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News: At the Speed of Light Blog - MAS is the Melbourne Astronomical Society - BAS is the Brevard Astronomical Society -
CFAS is the Central FL Astronomical Society - SAS Florida Tech
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1  General Category / Meeting / Star Parties / Other Events / AIAA Meet N' Greet on: November 03, 2009, 12:07:38 PM
The AIAA Cape Canaveral section will be holding a Meet N’ Greet for all Professional Members at The Pizza Gallery in The Avenue Viera on Thursday, November 12th


Hello Space Fans,
I am the recruitment officer for the AIAA Space Resources Technical Committee.  I am based at KSC but I work with many others in government, industry and academia to make “living off the land” on extra-terrestrial bodies a reality in the future, and an architecture enabling capability with such things as making propellant from local resources on the moon and Mars.
I have attached a recruitment flyer and I will be at the “Meet and Greet” to answer questions about the Space Resources Technical Committee(TC). We are recruiting members and also welcome any suggestions you may have to make our TC more effective.  I would also be happy to give a presentation at a future AIAA event to let you know what is going on in the TC, at KSC and within NASA regarding Space Resource Utilization.
Feel free to post this flyer or pass the recruitment flyer on to your colleagues and especially students that have a passion for space pioneering.
Best Regards,
Robert P. Mueller
Chief, Surface Systems Office, NE-S
Engineering Directorate
NASA, Kennedy Space Center
2  General Category / Meeting / Star Parties / Other Events / Registration Open for NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition on: August 19, 2009, 08:49:40 AM
NASA is challenging undergraduate and graduate student teams to design and build an excavator that could be used on the moon.

Design teams must include one faculty or industry advisor with a college or university affiliation. Teams must also include two or more undergraduate or graduate students. A group of universities may work in collaboration, and multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

A university faculty advisor or student team may propose to receive up to $5,000 to support a student team. The team can use these funds to design and build a lunar regolith excavator. They may also use the money for travel expenses to compete in the Lunabotics Mining Competition at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 25-28, 2010.

Approved proposals will be funded on a first come, first served basis. Proposals must be received no later than Feb. 28, 2010.

For more information about the competition, visit .
3  General Category / Meeting / Star Parties / Other Events / Perseid Meteor Shower on: August 12, 2009, 03:53:43 PM
If it's dark where you live, go outside and look for meteors. Earth is still inside the debris stream of Comet Swift-Tuttle and, as a result, the Perseid meteor shower is still active. Worldwide meteor counts raise the possibility that the show could be better tonight, Aug. 12th, than it was last night, Aug. 11th. Be alert for meteors after sunset.
4  News Updates / News / Updates / Jupiter gets hit on: August 03, 2009, 10:51:26 AM
Recently Amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley was photographing Jupiter from his backyard observatory in Murrumbateman, Australia, when something odd caught his eye.

At first he thought it was another dark storm, but soon after he learnt that it was an impact mark. Something hit the giant planet!

"I had seen the scars caused by fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 hitting Jupiter in 1994, so I knew what an impact looked like," he says. "After I'd convinced myself that this was real, I could hardly use the computer. My hands were shaking. It was quite unbelievable."

"We believe it was a comet or asteroid measuring perhaps a few hundred meters wide," says Don Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Office at JPL. "If something of similar size hit Earth—we're talking about 2000 megatons of energy--there would be serious regional devastation or a tsunami if it hit the ocean."

In a stroke of luck almost as big as Wesley's, JPL astronomers Glenn Orton and Leigh Fletcher were already scheduled to observe Jupiter on July 20th, barely a day after impact, using NASA's Infra-red Telescope Facility (IRTF) atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The 3-meter telescope revealed a fresh cloud of debris about the size of Mars floating among Jupiter's clouds.

The object is believed to have exploded in Jupiter's upper atmosphere and blew itself to smithereens. What they were able to see were the bits and pieces of the impactor and possibly some strange aerosols formed by shock-chemistry during the impact.

The cloud's chemical composition holds clues to the nature of the impactor. Orton says ground-based observers are now analyzing light reflected from the cloud to figure out what it is made of. "If the spectra contain signs of water, that would suggest an icy comet. Otherwise, it's probably a rocky or metallic asteroid."

Meanwhile, it's a big dark mystery—the kind that Wesley can't take his eyes off of. Shocked

Full story
5  Pictures / Airplanes / Re: Janet planes+transformers+sphinx=wierd on: July 30, 2009, 05:14:51 PM
Looks good
6  General Category / Meeting / Star Parties / Other Events / Star Party - BAS/MAS/SAS/CFAS Erna Nixon Midnight Stroll on: July 29, 2009, 02:09:45 PM
Date: December 5, 2009
Time:  5pm-11pm
Venue: Erna Nixon Park    1200 Evens Road, Melbourne 
(near Oaks10) (POC Dave, BAS/MAS) (800+ people expected)
7  General Category / Meeting / Star Parties / Other Events / Star Party - MAS/BAS/SAS/CFAS Public Gazing on: July 29, 2009, 02:07:43 PM
Date: November 14, 2009
Time:  5pm-9pm
Venue: "Barrier Island Site", 8385 S. Hwy A1A, Melbourne Beach (POC Ron N.,MAS)
8  Shuttle Launches / Missions / Shuttle Launches / Missions / STS-119 Launch Tonight on: March 15, 2009, 02:56:39 PM
Astronauts Seated for Launch

The seven crew members of space shuttle Discovery are checking their communications gear this evening as the countdown to launch proceeds on schedule.

The astronauts are strapped inside the shuttle, with four on the flight deck and three on the lower level of the crew compartment. Commander Lee Archambault and Pilot Tony Antonelli are seated in the front seats surrounded by the instrument panels and windows needed to control the shuttle. Steve Swanson will serve as flight engineer during ascent, so he is sitting behind and between Archambault and Antonelli. Joseph Acaba is in a seat behind Antonelli where he, too, can help out during launch.

On the lower deck, Richard Arnold is closest to the hatch. John Phillips is in the center seat and Japan's Koichi Wakata is in the right-most seat. Sandra Magnus will sit in his place during landing, after Wakata transfers to the International Space Station.

PS.: SAS from Florida Tech is going to take pictures and videos. Check back at the forum for updates. If you plan to take any pictures, register for the forum and share it with everyone.
9  News Updates / News / Updates / NASA environmental satellite lost in launch failure on: February 24, 2009, 09:49:23 AM
NASA's $273 million Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite crashed into the ocean near Antarctica shortly after launch today from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., atop an Orbital Sciences Corp. Taurus XL booster. Telemetry indicated a protective nose cone fairing failed to separate early in the climb to space, weighing the rocket down and preventing the spacecraft from reaching orbit.

Read more.
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