Discovery Launches With Japanese Laboratory

Space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 5:02 p.m. EDT Saturday to deliver and install a Japanese laboratory on the International Space Station.

The mission, designated STS-124, is the second of three flights to launch components to complete the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory. Discovery is carrying Kibo's tour bus-sized Japanese Pressurized Module, or JPM, which will be the station's largest module. The shuttle astronauts will work with the three-member station crew and ground teams around the world to install the JPM and Kibo's robotic arm system.


NASA's Phoenix Spacecraft Lands at Martian Arctic Site

NASA's Phoenix spacecraft landed in the northern polar region of Mars Sunday to begin three months of examining a site chosen for its likelihood of having frozen water within reach of the lander's robotic arm.

Radio signals received at 4:53:44 p.m. Pacific Time (7:53:44 p.m. Eastern Time) confirmed the Phoenix Mars Lander had survived its difficult final descent and touchdown 15 minutes earlier. The signals took that long to travel from Mars to Earth at the speed of light.


NASA Updates Space Shuttle Target Launch Dates

NASA Thursday adjusted the target launch dates for two space shuttle missions in 2008. Shuttle Atlantis' STS-125 mission to the Hubble Space Telescope is now targeted for Oct. 8, and Endeavour's STS-126 supply mission to the International Space Station has moved from Oct. 16 to Nov. 10.

The final servicing mission to Hubble was moved from Aug. 28 due to a delay in deliveries of components, including the external fuel tanks, and the need to prepare Endeavour for a possible rescue mission approximately two weeks after STS-125 launches.


Hurricane Hollow 2008 Hurricane Preparedness Week

The mission of Hurricane Hollow Weather is to inform and educate the public about the dangers of hurricanes and provide knowledge which can be used to prepare before the storm threatens. This information can be used to save lives at home, at work, on the road, or on the water. The Key is to be Aware, and to be Prepared for the next Hurricane.

History has taught us that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster. The 2008 Hurricane Preparedness Week will be held May 25th through May 31st. We will be hosting "Hurricane Hollow's Hurricane Awareness Week" Internet Broadcasts each evening beginning at 8PM/ET on WRBN.Net with your host Barometer Bob Brookens and special guests.


Dean, Felix, and Noel Retired From List of Storm Names

The names Dean, Felix, and Noel, three of the most devastating storms of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, were retired by members of the 30th Session of the World Meteorological Organization's Regional Association IV Hurricane Committee during its annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. 

Members of the committee, which includes representatives from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, can remove names associated with storms that cause significant loss of life and property. These names will not be used again because of the wide spread destruction caused by these storms.


U.S. Military Plane Makes Emergency Landing in N.L.

An American military plane was forced to make an emergency landing early Monday at St. John's International Airport in Newfoundland after reporting hydraulic problems.

Airport spokesman Bob Nurse said the U.S. air force C-17 from Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina was headed overseas with 35 people on board.

Emergency vehicles were dispatched, but the cargo plane landed safely around 1 a.m., about 30 minutes after the trouble was reported.


NASA Gives 'Go' for Shuttle Launch on May 31

NASA senior managers completed a review Monday of space shuttle Discovery's readiness for flight and selected May 31 as the official launch date for the STS-124 mission. Commander Mark Kelly and his six crewmates are scheduled to lift off to the International Space Station at 5:02 p.m. EDT.

Discovery's 14-day flight will carry the largest payload so far to the station and includes three spacewalks. It is the second of three missions that will launch components to complete the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory. The crew will install Kibo's large Japanese Pressurized Module and Kibo's robotic arm system. Discovery also will deliver new station crew member Greg Chamitoff and bring back Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman, who will end a three-month stay aboard the outpost.


Spring 2008 W1AW Frequency Measuring Test Set

W1AW will conduct a Spring Frequency Measuring Text. This FMT will begin on Wednesday, May 21 at 9:45 PM (EDT) (that's the same as 0145 UTC on May 22), replacing W1AW's normally scheduled phone bulletin. W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, recommends that those planning to participate should listen to W1AW transmissions prior to the event to determine which band -- or bands -- will be best for measurement purposes.

For this FMT, participants are asked to measure the frequency of an audio tone, given an exact frequency for the carrier signal. The tone will be between 1000-2500 Hz. The carrier frequencies will be 3990 kHz (LSB), 7290 kHz (LSB), 14290 kHz (USB) and 18160 kHz (USB).


AO-16 Operations Update

The AO-16 satellite has undergone a few periods of turning off with subsequent restarts ensuring operation for varying periods of time.

Mark, N8MH, Control Operator turned AO-16 ON in voice mode to suppot a Scouting Special Events Station. The output power was reduced slightly in an attempt to conserve power in the event that batteries or the solar cells were having problems.


AMSAT Designates Delfi-C3 as DO-64

Bill Tynan, W3XO issued the following statement on behalf of the AMSAT Board of Directors this week:

By the authority vested in me by the AMSAT-NA President, I am pleased to issue an OSCAR number for the amateur radio satellite, Delfi C-3.

As attested to in a communication to the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors dated 8 May, 2008, from Wolter Jan Ubbels, the spacecraft's Project Manager; Delfi C-3 was successfully launched 28 April, 2008 from India aboard a Polar launch vehicle. Mr. Ubbels also states that the satellite was successfully commissioned and is currently transmitting telemetry on the 2 meter amateur band. In addition to its 2 meter downlink, Delfi C-3 has an uplink on the 70 cm band.


Funeral Held for Medic Killed in Afghanistan

Thousands turned out Friday to say farewell to a paramedic and reservist killed in Afghanistan with a service that mirrored his life -- quiet and dignified.

His wife, Nicole Starker, and sister Carolyn Straub had joked with reporters earlier in the week that Cpl. Michael Starker would be embarrassed by all of the attention his death had generated.

"I think he would be laughing his ass off right now saying, `I don't know why you guys are making such a big deal of this,' '' chuckled Straub.

"He'd be uncomfortable,'' Nicole Starker agreed. "But on the other hand, had this been one of his buddies instead of him he would have said they absolutely deserve it, every bit of attention they're getting.''


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