Astronews Daily (2455517)

November 16, 2010 13:53 by scibuff

Top Stories

Breaking News: A newly discovered asteroid, designated 2010 WA, is projected to fly by at the altitude of roughly 39,000 km around 3:45 UT tomorrow, November 17. The object was discovered by Catalina Sky Survey telescope at Mount Lemmon last night (Nov. 16). MPEC-2010W03

Japan probe collected particles from Itokawa asteroid – Japanese scientists have confirmed that particles found inside the Hayabusa probe after its seven-year space trip are from the asteroid Itokawa. –Jonathan Amos / BBC News

So is Pluto a planet after all? – The news last week that Eris might actually be a tiny bit smaller than Pluto led to the inevitable question: doesn’t this mean that Pluto should be a planet, after all? The simple obvious answer to this question is no –Mike Brown

Sunset on Mars – I know, it may not look like much, but think about what you’re seeing: a sunset on another world. And those images were taken by a robotic probe that took years to design and build, months to travel the hundreds of millions of kilometers to get to Mars, a harrowing few minutes to descend on a breath of fire through the thin air to land on the surface, and then nearly seven years to travel the landscape long, long past its design specifications. –Phil Plait / Bad Astronomy

Chandra Finds Youngest Nearby Black Hole – Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have found evidence of the youngest black hole known to exist in our cosmic neighborhood. The 30-year-old black hole provides a unique opportunity to watch this type of object develop from infancy. –NASA

[more stories]

Videos

Jupiter

Jon Kristoffersen took these images of Jupiter from Crete, Greece, about a week before the stripe began to return. Jupiter dances with two of its moons, Io (left) and Europa. Images: Jon Kristoffersen. Animation: Emil Kraaikamp

Photos

Gibbous Moon

Gibbous Moon

Sunset

Sunset

ISS flyby

ISS flyby

Work on the GUCP commences

Work on the GUCP commences

Gallery Pick of the Day

IC1848 - Soul Nebula

IC1848 - Soul Nebula - Credit: Richie Jarvis

The photo above is “Pick of the Day” from one of the three galleries: Astronomy Gallery, Space Shuttle Gallery and Space Station Gallery.-

Discovery launch scrubbed again due to LH2 leak

November 5, 2010 12:42 by scibuff

Update 2: FURTHER DELAY. Shuttle Discovery won’t fly before November 30 at 09:05 UTC.
Update 1: The teams are now working a 72 hour scrub turnaround procedure instead of the 48 they originally started to call. The earliest opportunity for Discovery to launch will be on Monday, Nov 8.

Nov 5, 2010 – The launch of Space Shuttle Discovery has been officially scrubbed at 12:11 UTC due to a leak of Liquid Hydrogen at the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate (GUCP) detected during the tanking process. Leaks at the GUCP delayed launches for STS-119 and STS-127.

The Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate

The Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate where a leak of liquid hydrogen has been detected during tanking - Credit: NASA TV

The teams are working a 48 hours turnaround 72 hours turnaround with launch targeted at 18:15:46 UTC on Sunday, as 24 hours is not enough to drain the External Tank (ET) to examine and resolved the issue. The current launch window closes on Sunday, November 7, 2010. The shuttle cannot launch between Nov. 8 and Nov. 23 because of a so-called beta angle cutout. Such cutouts are defined by the angle between the sun and the plane of the space station’s orbit. When it the beta angle is too high or too low, temperature constraints for the docked shuttle-station stack can exceed safety guidelines. Nevertheless, the Mission Management Team (MMT) is also looking into the possibility to launch on Monday, Nov 8 with a reworked flight plan.