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Archive for October, 2005

24-Oct-05 | Next launch

The next Delta launch will be NASA’s CALIPSO and CloudSat, riding aboard a Med-Lite 7420 with a Dual Payload Attach Fitting (DPAF). Launch was postponed from 26 October due to an issue with the flight termination system batteries aboard the Delta vehicle, and is now scheduled for no earlier than 7 November.

24-Oct-05 | 100,000 visits

Some time on Sunday, 23 October 2005, the hit counter for History of the Delta Launch Vehicle registered its 100,000th hit since the site first started keeping track, nearly eight years ago. Thanks for visiting!

11-Oct-05 | Mission extensions

Two NASA spacecraft, both launched aboard Delta rockets, may soon have a new lease on life as their primary missions come to an end. Deep Impact (Delta 311) is in a power-down mode and a safe “storage orbit” following its comet encounter in July, while Stardust (Delta 266) will complete its mission in early 2006 with the release and return to Earth of its sample canister. Both probes have functional instruments and reserves of power and fuel, so NASA is hoping that the scientific community will come up with workable proposals for useful follow-on misisons. A formal Announcement of Opportunity is expected later this autumn. (Spaceflight Now, 10-Oct-05)

05-Oct-05 | GP-B mission complete

Gravity Probe B has completed its primary mission, having collected more than 50 weeks of precision orbital data since its launch aboard Delta 304 on 20 April 2004. The data have been downloaded to computers at the mission operations center at Stanford University, where analysis and validation are expected to take as long as a year. Scientists hope the data will verify two effects predicted by Einstein: the geodetic effect of a mass warping local spacetime, and the frame-dragging effect of a rotating mass dragging spacetime around with it. (03-Oct-05 NASA Press Release)

05-Oct-05 | Swift

NASA has announced a major breakthrough in gamma ray astronomy, thanks in part to observations made by the Swift satellite (Delta 309). While long gamma-ray bursts (lasting 2 seconds or longer) are known to be caused by massive star explosions, the origin of short gamma-ray bursts remained a mystery — until now. These bursts are now believed to be caused by the collision of a neutron star with either another neutron star or a black hole. By quickly spotting a short burst on 09 May and autonomously relaying its coordinates to scientists around the world, a whole host of observatories — including Hubble, Chandra, and several ground-based telescopes — were able to study its afterglow in a wide range of spectra. (05-Oct-05 NASA Press Release)



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