19
Apr 2011

The Daily Countdown

POSTED BY: S. DOMAGAL-GOLDMAN
 

I will do my best to give a rundown of the top 3 space/science news stories of the day, with some nugget at the end. This is the first of those posts.

3… The morning saw the sad, sad news that attempts to revive Spirit – the first Mars Exploration Rover – were ending. But the cliche “led a long, full life” may never have been more appropriate. Spirit landed on January 4, 2004. It’s primary mission was scheduled to end 90 days later on April 3, 2004. However, the rover continued operating well past that deadline – even dragging one of its wheels through the Martian soil for kilometers – until it finally got stuck on May 1…. 2009. Check out this video for a nice rundown of Spirit’s history. NASA is planning to do a tribute to Spirit next week, when it will also be the “mission of the week” here at PaleBlue.blog.

2… This week’s mission of the week is… Osiris-Rex, a mission to bring a piece of an asteroid back to Earth. This was today’s real big winner (and not because it’s our mission of the week). Today, NASA announced Osiris-Rex will be the next New Frontiers mission. We’ll cover the awesomeness of this mission in more detail later this week.

1… Finally, it is the 50th anniversary of JFK’s address to a joint session of Congress about sending a U.S. astronaut to the moon. To commemorate this event, NASA held a fantastic concert at the Kennedy Center for the Arts. Hard to beat NASA video and images set to space-inspired or space-related music. Lots of “special guests” showed up, but the highlight was watching Buzz Aldrin and Ted Kennedy III act as guest conductors during the encore. That’s definitely not something you see every day.

Liftoff!

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