Leah Beeferman

Monitoring the architecture of science: a studious, imaginative investigation of space-bound and land-based far-traveling and distant-looking orbiting and non-orbiting structures

an ongoing weekly project distributed by e-mail running from February 2009 to February 2010.

orbit

NASA’s Kepler telescope has located five new Jupiter-sized exoplanets – named Kepler 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B and 8B – which orbit their respective stars once every 3.2, 3.5, 3.2, 4.9 and 3.5 Earth days; also found are two “hot companions,” mysterious objects each circling its own star and measuring temperatures of 26,000ºF

The Suzaku orbiting x-ray observatory has detected the largest mass of heavy elements – chromium and manganese – yet found outside the Milky Way while observing the central region of the Persius cluster

On November 13, 2009, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft made its third and final swing-by of Earth, using Earth’s gravity to propel it towards its future destinations: a “close encounter” with asteroid 21 Lutetia in July 2010 and its approach to – and landing on – the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet in mid-2014

NASA’s Mars Reconaissance Orbiter’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HIGHRISE) has captured images of the Phoenix lander on Mars’ northern plains, where it has endured a year of wintry conditions and is currently covered in carbon dioxide frost

In the past week, NASA has begun the process of relocating TDRS-1 – a newly retired 25+ year-old tracking and communications satellite – from its geosynchronous orbit to an orbit 300km (136mi) higher, one referred to as “supersynchronous orbit” and “graveyard orbit”

Collaborative data collection by the Centre Nationale D’Etudes Spatiales’ (CNES) COROT satellite and the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) spectrograph at the La Silva Observatory in Chile suggests the size and speed of Corot 7B, the fastest-orbiting known exoplanet

Mid-month data recording the mean orbital height of the International Space Station (ISS) shows the station to be considerably lower in altitude in July than after a January “re-boost”, a standard decline in altitude caused by fluctuating amounts of atmospheric drag

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 marked the end of repairs on and successful pressure testing of the Large Hadron Collider’s (LHC) sector 3-4; repairs in other sectors of the machine, however, will prevent overall restart and beam injection from happening until mid-November

On Sunday, July 26, 2009, the Canberra (Australia) Deep Space Communication Complex – one of NASA’s three worldwide Deep Space Network (DSN) stations collectively providing continuous spacecraft monitoring – communicated with at least ten spacecraft using its four highly sensitive radio antennas

A GPS satellite, launched in March 2009, remains out of service due to technical problems: signal distortions that render navigation measurements slightly inaccurate and thus unreliable

On June 29, 2009 at 11:45 GMT, one of NOAA’s eastern Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) documents the water vapor winds over the southern hemisphere – an ongoing image-taking process repeatedly performed every six hours

On June 17 2009, NASA plans to launch its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a satellite programmed to maintain a polar orbit of the moon that will enable it to fly over dozens of past lunar landing sites – U.S. and Soviet, robotic and human – to investigate the effects of lunar time on the hardware left behind

Using its Moderate Resolution Spectrometer (MODIS), NASA’s AQUA satellite detects fluorescent red light emitted from Earth’s ocean photoplankton providing valuable data on the health of the oceans and the plant life within

Cassini, NASA’s spacecraft orbiting and studying the Saturn System, makes a flyby of Titan – Saturn’s largest moon – on May 21 2009 to investigate Titan’s southern hemisphere dune field, referred to as ‘Shangri-La

On May 16, 2009, the Hubble Space Telescope’s 800lb COSTAR corrective optics package – installed in orbit in 1993 to compensate for the spherical aberration in the telescope’s primary mirror – was removed and replaced with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS), an instrument designed to study interstellar medium, the space between stars, and the space between galaxies

Locating the production sites of the industrial team responsible for designing and building the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, the largest ever infrared space observatory at the time of its launch, May 6 2009, part 2 of 2

Locating the production sites of the industrial team responsible for designing and building the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, the largest ever infrared space observatory at the time of its launch later in 2009, part 1 of 2

The Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) – a pair of nearly identical space-based observatories, one ahead of the earth in its orbit, the other behind – continues beyond its two year mission to observe and document the sun and its coronal mass ejections (CMEs), powerful eruptions spewing up to 10 million tons of the sun’s atmosphere into interplanetary space at speeds up to 1 million miles per hour

By analyzing data from optical satellite instruments such as ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) – an imaging device flying on the Terra satellite launched in 1999 – GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space) monitors over 52,000 of Earth’s glaciers

Profiling the Delta II “expendable space launch vehicle” in recognition of its 139th successful launch – carrying the Kepler planet-searching telescope into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s launch complex 17 pad 17-B on March 6, 2009, around 10:49pm

Diagramming Earth’s orbits: An investigation prompted by NASA’s NOAA-N Prime weather satellite reaching its polar orbit (2/6/09); the proliferation of orbital debris as two satellites collide in Low Earth Orbit (2/18/09); NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory’s failure to make orbit (2/24/09); and two launches – by Norway and Canada respectively – of new communications satellites into geostationary orbit (Thor 5, 2/11/09 and Telstar 11N, 2/26/09)

Celebrating the Hubble Space Telescope’s 102,716.58th orbit around the Earth, February 10 2009, 7:42AM