In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Spectacular photos mark the 27th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s launch, which occurs on Monday.
Geek Wire (4/20): If it’s even possible to surpass previous spectacular imagery from the U.S./European Hubble Space Telescope, the observatory has a strong contender for the 27th anniversary of the telescope’s launch — an edge-on view of two spiral galaxies not unlike the Milky Way. Hubble was launched aboard the shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990.
Ars Technica (4/20): Nearing the end of its long stay in orbit around Saturn, the NASA led Cassini spacecraft mission is to make its final close flyby of the moon Titan this weekend. Now diving between Saturn’s cloud tops and the planet’s rings, Cassini’s mission is to conclude in mid-September. Launched in 1997, the probe maneuvered into orbit in 2004. Titan hosts hydrocarbon seas.
Low Earth Orbit
Spaceflight Insider (4/20): Russia’s Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft launched and delivered veteran cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, a first time space traveler, to the International Space Station on Thursday. The automating docking at the Station’s Russian segment raised the number of astronauts aboard the orbiting science lab from three to five. After launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:13 a.m. EDT, their spacecraft docked at 9:18 a.m., EDT.
Collectspace.com (4/20): The newest tenants of the International Space Station, NASA’s Jack Fischer and Russia’s Fyodor Yurchikhin, turned to history, including the U.S./Soviet Apollo Soyuz mission of 1975, to design the mission patches that represent their flight. Early Thursday, they departed Earth from the same launch pad used by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin to become the first human in space in 1961.
Spacepolicyonline.com (4/20): Early Thursday, China’s space agency launched an automated refueling spacecraft to the Tiangong-2, a human-tended space station orbited in 2016 and occupied for several weeks last fall. The technologies China is demonstrating are to support the assembly of a China’s large space station starting in 2018.
Time (4/20): In an essay, Apollo 11’s Buzz Aldrin offers a tribute to Jeff Bezos as part of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list. Bezos is a serial innovator, writes Aldrin. “Still, for me it is his zeal for helping humanity return to the moon, settle Mars and reach destinations beyond that is the most thrilling. Just as Bezos watched my journey half a century ago, I am watching his today.”
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