|Image courtesy of NASA|
Straight from NASA, the Obama administration extends the life of the International Space Station, the largest structure ever built in space, to at least 2014. See: http://blogs.nasa.gov/bolden/2014/01/08/obama-administration-extends-international-space-station-until-at-least-2024/ NASA expects to wring a lot more science beneficial to us on earth and to future long duration space missions out of the ISS in the next decade ... and possibly more.
Using Einstein's theory of gravitational lensing, the 23 year old Hubble Space Telescope looks back to the earliest light seen in the universe yet. The galaxies were small, filled with energetic blue stars, and metal was yet a distant dream. Now that's how to reuse old technology!
Good luck to Orbital Sciences, which strives this afternoon to become the second private company to successfully resupply the now extended life ISS! Launch from Wallops Island, VA, is scheduled for 1:07 PM. It was delayed yesterday for a very Star Trek-esque reason ... solar flares ... solar storm (where's Finney?) UPDATE, 1/10/14: At the advertised 1:07 PM yesterday, Orbital Sciences Antares rocket successfully launched, taking its payload on the first step of its journey toward the ISS. That makes two private US company space launches in one week. SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 carrying a commercial satellite into orbit earlier in the week. Huzzah for the private space companies. Keep it up!
SpaceX will take strides this year toward a crewed launch as early as 2015 for their next-gen Dragon capsule with two tests of their abort rockets in 2014. Best of luck SpaceX! Now they race with NASA's Orion space capsule ... who will be launching people to space from the US again first?! Both craft can carry seven. Should be interesting to see this year.
And that's the five minute response.
For a related post, see: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2013/07/delighted-to-see-capsule-return-to.html
An older post with a sweeping look at spaceflight, updated several times, is found here: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2010/03/progress-in-manned-space-flight.html