Today’s Tidbits: September 22, 2017

Today’s Tidbits: September 22, 2017

Here are our tidbits for today, September 22, 2017.  Enjoy!

Arecibo Update

Puerto Rico continues to assess the damage and recover from Hurricane Maria.  Here’s the latest on the Arecibo radio telescope on the island’s north coast via Nadia Drake — check out her tweets (@nadiamdrake) and her article for National Geographic [].   Bottom line:  people are OK; telescope, not so much.

NROL-42 Rescheduled for Saturday Night Pacific time (Sunday morning Eastern)

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) will try to launch the National Reconnaissance Office’s NROL-42 spacecraft on Saturday at 10:30 pm ET Pacific Time (1:30 am ET Sunday).  The launch was delayed from last night because ULA had to replace a battery on the Atlas V rocket.  The weather forecast for Saturday is not bad — 80 percent “go.”

Tianzhou-1 Reenters

China’s robotic Tianzhou-1 space station cargo resupply ship has reentered and burned up in the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.  Tianzhou-1 performed three automated refueling tests with the unoccupied Tiangong-2 space station as we reported earlier.

Japan and International Space Cooperation

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has confirmed cooperative agreements with Germany’s DLR and with NASA.

Pascale Ehrenfreund, chair of the DLR Executive Board (left) and Naoki Okumura, President of JAXA (right) issued a joint statement confirming their cooperation in earth observation, space exploration and planetary science.

Separately, JAXA and NASA reaffirmed their cooperation on several missions.  They include the JAXA-led Martian Moons Exploration (MMX) mission that will study the martian moons Phobos and Deimos and return a sample to Earth; the Chromospheric Lyman-Alpha Spectro-Polarimeter experiment (CLASP-2), a follow-on to the 2015 suborbital CLASP solar physics mission; and the new X-ray Astronomy Recovery Mission (XARM), to replace the Hitomi X-ray spectrometry spacecraft that failed prematurely in 2016.  More information: [].

Our Beautiful Home — Earth

To round out the workweek here’s a wonderful time-lapse video of Earth from Africa up across Italy and over the border between Russia and Kazakhstan taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

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