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Is Somebody Listening?

9 Feb

Chris Hadfield and BNL's Ed Robertson Singing I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing?)Finally, NASA is learning how to sing for its dinner (via Boing Boing).

The song, which was written by Hadfield and Robertson in partnership with Music Monday, CBC Music and the Canadian Space Agency, explores what it’s like to look down on the Earth from outer space. It will also be the official song for the 2013 edition of Music Monday, which takes place on May 6.

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The Same Old Grind

1 Feb

The Two faces of KoreaAnother “bell and whistle” gimmick South Korea’s new rocket gurus need to master is snazzy live TV feeds. NASA-TV’s live feed provided computer-generated video replete with data of its TDRS-K launch yesterday, and watching the stages separate or the sheath housing the satellite falling away had all the feel of a PC game. And, night launches are more photogenic. Is the United States feeling the heat from Korean upstarts?

“With this launch, NASA has begun the replenishment of our aging space network,” said Jeffrey Gramling, TDRS project manager. “This addition to our current fleet of seven will provide even greater capabilities to a network that has become key to enabling many of NASA’s scientific discoveries.”

TDRS-K was lifted into orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41. After a three-month test phase, NASA will accept the spacecraft for additional evaluation before putting the satellite into service.

The TDRS-K spacecraft includes several modifications from older satellites in the TDRS system, including redesigned telecommunications payload electronics and a high-performance solar panel designed for more spacecraft power to meet growing S-band requirements. Another significant design change, the return to ground-based processing of data, will allow the system to service more customers with evolving communication requirements.

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Seoul Launches Naro Rocket

30 Jan

naro_launch0113We now live in a world where there’s a North Korean and a South Korean rocket. Forgive me if I don’t join in for some rocket jacks.

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute is leading the project, in collaboration with over 150 South Korean companies, including Korean Air Lines Co. (003490), Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Doosan Infracore Co., the agency said on its website.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (7011) and Japan’s space agency successfully launched two information-gathering satellites on Jan. 27, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said in a statement. The U.S. on the same day tested a three-stage ground- based missile interceptor, the Missile Defense Agency said in an e-mailed statement.

So, let’s dim the lights…

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