A few notes from the world…er…universe of astronomy:
- Hubble’s STIS instrument suspends operations. The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) instrument on Hubble experienced some trouble and suspended operations. Engineers are seeking a diagnosis and possible solution to resume it’s operations. The STIS was installed on Hubble in 1997 and has already exceeding it’s projected 5-year lifetime by two years.
- Swift arrives at Kennedy Space Center. Swift is a satellite designed to study gamma-ray bursts and their afterglows in gamma-ray, X-ray and optical light simultaneously. I’ve actually done work for Swift, designing a display, writing text for the public web pages about the instruments and gamma-ray bursts, and assisting in writing an overview paper for The Astrophysical Journal. There are some cool pictures of Swift’s arrival at Kennedy.
- MESSENGER is launched to explore Mercury. The MESSENGER spacecraft was launched on August 3 to make a 7 year journey to Mercury.