For all things in, or going to space.
There has always been enough of a general interest among members to share and discuss space related news and events, and as we head into a busy year for both government and private programs alike, I wanted to be sure we have a place to keep posted.
The Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, will maintain the nation's real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities
which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of NOAA's space weather alerts and forecasts. Without timely and accurate warnings, space weather events like the geomagnetic storms caused by changes in solar wind have the potential to disrupt nearly every major public infrastructure system, including power grids, telecommunications, aviation and GPS.
While the payload is certainly interesting if anything, the real highlight for me is seeing it launched on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. Replacing rockets has always been way more expensive than buying the fuel to load it, and with this level of reusability LEO deliveries begin to look real affordable. Here is an animation demonstrating the planned capabilities of the heavy variant.
Even more upcoming SpaceX launches to follow.
On March 6th NASA's probe Dawn will be reaching Ceres, already capturing crude images on its slow approach.
During its nearly decade-long mission, the Dawn mission will study the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres, celestial bodies believed to have accreted early in the history of the solar system. The mission will characterize the early solar system and the processes that dominated its formation.
And following that around July is the highlight of their New Horizon mission to fly by Pluto.
Point being is that space is becoming a somewhat busy place, so if you aren't already interested or at least curious, now is a cool time to be. Feel free to add upcoming events or dump anything interesting you find on the web, the only real aim is to bring space to the people who may not otherwise search for it, hoping to entice an interest for what has got be this species' coolest joint effort.