|STS-135 Mission Patch|
First off, the Space Shuttle Atlantis detached from the ISS early this morning (2:38 am EDT) for its final voyage home to Earth. This was the 135th space shuttle mission, named STS-135. STS stands for Space Transport System. In 30 years, the shuttle program has taken 355 astronauts into space. It is a sad moment.
Dawn Mission and Vesta
NASA's Dawn mission was launched 27 September 2007 with the overall mission to study the asteroid belt and help characterize the early solar system. To accomplish this task, the Dawn spacecraft will observe the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. Ceres is by far the largest object in the asteroid belt and may have a weak atmosphere with the possibility of frozen water on the surface. Water means the possibility of life.
|Vesta as seen from Dawn on July 17, 2011. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ |
John Glenn's 90th Birthday
The former Marine Corps pilot, senator and astronaut turned 90 yesterday. Famous for being the first astronaut to orbit Earth, he also logged over 200 hours in space and holds the record for being the oldest person to fly in space. Happy Birthday Senator Glenn!