Following months of public voting, NASA announced the two winners of the “Top 40 Song Contest,” which will awaken space shuttle crew members during their ongoing mission.
“Blue Sky” by Big Head Todd and the Monsters, the most requested song to wake up shuttle Discovery’s crew during the STS-133 mission, collected 722,659 votes. The song received 29.3 percent of the total votes.
Finishing second was the “Theme from Star Trek” (original series), which also will serve as a wake up song. It received 671,133 votes, or 27.2 percent of the votes. To see the results for all 40 songs, visit: https://songcontest.nasa.gov
There were 2,463,521 votes cast during the contest that ran from Aug. 20, 2010, through Nov. 1.
Participants voted from a list of 40 songs that have previously awakened shuttle crews.
Source:NASA Press Release
The space shuttle Discovery is seen shortly after the Rotating Service Structure was rolled back at launch pad 39A, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011. Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, will carry the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module, Express Logistics Carrier 4 and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space, to the International Space Station. Click on the image below for the full high resolution image.
Source:NASA Image of The Day
Here’s a shout out to the LROC team at ASU, as I’m a proud Sun Devil and have friends who work with the LROC data.
If you are interested in high resolution images of the moon, check out the images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera:
Click on the image above to view an even higher resolution mosaic image (24,000 sample by 24,000 line)
The image below shows many of the notable features of the Moon’s nearside. Click the image to load a higher resolution version:
If you would like to know more about the LROC program at ASU, feel free to visit their page at: http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/index.html
From the video description:
Time-lapse of a whole night at the ALMA Array Operations Site (AOS), located at 5000 meters altitude on the Chajnantor plateau, in the II Region of Chile. As the Moon sets at the beginning of the night, three of the first ALMA antennas start tests as part of the ongoing Commissioning and Science Verification process. Because they are pointing at the same target in the sky at any moment, their movements are perfectly synchronised.
As the sky appears to rotate clockwise around the south celestial pole (behind the rightmost, stationary antenna), the center of the Milky Way, initially visible in the upper left as a yellowish bulge crossed by dark dust lanes, disappears from view. Then, the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, two neighboring galaxies of the Milky Way, rise from behind the two antennas on the right.
The flashes on the ground are the car lights of the guards patrolling at the AOS. ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array is the largest astronomical project in existence and is a truly global partnership between the scientific communities of East Asia, Europe and North America with Chile. ESO is the European partner in ALMA.
credit: ESO / JosÃ© Francisco Salgado
The countdown clock is one of the most-watched timepieces in the world. On this page, you’ll learn how the countdown operates, and what milestones to watch for during our live launch coverage.Pauses in the countdown, or “holds,” are built into the countdown to allow the launch team to target a precise launch window, and to provide a cushion of time for certain tasks and procedures without impacting the overall schedule. For the space shuttle countdown, built-in holds vary in length and always occur at the following times: T-27 hours, T-19 hours, T-11 hours, T-6 hours, T-3 hours, T-20 minutes, and T-9 minutes.
Here are some of the key events that take place at each milestone after the countdown begins. Note: Event times and lengths are approximate and subject to change.
T-43 hours and counting
The Shuttle Test Director performs the traditional call to stations and the countdown clock is activated.
Begin final vehicle and facility close-outs for launch
Check out backup flight systems
Review flight software stored in mass memory units and display systems
Load backup flight system software into the orbiter’s general purpose computers
Remove middeck and flight deck platforms
Activate and test navigational systems
Complete preparation to load power reactant storage and distribution system
Complete flight deck preliminary inspections
Does Venus now, or ever, have plate tectonics? If so, when?
If an asteroid the size of Ceres, ever hit Venus, would it destroy its atmosphere and the terribly high pressure at its surface?
Nice question Judith!
Plate tectonics on Venus is a hot topic of debate (get it? hot?) for some planetary scientists, and while Geology isn’t my specialty, I know enough of the basics to help you out with this question.
Many theories on Plate Tectonics require water to be present, and scientists speculate that whatever provided Earth with its water, also provided water to Venus and Mars. We have evidence Mars was much warmer and wetter in it’s past, so it’s a logical assumption that Venus had water at some point in its past.
Currently Venus is really dry, as over time, Venus lost its water. One theory is that as Venus lost its water, the mechanisms that cause plate tectonics slowed down and eventually stopped, further exacerbating the runaway greenhouse effect. It’s difficult to test these theories, as landing a probe on Venus is a very difficult challenge, due to the intense heat and atmospheric pressure at the Venusian surface.
That being said, there are some theories that Venus has granite on its surface, which requires water and plate tectonics to form, so it is entirely possible that at some time in Venusian history, Venus did have plate tectonics and was relatively wet.
Recent (relatively speaking) geologic activity on Venus is speculated to be “flood events” where heat and pressure build up over time, and then is released by massive “flood” volcanoes. These “floods” of lava are believed to cover up to 80% of the Venusian surface. Currently there’s no known activity on Venus, so it’s unknown if the flood events are periodic, or a “last gasp” of some form of plate tectonics.
Ceres, being about 1/3 of the total mass of the Asteroid belt is pretty hefty, and if it were to collide with Venus, the results would be pretty devastating, depending of course on the angle of impact. (Side note: It’s widely theorized the impact that created our Moon was a “glancing” blow from a Mars-sized object) There is wide speculation that Venus has already been hit by a large object, explaining it’s odd rotation, and quite possibly the lack of water on the surface, and planet-wide lava flows.
So, could an impact with Ceres strip the Venusian atmosphere? It’s possible, but in doing so, would cause massive volcanic activity that would release hot gases and heat the surface to incredibly high temperatures.
You can read more on plate tectonics at this USGS page.