Browsing Posts in Ministry of Astronomy

This video of a the Mars Science Lander landing from a camera on the bottom of the lander is amazing. It’s at 3X speed and provides a stunning view of landing on Mars. Mars Descent Imager (MARDI): During the descent to the Martian surface, MARDI acquired 4 color images per second, at 1600×1200 pixels, with […]

“We’re better than Space X and ain’t afraid to show it!”

I was lucky enough to see Curiosity when I toured JPL in Pasadena last year and I can’t believe a piece of hardware that I saw sitting in lab in California is hurtling to Red Planet and is going to land tonight. Curiosity is big and the JPL engineers, by necessity, have a complex (some […]


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While talking to people about space, I’ve noticed that many people don’t have a good idea on how low earth orbit satellites orbit the earth. This video about the impending Phobos Grunt reentry does a great job showing what a low earth orbit looks like. Also, my condolences go out the Russian Space Agency on […]

I just finished reading Martian Summer and it was very entertaining and humorous book. Running a very expensive and complicated mission on the surface of another planet is an incredibly difficult task. First of all, the crew works on “Mars time” which leads to exhaustion and possibly making mistakes. The Mars Polar lander is a […]

Go Endeavour!

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Amazing launch today of the last flight of Endeavour. Kinda cool with the Shuttle disappearing into the cloud deck but probably a little bit of a disappointment for the onlookers. STS-131, a night launch, I watched until Discovery disappeared over the horizon and STS-133 I was able to see the SRB separation through my camera […]

It looks like the problems with Space Shuttle Discovery’s external tank have been understood and are well underway to being fixed. Discovery is scheduled to roll out to the pad on February 1 and launch on February 24. I changed my flight (for the third time — I love Southwest’s easy change policy. I never […]

As, many as you know, today there is a long total solar eclipse in Asia. What you may not know, is eclipses occur in cycles called Saros cycles. So exactly 6585 1/3 days ago (18 years, 11 1/3 days) ago, there was a very similar eclipse that I had the pleasure of seeing. So on […]

Yesterday, I took a chance that NASA would call off a Kennedy Space Center landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis due to continued bad weather in Florida. I left Las Vegas at about 4:00 AM and stopped by my friend Ryan’s to borrow his 400 mm Canon prime lens. I checked the excellent updates on Spaceflight […]

I have been eagerly following the amazing work that our astronauts are doing on the final Hubble repair mission. Today, astronauts removed the COSTAR apparatus which was installed in 1993 to fix the famous mirror problem that Hubble faced. One of my astronomy professors at UNLV helped design COSTAR and I’m sure she’s very proud […]