Seems that postponing is part of the game
The Greatest Space Science Stories of 2017
(Which one do you think as your favourite, or the most important one?)
The neutron star merger and Tabby's star. I like the others as well, but they mainly confirm things we strongly expected before already. Observing gravitational waves from neutron star mergers is something completely new. And KIC [number] is weird as always.
For spaceflight, my favorite is clearly the re-use of Falcon 9 boosters (another one coming up in precisely 24 hours).
True. My choices are pretty much along the same lines too.
SpaceX, Japan Launching Satellites Back to Back Tonight: Watch Live
Here is something interesting:
"The communications company Iridium is therefore poised to become the first SpaceX customer ever to fly multiple missions with the same Falcon 9 first stage.
Today's liftoff will be the last one for this particular first stage, however: SpaceX does not plan to bring it down for a landing, company representatives have said.
To date, SpaceX has landed first stages 20 times during Falcon 9 launches and has reflown four of these landed boosters."
(From the linked source)
"Watch Live Tonight! SpaceX & Japan Launching Satellite Missions @ 8:26 pm ET"
Wow! Check out those photos. In some it looks like the Enterprise.
UFO? No, It's a SpaceX Rocket! These Falcon 9 Launch Photos Are Just Amazing
Exoplanet re-cap 2017 ...
The Most Intriguing Alien Planet Discoveries of 2017
(Should we renounce 2017 as "Exoplanet year", or something, ... ?)
If we go by raw number of discoveries, 2016 wins.
Towards the end of 2018 we might get first results from TESS. In 2019 we will probably get first results from JWST and CHEOPS, in the following year we'll get many more results from all three. Around 2022 we get thousands to tens of thousands of exoplanets from Gaia, although they will all be Jupiter-like. Starting 2024-2025 we get results from ELT. From 2027+ on PLATO will find Earth-like exoplanets routinely.
Which year is not an exoplanet year?
True. Trappist-1 was in 2017 though! ...
May be "TRAPPIST-1 [System] year" then. That perhaps was a breakthrough and a turn point in the "exoplanets business" ... [in 2017] and more significant events this year in that era, each one unique in their own way (see quoted re-cap link above). That makes 2017 overall a significant year for those matters, I think.
Note: TRAPPIST alone is a name (acronym as well as backronym) for a pair of telescopes project (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRAPPIST)
Full Wolf Moon last night, the first of two Supermoons in 2018, both of them in January. Thus, also, Blue Moon this month. And check this out: the second one (Jan. 31), [blue supermoon] happens during a total lunar eclipse. The first Blue Moon Total Lunar Eclipse in 150 Years!
Full Wolf Moon: New Year's Supermoon Is the Biggest of the Year
The full moon was at 9:24 p.m. EST [Jan 1] (0224 GMT Tuesday Jan. 2). That peak came hours after the moon reached perigee, its closest point to Earth for the month, at 4:54 p.m. EST (2154 GMT).
["At that time, according to EarthSky.org, the moon will be about 221,559 miles (356,565 kilometers) from Earth. [Supermoon Secrets: 7 Surprising Big Moon Facts]" ]
But, actually we are talking about a Supermoon Trilogy:
"January's supermoon is actually the second of three back-to-back supermoon full moons to come in the next two months. The full moon also occurred near perigee on Dec. 3 and will again on Jan. 31, according to NASA, which billed the line up as a supermoon trilogy. The Jan. 31 supermoon is also the second full moon of January, making it a blue moon, and also occurs during a total lunar eclipse."
Kilopower Project: NASA Pushes Nuclear Power for Deep-Space Missions
Don't forget (cf. post #475): Super Blue Blood Moon 2018: When, Where and How to See It
+ something interesting:
Super Blue Blood Moon Will Force NASA to Shut Down Lunar Spacecraft Instruments
Both launched and reached orbit in the meantime, SS-520 today.
Electron is the first rocket with an electric turbopump to reach orbit, and the first orbital launch from the southern hemisphere in several decades. RocketLab claims they can launch more than one rocket per week, targeting the small satellite and cubesat market with the payload of up to 200 kg. The Electron rocket has a mass of 10.5 tonnes.
SS-520 is the smallest and lightest rocket to ever reach orbit, with a total mass of just 2.6 tonnes, a height of 9.5 meters and a diameter of just 52 cm. You might be able to reach fully around it with your arms (163 cm circumference). It can deliver just 4 kg to orbit - still enough for a cubesat that doesn't find a launch opportunity elsewhere.
SpaceX plans to do about half of the planned 30 launches in 2018 with reused boosters.
The planned FH launch is just 3 days 2 hours away.
Falcon Heavy discussion moved to
NASA Budget Proposal Plans End of NASA Funding of ISS, Seeks Commercial Transition
! ... Ooups! There's no dislike button in the forum ...
Trump's 2019 NASA Budget Request Puts Moon Ahead of Space Station
This "anniversary" photo popped up in my twitter feed this morning:
March 6, 1994
Atomic oxygen glow around the rear section of the space shuttle.
[refs: wiki Day 3, NASA Day three???? see below]
Launch March 4, 1994; 8:53:01am EST
On Flight Day Three (Sunday, March 3, 1994)
Flight Day 4 began Monday, March 7, 1994 at 12:53 a.m.
It would appear, that those rocket scientists, can make typos, also.
Either that, or they've been doing time travel experiments.
Weird coincidence? This just popped up in my Facebook feed:
Colorful Airglow Bands Surround Milky Way
Image Credit & Copyright: Xiaohan Wang
Is it "Atomic glow day", or something?
You nailed it, IMO!
Separate names with a comma.