Friday, August 19, 2011
The internet is acting up here today for some reason so some quick things to mention while it's working and may go down again:
1 - The Ido renkontro 2011 in Luxembourg is now in full swing, although we haven't seen any news of it online yet. This post on Idolisto is asking what's going on at the moment. We'll find out in a few days.
2 - I'll have a very interesting auxlang-related announcement in a few days. It's a surprise until then.
3 - NASA's GRAIL mission to the moon is launching in just a few weeks. The twin probes are to launch on 8 September, and are now being joined to the launch vehicle.
Travel time to the moon for these two is 3 to 4 months. Since a direct trip to the moon takes only 3 days any travel time this long means they are doing it to save fuel: generally the way to do this is to begin in an Earth orbit which is then lengthened bit by bit until eventually it reaches the moon, goes into orbit and then begins changing its orbit around the moon until it becomes ideal for the mission. I haven't checked whether this is the exact way GRAIL will be doing it but I assume it will be something like that. The timeline in particular hints at this:
Launch date: September 2011
Insertion into orbit: January 2012
Scientific mission: March-May 2012
Most interesting part of the mission besides the mission itself to precisely map the moon's gravitational field: MoonKAM.