The GeekDad Space Report for April 5, 2010

Welcome to another edition of the GeekDad Space Report! Both launches I reported on last week have made it off the pad with a destination of the International Space Station (ISS). A Soyuz spacecraft launched earlier this week to bring three new crew members to the ISS and this morning, in a rare dawn launch, the Space Shuttle Discovery launched on its own journey to the ISS.

Launches (Sources: Spaceflight Now World Launch Schedule, Wallops Flight Facility Daily Range Schedule)

*Monday, April 5- *Launched
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA
Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Discovery
Launch Pad: Launch Complex 39A (Map View)
Mission: STS-131
Launch Time: 10:21 GMT (06:21 EDT)
Notes: Dubbed the “Experiment Express” mission, this mission will consist of a changeout and addition of a number of scientific experiments.

Thursday, April 8-
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Launch Vehicle: Dnepr
Spacecraft: CryoSat-2
Launch Time: 13:57 GMT
Notes: Launch of an ESA Earth observing satellite that will monitor polar ice as part of the Living Planet Programme.

No Earlier Than Thursday, April 8-
Launch Site: Guiana Space Center, Kourou, French Guiana
Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5
Spacecraft: Astra-3B & COMSATBw 2
Launch Window: 21:48-21:58 GMT
Notes: Launch of a pair of satellites for direct to home television broadcasts and a military communications satellite.

In many ways, all of the Hubble observations are interesting, but here is a list of some of the standouts in the coming week. A more complete list can be found at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) This Week On HST Website.

The Star Formation Rate In Nearby Elliptical Galaxies

Instrument(s): WFC3

How Galaxies Acquire their Gas: A Map of Multiphase Accretion and Feedback in Gaseous Galaxy Halo**s

Instrument(s): COS

The Nearest Cold Interstellar Cloud

Instrument(s): STIS

This is a small list of the overall observations. You may also see some of these observations popping up in other weeks as many observation programs consist of several observations over time.

As I mentioned above, the Space Shuttle Discovery launched this morning for the ISS. The mission is bringing a number of new experiments to the ISS and will include three spacewalks. Here is a look at the crew:

Good luck to both the Space Shuttle and the ISS crews and have a great week everyone!

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