07 February 2009

News round up for 07 Feb, 2009

Warning, potentially geeky subject matter ahead.
  • Road signs hacked to have humorous messages. More interesting than the hack itself are the chosen messages. I particularly liked the XKCD inspired RAPTORS AHEAD — CAUTION. Although, who else would hack roadsigns aside from XKCD readers?
  • NASA to allow the public to select a Hubble Telescope target. This is huge. Time on the Hubble is priceless; astronomers wait in line for years to get time on the Hubble, and here NASA is letting the public vote on one of six choices for the next target. None of these targets have yet been imaged by Hubble. Voting must be done by March 1, so get to the, uh, virtual polls.
  • Russian RORSAT Cosmos-1818 goes crazy, but is apparently not a threat. January was a particularly bad month for satellites in the mainstream media; the failure of Astra 5A was reported by SPACE.com, making it much closer to the mainstream media than most satellite problems get. As a member of this industry, it's amazing how much more frightening these sorts of failures seem to me. The Astra 5A failure is particularly interesting as it's moving along its orbit and could actually collide with other GSO satellites.

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