The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is scheduled to launch this evening on top of an Atlas V 411 rocket. The ‘411’ variant has just one strap-on booster which will make the rocket asymmetrical.
For those of you that enjoy flying drones and RC aircraft, here’s an app from the FAA to help determine if you’re in a safe area to fly.
B4UFLY uses map and airport data, along with real-time information such as temporary flight restrictions, to help drone operators decide if they’re legal to fly in a selected area.
A new Orientation Flight for Saturday, August 3rd has been posted. Sign up if you would like to go flying!
Here is something that would be fun to either watch for or listen for.
FITSAT-1 is a 10cm x10cm x10cm cubesat that was developed and built by students at a Japanese university. It was sent to the ISS and recently deployed.
One panel is loaded with LEDs. The LEDs are periodically turned on to flash a message in Morse Code. Even if you don’t know code, it would be fun to try and acquire the bird with the naked eye.
W.E. ACEVES II, Lt Col, CAP
Commander, Group 1
Asst AEO, Group 1
This link (www.fit.ac.jp/~tanaka/fitsat.shtml) says: 18 Dec. 05:28:30 – 05:32:30 (UTC) Central-South USA (Morse, Green)
That will be around 22:27 on Dec 17 in Denver.
Update: This site has details and tracking information: www.n2yo.com/passes/?s=38853
You will need to click on the button to “Show all passes” and then the Details button for the entry of 12/17 22:22. Don’t worry about it being ‘eclipsed’ since you will be viewing the satellite’s LEDs and not the reflection of the sun off of the satellite. FITSAT-1 will pass from the NW to the SE and pass almost directly overhead.
An interview, video and pictures of Chuck Yeager are available on USAToday.com: http://usat.ly/TJQv2M
There is a spot open for tomorrow’s Orientation Flight. Sign-up now on the squadron website if you would like to go flying tomorrow at 1:00pm.
From the Red Bull Stratos site:
After reaching an altitude of 128,100 feet (39,045 meters) in a helium-filled balloon, Felix Baumgartner completed a record breaking jump from the edge of space, exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket powered airplane. The 43-year-old Austrian skydiving expert also broke two other world records (highest freefall, highest manned balloon flight), leaving the longest freefall to project mentor Col. Joe Kittinger.
Also check out the tech behind the jump at ExtremeTech.
From the Seattle Times:
Sixty-five years after becoming the first human to fly faster than the speed of sound, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager flew in the back seat Sunday of an F-15 Eagle as it broke the sound barrier at more than 30,000 feet above California’s Mojave Desert.