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.


On December 29, 2009, NASA plans to “pop off” the lens cap on its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft, currently covering the mechanisms keeping the craft cold – including its coldest detector, now at an internal temperature of less than -447º F

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

The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) – three jointly-operated telescopes in Arizona, USA and Coonabarabran, Australia – will soon become the Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey (CRTS), a reorganization indicative of a shift in astronomy towards the search for objects that change on short timescales: for example, a star which dims by 7500% in just 10 minutes and fully recovers only 10 minutes later

Observations made with the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton X-ray observatory suggest evidence of a new type of black hold residing on the outskirts of galaxy ESO 243-49 and weighing over 500 times the mass of the sun

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

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research (ESO) readies a new 2.5 ton instrument for its Very Large Telescope in northern Chile: the “X-Shooter”, a highly efficient spectrograph capable of recording a celestial object’s entire light spectrum in one single observation

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

As of 3:11pm PST on May 15 2009, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has run out of coolant – the liquid helium keeping its instruments cool – and entered its next phase of exploration: the so-called ‘warm mission

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

TACSAT3, an experimental tactical satellite designed by the US Military towards integrating low-cost space technology onto “tactical battlefields”, is set to launch around 8PM on Tuesday, May 5, from Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia

Drifting more than 4,461,000km from Earth and communicating with a round-trip light time of 29.7 seconds, the Kepler Space Telescope is turned on: it receives a 100 degree field of view containing 14 million stars, 100,000 of which are considered “ideal candidates” for Earth-sized planet-searching