The last mission to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is about to roar into space. Space Shuttle mission STS-125 will be the final mission to update the HST. It will also be the final mission where planned non-ISS EVAs are undertaken. The Orion Crew Vehicle isn't suited for EVAs like this, so we'll probably never see these repair missions again. Here are a few resources that cover the launch and preparations LIVE: Nasa's own NASATV: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv but that isn't of very good quality video-wise. A much better alternative is http://www.spacevidcast.com/ which offers 720p quality live streaming. Great about this one is that with the ustream.tv iPhone app you can actually watch this on your iPhone too, and also participate in the chat! On regular TV there's Discovery Channel that will broadcast the launch and preps live from 19.30 CEST on!
The ISS passed overhead tonight at around 20:35 CET. Clear skies, so I tried to take some pictures. Here are the rough images, I hope to improve them over time. Shot with D700 on tripod with 24-120mm F3.5-5.6 AF-S VR lens and 3 second exposure on ISO3200 for each image. Lots of light pollution. Orion is clearly visible in the bottom of the image. Note to self: next time, use lower ISO.
And here is a composite of the above images:
And a smaller animated GIF, please click to see the animation (loading can take a bit of time, it's 1.4MB):
I came across this image on digg. It shows the "glass cockpit"
of the space shuttle after the upgrade in 2000. In the text it says this is the
prelude for a "smart cockpit" to be introduced in 2005. However, since the
Columbia broke up during re-entry in 2003, has this project been scrapped? I
can't find any info or images of the "smart cockpit".
I'm importing all my DV tapes to iMovie, quite a lot of work, and I found this clip of the Shuttle Atlantis mission STS-106 too. We were lucky enough to get press accreditation, so this is filmed from the press site, which is about 5 miles closer than the public sites. In any case, it gives a nice impression about the SOUND this thing makes when going up...
We'll miss the shuttle launches!
I'll upload more clips (also from inside the VAB) whenever I find the time and motivation to do so :-) I actually want to wait for iMovie '09 to get rid of some vibrating annoyances..