It was great today to see the SpaceX Crew Dragon arriving at the International Space Station today (complete with crew dummy “Ripley”). Fantastic to see high resolution images in real time – for those of us who watched low res video of the Apollo program it looks more like a sci-fi movie!

From China Space Agency at http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n6759533/c6805166/part/6780096.jpg

Wonderful to see these superb images from the Chinese lander Chang’e-4 on the far side of the Moon. See more in the BBC News article and the originals on the Chinese space agency website.

I’m hoping that I see people walking on the Moon again in my lifetime.

ESO image
image from https://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1737/

Today I came across something on the web that’s actually interesting. It’s on the spaceweather.com website that I usually visit daily – I’ve linked to today’s archive so it can be found again. It’s about ‘Oumuamua.

The pretty pictures are of course artwork, and I’ve linked the one above to the BBC article it came from, as part of the story about this object. The latest paper suggests that the properties of this object are compatible with it being a piece of alien hardware – which is utterly fascinating!

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Noctilucent clouds

Travelling back from Toronto this morning there were some lovely noctilucent clouds (the white swirly ones) visible through the aircraft window. I’ve seen them before from the ground, but never as clearly as this. Photo taken with the little Nikon Coolpix A10, handheld 0.5s exposure. A nice end to a great trip to Toronto.

The final photo of Starman from Elon Musk / SpaceX. Sadly there won’t be comms at all in future close approaches to Earth (or anywhere). So … I’ll have to get cracking on my own project to receive signals from deep space craft.

starman in car

This was just amazing – I watched it live earlier today. There is also video taken from the first stage itself – haven’t found that extract yet. Fully automated control has come a long way since Apollo!

Here’s the full thing from pre-launch to landing of stage 1, and deployment of the spacecraft and its solar panels. The fun starts at about 13m30s, first stage landing at about 16m30s:

Great stuff.