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GLAST Headed To Orbit

It looks like Boeing had a successful Delta 2 launch (delayed by twenty minutes) today. I guess that since it doesn't need any specific orbit, as is needed for an ISS launch, there was no critical launch window. I went outside to watch, but as usual, saw nothing. The only launch I've ever seen from the house is a Atlas night launch.


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Dan DeLong wrote:

Rand: When I lived in Jupiter, I watched Shuttle launches on TV, then walked outside and clearly saw the SRB plumes climb over the horizon. Then, on a good day, could just make out the orbiter/ET combo. From Riviera Beach (where I worked) it was a lot less impressive because the SRBs didn't get as high in the sky. (naked eye, no binoculars)

Rand Simberg wrote:

Also, probably most Shuttle launches you saw then were due east (as presumably today's Delta launch was). For ISS (which is the only place it goes these days, with the exception of the upcoming HST repair mission) they launch to the north, moving even farther away more quickly. Sometime, I'd like to watch one from New Smyrna Beach, rather than from Cocoa or Titusville.

Paul F. Dietz wrote:

The launch of a gamma ray space telescope reminds me of a recent theory concerning dark matter, with interesting implications for practical benefits from space exploitation.

The theory posits that the universe actually has equal amounts of matter and antimatter, but the antibaryons are concentrated in tiny ultradense nuggets of quark matter. CP-violation near the quark/hadron transition would have separated the two. There are some observations of diffuse emissions (gamma, X-rays, thermal emissions) from the galaxy that can be explained by annihilation on these nuggets.

If this theory is true (low probability, like any new theory in physics, of course), then there are many such nuggets passing through the solar system at any time (my BotE calculation says 1 per 10^21 cubic kilometers or so). Each would have a mass on the order of 10 tons or so, and be about 10 microns across. If one could be detected, tracked, and captured it could supply the entire world's energy supply for many years (immerse it in a normal matter gas and let annihilation occur on its surface)

Dennis Wingo wrote:

I was in Coca Beach today and saw the launch. Did a short article with pictures.

Mike wrote:

You mean, United Launch Alliance? ;)

Actually, to call it a Boeing vehicle isn't totally inaccurate--the vehicle was built, and contract was sold to NASA, under Boeing and the launch remains under the aegis of Boeing Launch Services.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on June 11, 2008 9:35 AM.

Crunched was the previous entry in this blog.

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