There’s a great video up making a lovely animated fairy tale of the mission, told by the Giotto spacecraft to little Rosetta and Philae:
Meanwhile, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is looming larger in Rosetta’s OSIRIS camera, in this image taken July 29:
First we’ve got the Delta IV Medium+ (4,2) from Cape Canaveral Air Station carrying two satellites intended to supplement the USAF’s Space Fence and track objects in orbit from above, improving awareness of much smaller debris as well as a small experimental satellite.
And here’s the launch of ATV 5 “Georges Lemaitre” aboard an Ariane V from Kourou, French Guiana. This is the final ATV mission.
Oh, it would be so cool to see this sort of thing in person. ;-) It’s really beautiful, especially with the blend of old and new styles and equipment.
The Sunday Times had an exclusive interview with Peter Capaldi, and BlogtorWho has a great overview. ;-) Crucial tidbits:
* his Doctor will not be flirting with his companions; Capaldi’s been a fan as long as he can remember, and in the old days, the rule was always “No hanky-panky in the TARDIS.” Plus, he’s 55 and Jenna Coleman is 28; it would be seriously weird.
* Asking him if Daleks or Cybermen are better is a foolish question; like the biggest Whovians of us all, he’ll get bogged down in specifics for hours. Things like “which Cybermen — the ones from alternate Earth or the ones from Mondas?”
* He’s one of those actors who insists on keeping his wedding ring on, so they’ve constructed a signet ring for the Doctor that will cover it. Shades of Hartnell, whose Doctor also had a characteristic ring. ;-)
* He describes the Doctor as being both mad and joyful; the Doctor enjoys watching stars born in distant galaxies as much as he enjoys litter drifting across a parking lot at sunset.
* He collected quotes and tidbits upon which to base his Doctor, which he compiled into a book — a book which is under lock and key after the recent script leaks.
And then there’s this bit. He said that his mother indulged his fandom by sending him a copy of the Doctor Who Annual every year, but since the 2005 revival, figures she must have thought he’s too grown-up for it now (though he speculated she might start up again now). So the interviewer asked him how long she continued sending them. From this answer, I’m guessing he has a complete set up through 1989. :-D
Okay, that’s a slightly cheeky title, but who can resist the chance to say “space geckos”? ;-) A Russian spacecraft, Foton M4, was launched July 18 with a payload of five geckos, some silkworm eggs, dried seeds, and microbes. The Foton series is based on the venerable Vostok spacecraft that carried Yuri Gagarin into orbit, so the creatures are expected to return to Earth alive. The hope is to see if the geckos will breed in space, so that they can study how well that whole process goes, and to that end they’ve installed cameras inside the habitat with a 24/7 recording to be analyzed at mission end.
However, about a week ago, the spacecraft missed its scheduled orbit-raising burn and stopped responding to commands. They were getting telemetry, but nothing else, raising the specter of an unscheduled and uncontrolled reentry when the orbit inevitably decayed. But today, they’ve got control again! No word yet on whether they’ll attempt the orbit-raising again, or whether they’ll let the mission be cut short by the lower altitude.
There’s a picture of the gecko habitat at that link; it’s actually kinda cute, since the geckos are all wearing identification collars.
It’s nice, it’s dramatic, it’s not something we’ve seen already . . . but dang it’s short. These teasers sure do tease….
After the roaring success of “Day of the Doctor”, the Beeb has decided to do that again, simulcasting “Deep Breath” in movie theaters on August 23, all over the world. Will it run in a theater near you? I don’t know yet; BBC hasn’t released the venues. But I’ll post the answer just as soon as I know. ;-)