Sunday Evening Open Thread: Atlantis Landing, Trailblazing Edition

Here's a video clip of the recent landing of the Space Shuttle Atlantis as it returned from its latest mission.

Some other fun stuff on the science and technology front -- specifically historical in nature, can be found here:

"Trailblazing" website reveals 350 years of science
Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:49pm EST

By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A gruesome account of a 1666 blood transfusion and amusing notes about how an 8-year-old Mozart responded to tests of his genius were published on Monday as part of an online history of scientific endeavor.

The "Trailblazing" website was created by Britain's influential science academy the Royal Society, and includes handwritten papers on some of the most important scientific discoveries of the past three and a half centuries.

Neat stuff, eh?

This is an Open Thread.

Open Thread -- Endeavoring To Be The Best, Shuttle Rescue Edition

As a normal facet of even the smallest part of any mission, NASA scientists and engineers must include failover planning in case of emergency.  One of the more recent sets of plans to hit the wire services includes launching a second shuttle within a week in the event of a problem with the upcoming repair mission to the Hubble Telescope.

MSNBC has the story by James Oberg, NBC News space analyst:

If the Hubble repair crew due for liftoff on Monday got into the deepest sort of orbital trouble, yet another shuttle would have to be launched into orbit as little as a week later. NASA hasn’t launched two piloted spacecraft so close together in more than 40 years. But that's just the first act of the drama.

The rescue shuttle, Endeavour, would have to pull within about two dozen yards of the stranded shuttle Atlantis, and then help Atlantis' crew members make their way across a lifeline to refuge. Then Endeavour, full to capacity, would have to leave Hubble as well as Atlantis behind and return home — but not before Atlantis' controls are set for a self-destruct sequence.

Pretty neat, eh?

This is an Open Thread.