The last mission
The Discovery is carrying six astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) and all of them have prior experience in space travel. The commander of the mission is Steven Lindsay who thanked everyone for getting the shuttle ready.
“Discovery now making one last reach for the stars,” said the Mission Control commentator, as the space shuttle blasted off from its launch tower.
This was the 39th launch of Discovery.
There were several anxious moments as a last minute problem with the computer threatened the launch but the problem was resolved soon and the space craft was able to launch three minutes behind the schedule.
Launch full of excitement
Chairman of the mission management team, Mike Moses said, “I would say we scripted it that way, but I could use a little less heart palpitation in the final couple seconds of the countdown.”
The last mission
Scientists in U.S. have found out the secret on how sea turtles, can navigate to the right direction and cover thousands of miles, during an open sea voyage.
Loggerhead sea turtles indeed can gauge their longitude position at sea, by means of two sets of magnetic cues, revealed University of North Carolina researchers.
From the time baby loggerheads leave their homes, their inherent sagacity guides them through out their open sea voyage. Loggerheads species spend years to migrate through most complicated sea-routes covering million of miles during their voyage.
Loggerhead turtles more advanced than other marine species
Eminent researcher Nathan Putnam explained that the most complex part of navigation in open sea is deciding on the longitude or east-west position.
It took human beings, centuries to navigate and decipher the concept of longitude during long-distance sea travel.
Kepler mission, a planet-hunting probe at NASA is closely observing a new planetary candidate, KOI 326.01.
KOI 326.01 is nearly earth-sized with a normal temperature lower than the boiling point of water.
Kepler mission is a statistical study of planet distribution.
The study has also found out earth-like planets out of nearly 1,235 planetary candidates and if the recent study proves to be accurate, KOI 326.01 would be the closest analog to our earth, found till date.
Kepler mission’s chief researcher at NASA's Ames Research Center, William Borucki says "It's a small object, a small candidate,"
But, as of now astronomers don’t have clear idea about the size of the star which KOI 326.01 is orbiting, making the study "extremely difficult to confirm, while the next few months observation might produce sufficient data for confirmation," said Borucki.