid Meteors are primarily visible in the northern hemisphere.

If you want to witness these Perseid meteors tonight, it is best viewed away from city lights and in clear skies. Aside from the given time frame above where these meteor shower can be best viewed, astronomers say that the best time to witness is at 2am after midnight your local time.

Although the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower is already finished, you can still watch them as they will be on the sky up to August 24, 2010. However, don’t expect to see a lot of them as the 60 or more per hour rate of Perseids are already gone.

Set your alarm now and try to wake up at the particular times mentioned above. Try to position yourself in a location where the sky is clear tonight. Watching for the Perseid Meteor Shower tonight consists of lying back, gazing up into the stars, and waiting. It would be best viewed with your loved one as both of you try to make a wish upon witnessing these shooting stars.

For those of you who want to witness the Perseid Meteor Shower online, there is a live cam set up by NASA here.

NASA Satellite Captures Gulf Oil Spill [Photos]


The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has reportedly hit the US shoreline this morning. Up to 5,000 barrels of oil a day continue to spew into the water beneath the site of the Deepwater Horizon.
NASA has released a pair of striking pictures depicting the disaster.
The semisubmersible drilling platform sank two days after an explosion and fire at 10 p.m. April 20, when 126 workers were on the rig. Eleven who have not been found are presumed to have died in the incident.

Both images were captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite — the first shows a wider shot of the oil slick spreading to the Louisiana coast, while the second shows a closer view.