Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Waiting for two launches

Servicing Mission 4 to repair the Hubble Space Telescope is due to launch Monday, May 11 at 2:01pm. The official estimate of the risk from space debris has been lowered to 1-in-221, but the shuttle will still fly tail-first to better shield the spacewalking astronauts, led by astronaut/astronomer John Grunsfeld.

Also, European space telescopes Herschel and Planck are set to launch on Thursday, 14 May from French Guiana. Planck is a Cosmic Microwave Background explorer (meaning it looks at the leftover light from the Big Bang), and Herschel is a far-infrared general-purpose telescope that looks mainly at baby stars in our galaxy, as well as galaxies that are rapidly forming stars.

Fingers crossed and atheist prayers delivered for two clean launches, good spacewalks, and a safe return for Atlantis.

1 comment:

lorax said...

So the Europeans are putting two missions on one rocket? Is that really a good idea?