Another Station Upgrade:

Spacewalkers Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins to install new TV cameras 

On Thursday, Sept. 1, U.S. astronauts Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins will conduct the station’s 195th American spacewalk. As part of their activities, the pair will install the first of several enhanced high-definition television cameras that will monitor activities outside the station, including the comings and goings of visiting cargo and crew vehicles

Working on the station’s backbone, or truss, Williams and Rubins will retract a thermal radiator that is part of the station’s cooling system. 

As was the case for their first spacewalk together on Aug. 19, Williams will be designated as extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1), wearing a spacesuit with a red stripe, while Rubins will be EV2, wearing a suit with no stripes.

Watch LIVE!

Coverage of the spacewalk begins at 6:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Sept. 1; with the spacewalk scheduled to begin at 8:05 a.m. EDT. Stream live online HERE.

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Annular Solar Eclipse over New Mexico

(via APOD; Image Credit & Copyright: Colleen Pinski )

What is this person doing? In 2012 an annular eclipse of the Sun was visible over a narrow path that crossed the northern Pacific Ocean and several western US states. In an annular solar eclipse, the Moon is too far from the Earth to block out the entire Sun, leaving the Sun peeking out over the Moon’s disk in a ring of fire. To capture this unusual solar event, an industrious photographer drove from Arizona to New Mexico to find just the right vista. After setting up and just as the eclipsed Sun was setting over a ridge about 2.5 kilometers away, a person unknowingly walked right into the shot. Although grateful for the unexpected human element, the photographer never learned the identity of the silhouetted interloper. It appears likely, though, that the person is holding a circular device that would enable them to get their own view of the eclipse. The shot was taken at sunset on 2012 May 20 at 7:36 pm local time from a park near Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Tomorrow another annular solar eclipse will become visible, this time along a path crossing Africa and Madagascar.


T-8 Days (August 31)

OSIRIS-REx, encapsulated inside the protective nosecone of its Atlas V rocket, was transported to SLC-41 Monday morning, August 29. The spacecraft was mated with its launch vehicle, completing assembly of the rocket ahead of launch next week.

ULA technicians will now perform final integrated vehicle checks, ensuring that the combined spacecraft/rocket combination is responding to commands and is performing nominally.

Liftoff is scheduled for 7:05pm EDT on Thursday, September 8. The 45th weather squadron at Patrick Air Force Base has yet to release a launch forecast, though Tropical Depression 9 may impact chances of favorable launch conditions.

What forms lurk in the mists of the Carina Nebula? The dark ominous figures are actually molecular clouds, knots of molecular gas and dust so thick they have become opaque. In comparison, however, these clouds are typically much less dense than Earth’s atmosphere. Featured here is a detailed image of the core of the Carina Nebula, a part where both dark and colorful clouds of gas and dust are particularly prominent. The image was captured last month from Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Although the nebula is predominantly composed of hydrogen gas – here colored green, the image was assigned colors so that light emitted by trace amounts of sulfur and oxygen appear red and blue, respectively. The entire Carina Nebula, cataloged as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light years and lies about 7,500 light-years away in the constellation of Carina. Eta Carinae, the most energetic star in the nebula, was one of the brightest stars in the sky in the 1830s, but then faded dramatically.

Object Names: Carina Nebula

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: John Ebersole

Time And Space