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  • Writer's pictureMatt Russell

#74 - Remco and the Sentinerds

The day we finally walked on it was celebrated worldwide as perhaps man's greatest achievement. But it was while we were there, we looked up and caught a glimpse of just how incredible our own planet was. We called her Mother Earth. Because she gave birth to us, and then we sucked her dry.”

Jon Stewart, Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race


This week features a Chat with Remco Timmermans about SpaceUp Sentinerds and more.


3 April 1966 - Luna 10 - First artificial satellite around another world (the Moon)

Soviet Luna program, robotic spacecraft mission, also called Lunik 10. It was the first artificial satellite of the Moon.

25 years - STS-56

Space Shuttle Discovery mission to perform special experiments. The mission was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 8 April 1993. The purpose of the shuttle mission was to were study the Earth's ozone layer

Commander: Kenneth D. Cameron,

Pilot: Stephen S. Oswald,

Mission Specialist 1: C. Michael Foale,

Mission Specialist 2: Kenneth D. Cockrell,

Mission Specialist 3: Ellen Ochoa,

Astronaut of the week Ellen Ochoa

Ellen Ochoa (born May 10, 1958) is an American engineer, former astronaut and the current Director of the Johnson Space Center.

  • Ochoa became director on December 31, 2012.

  • In 1993 Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman in the world to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery.

  • only 60 women cosmonauts, astronauts and payload specialists who have flown into space since 1963

  • A veteran of four space flights, Ochoa has logged nearly 1,000 hours in space. She was a mission specialist on STS-56 (1993), was payload commander on STS-66 (atlantis), and was mission specialist and flight engineer on STS-96 (discovery) and STS-110 in 2002.[1][11] .

  • Ochoa was born in Los Angeles, California, but grew up in La Mesa, California.[1]

  • Ochoa graduated from Grossmont High School in El Cajon in 1975.

  • Ochoa received a bachelor of science degree in physics from San Diego State University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1980 the oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences in the United States. Phi Beta Kappa aims to promote and advocate excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and to induct the most outstanding students of arts and Atlantissciences at American colleges and universities

  • master of science degree in 1981 and a doctorate in electrical engineering both from Stanford University in 1985,

  • doctoral student at Stanford, and later as a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories and the NASA Ames Research Center,

  • At the NASA Ames Research Center, she led a research group working primarily on optical systems for automated space exploration.

  • She patented an optical system to detect defects in a repeating pattern and is a co-inventor on three patents for an optical inspection system, an optical object recognition method and a method for noise removal in images.

  • As Chief of the Intelligent Systems Technology Branch at Ames, she supervised 35 engineers scientists in the research and development of computational systems for aerospace missions.

  • Ochoa was selected by NASA in January 1990 and became an astronaut in July 1991.

  • Since she’s served as the

  • crew representative for flight software, computer hardware and robotics,

  • Assistant for Space Station to the Chief of the Astronaut Office,

  • lead spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) in Mission Control

  • Ochoa was in Mission Control during the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and was one of the first personnel informed of television coverage showing Columbia's disintegration

  • From 2007, after retiring from spacecraft operations, Ochoa served as Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center, helping to manage and direct the Astronaut Office and Aircraft Operations.

  • On January 1, 2013, Ochoa became the first Hispanic and second female director of NASA's Johnson Space Center.

  • Ochoa and Michael Foale 2017 class of the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame

  • She is married to Coe Fulmer Miles, with whom she has two children.

  • Ochoa is a classical flutist and played with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, receiving the Student Soloist Award

  • STS

Space Fact

On 26 June 2014, 2014 MU69 was discovered using the Hubble Space Telescope during a preliminary survey to find a suitable Kuiper belt object for the New Horizons probe to fly by. The discovery required the use of the Hubble Space Telescope, because with an apparent magnitude of nearly 27 it is too faint for all but the most powerful telescopes.

On 13 March 2018, NASA has announced that (486958) 2014 MU69 will be nicknamed Ultima Thule (pronounced ultima thoo-lee), after a distant place located beyond the "borders of the known world". The popular campaign wrapped up on December 6, 2017. The campaign involved 115,000 participants from around the world, who nominated some 34,000 names. Of those, 37 names reached the ballot for voting and were evaluated for popularity – this included eight names suggested by the New Horizons team and 29 nominated by the public. The team then narrowed its selection to the 29 publicly nominated names and gave preference to names near the top of the polls. Ultima Thule was nominated by about 40 members of the public and one of the highest vote-getters among all name nominees

Space News

March 27, 2018 - NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope currently is undergoing final integration and test phases that will require more time to ensure a successful mission. After an independent assessment of remaining tasks for the highly complex space observatory, Webb’s previously revised 2019 launch window now is targeted for approximately May 2020.

The deployment of the large 35 m-wide parachute of the upcoming ExoMars mission was tested in a low-altitude drop test earlier this month. The image captures the inflated ring-slot parachute with the drop test vehicle suspended underneath.

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