This weeks space week review brought us two rocket launches, a curious selfie, an Orion update and the solemn rememberence of three separate tragedies.
January 27th, 2016 saw the Ariane 5 rocket successfully launch with an Intelsat 29E satellite from the Guiana Space Centre. This was the 56th Intelsat satellite to be launched into space by Arianespace. It was a beautiful liftoff as the Vulcan 2 engine lit up the launch pad with 300,000 pounds of thrust propelling the Ariane 5 rocket into space.
January 29th, 2016 gave us another successful launch this time on the Proton-M rocket with the Eutelsat 9B satellite from the Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The liftoff was carried out by six RD-276 engines and it happened so fast I barely had time to realize it had launched!
Both satellites were launched for better communications here on earth. That’s right, if it wasn’t for the space industry we would be tweeting by pen, paper and snail mail.
Next up is Orion and what an exciting bit of news it was! All systems are on track for an unmanned test flight around the moon targeted for 2018. The EM-1 test mission will pave the way for the manned EM-2 mission that is targeted for 2021-2023. The EM-1 was carefully loaded up and transported from New Orleans to the Kennedy Space Center where it will call home until it’s launch in 2018. While it is at KSC it will undergo tests for its structural integrity and then integrated with its launch vehicle, the SLS (Space Launch Vehicle)
A curious little Mars rover named Curiosity gave us the cutest selfie ever! Look ma, sand!
I will end this week’s wrap with remembering seventeen brave heroes who gave their lives for space exploration.