Hubble refit goes off without a hitch
Earth’s eye in the sky — well, its most famous one, at any rate — is back in business after a lengthy, complicated and daring mission by astronauts in the Space Shuttle Atlantis over the past week, as recapped by The New York Times.
The Hubble Space Telescope has now been outfitted with new batteries, new gyroscopes and new instruments, starting with the new Wide Field Camera 3 that will continue to provide the kind of stunning, deep-space images we’ve become used to seeing from Hubble. This was the trickiest repair, and when a balky bolt seemed unwilling to release its grip on the old camera there was concern it couldn’t be completed. However, astronaut Andrew Feustel (who used to restore old Jaguars) persevered and, bypassing the torque limit on the ratchet he was using, managed to free the old device.
Those new images won’t be available right away, however. According to the Times article, NASA officials say calibrating the two new and two repaired instruments will take until late summer, at which point the data will begin flowing once again.
With the Hubble repairs wrapped up by Tuesday, the astronauts had a few days left in orbit to complete some other tasks. Those included a live press conference held Wednesday, and testifying for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science on Thursday. They also performed a visual inspection of the heat shield on Atlantis, finding no problems that would jeopardize their scheduled return to planetside today.
This was the final scheduled maintenance for Hubble, and should carry it through to about 2014, when its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is due to be launched.
Spock scene: Right architect, wrong chapel
Our friend the architectural blogger sent us a note recently about a little cinematic faux pas.
You might remember that back in March, she had reported that a scene in the new Star Trek movie, now summer’s first blockbuster, had been filmed at Thorncrown Chapel in Northern Arkansas.
Well … no.
According to our friend, the building in the background was, indeed, designed by the late E. Fay Jones, one of America’s most highly regarded architects. The chapel, however, wasn’t Thorncrown, she now says with some chagrin. It was another Jones project — done in partnership with architect Maurice Jennings — called Skyrose Chapel and located in Whittier, California. It does share some design similarities with the older Thorncrown.
Her information comes from that bastion of movie knowledge, the Internet Movie Database, which has a section on movie locations.
She’s sorry about the case of mistaken identity, and so are we.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, May 22, 2009, #767 – BY PRIYA KALE
Aries (March 20-April 19)
If you’ve ever doubted your capabilities to say the word and make it happen, now would be the time to put your abilities to the test. You’ve always known you were born for greater things; your ability to dream the impossible and dare to meet your soul’s longing, is your gift to the world. What ensues from your actions this week should be nothing short of miraculous, if you can resolve emotional or financial insecurities that hold you back when it comes to reaching for your dreams. You are now channeling a higher wisdom that allows you to see beyond the horizon and divine possibilities everywhere you look. What matters then is what you choose. Choose based on your deepest values, grandest vision and that which fills you with a sense of purpose. If you can dream, you can do.
Taurus (April 19- May 20)
With the astrology peaking the way it is right now, although you may personally feel invisible be assured your awareness and gifts are anything but. Your humility has always been your greatest strength. I am not suggesting you change that, but although you’ve never hankered after success there is no reason to shy away from it either. You now have twice as much to offer than you may have thought you did and you are worth twice as much too. This is as true in your personal life as it is in your professional life. It may seem like magic, but yours has been a long, soulful journey of self-awareness which has led you to your calling. Accept this as you stand at the threshold of being who you were born to be, doing what you do best — being yourself. This is a rare, elusive quality that sustains and brings a message of hope to a larger world, that they can get by in this world doing just that — being true to themselves. You are living proof of it.
Gemini (May 20- June 21)
A great, expansive dream or aspiration is luring you forward with a message of hope and you’ve come a long way in acknowledging “doubts” that say you’ll never get there. This has also helped you find the inner strength and access to resources you tend to forget you possess. But most importantly what is putting you in the path of achieving the seemingly impossible, is your ability and desire to be true to yourself above all. Ask yourself now, when you envision the future or your success story, what does it look like? The more you can clarify and answer that, the greater your chances of recognizing the opportunities to make it a reality. Reach for the stars knowing at worst you may land on the moon. And you know well now, no matter what you will always have the ground beneath your feet.
Cancer (June 21- July 22)
You stand at a crucial turning point asking you to identify yourself in the sea of people whose lives are submerged with yours. You’ve learned now (perhaps painfully) the need to be clear about whose values you take on as your own. As you gain your sense of perspective, this week brings clarity regarding a deeply intimate or financial situation. There may be another way to get the freedom, autonomy and resources you need. When presented with an opportunity to make your mark on the world, let your imagination and infinite vision guide you forward. Resolve your own feelings of vulnerability and then recognize you would not be in this position, if it wasn’t to reflect to you your inherent power. You are the captain of your ship — until you give over the reins to someone else. This is not about anyone else but daring to trust your own inner wisdom; knowing that those that love and believe in you will be there, overflowing in their support of your success.
Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
You are being called now to explore your most vivid imagination and boldly paint the sky with your colorful ambitions. You may feel unsure about this, but deep in your soul you know this is a risk you dare not pass up. It may indeed be scary but you are learning now just how deeply your destiny is entwined with the others in your life — gifts, wounds and all. Your freedom has always been important to you, but this is not about alienation or detachment. There is a powerful sublime truth floating into your world if you are willing to listen. A relationship you share has the potential to touch your soul deeply, expand your world and show you new heights of divine passion all at once. Healing is always a two-way street, but you can’t expect others to be open if you lead with your defenses. There is a dual hope you carry and there may be no need for you to choose between personal pleasure and an altruistic vision you share.
Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
As you regain your perspective on an important financial or intimate situation in your life, suddenly things begin to light up in a way that you did not think possible. All the while you’ve been tending to intense life-and-death dramas, there’s been a soulful dream awakening you to your greater mission on this earth. But that is the nature of passion, it has a way of coloring every small encounter in your day with sublime and grand hope. An ethereal connection you share has the potential to awaken you to the fire in your soul. In your professional as well as most intimate relationships, allow yourself to be moved by a desire to create a better world for all whose lives you touch. Do all you do with love and awareness and that is what will float back into your life in the small and definitely not so small ways.
Libra (Sep. 22 – Oct. 23)
You’ve been through a phase of review within your relationships, which has taken you into the depths of yourself, your own wounds, needs for independence, reassurance and fears of alienation. There has been an element of holding a crystal vision even through the dense fog and an important truth about a partnership reveals itself to you this week. They say the truth will set you free and it will this week if you listen to what someone is trying to say. Trust your heart above all and the great hope of freedom, adventure and passion you dream of. You may still have your doubts, but at least when it comes to a professional opportunity you can do anything but take what looks like a promising risk. Personally, you seek someone who sets your soul on fire — when you find that, will you shy away or will you get that great, big leap of faith toward happiness?
Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
You’ve been on a quest for that elusive sense of belonging; a sense of feeling loved, appreciated and accepted for who you are and an ability to be comfortable in your own skin. But ultimately no one can do this for you but yourself. The question for you now is what or who it is that makes you feel at home. Is it the four walls you live in? The bed you sleep in? Your pets? Is it having the financial resources you need so you don’t need to look at your bank balance? There are people who have all of these things and yet are plagued with restlessness. I suggest you go deeper in your quest for an answer. If you do, there is likely to be a huge revelation welling within your soul, flooding your life with deep warmth and hope for the future. You are already home, it may just mean you look within and around you to recognize that.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 22)
As a Sagittarian you have always been a crusader of truth, be it in your sense of humor or your ability to speak the unthinkable. But right now your powers of communication border on the divine and surreal. If you’ve ever doubted your psychic or intuitive abilities, events this week should go a long way in changing that opinion. There is something or someone igniting flames of creative or sexual passion within you like you may not have experienced in a while. A partner, although present, may have their own doubts about a situation, but you now have a gift that allows you to see the rainbows where others can only see rain clouds. The only thing that matters now is that you be true to yourself; your soul is older than you and your childlike innocence is wiser than you imagine. Trust this if nothing else and be the blazing voice of truth for the world.
Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
Your values are deeply coming into question and you are being reflected your own inner depth that you at times fail to recognize. Financial instability is never really the concern when you are a Capricorn; more than likely you live a life that other people envy. But there is a danger in getting caught up in other people’s desires versus your own. As the fog lifts you are learning what drives you is not just your financial security but connections that make you feel warm, safe and loved. Be honest now with yourself and the people closest to you about your dreams, hopes and wishes. A partner is not only listening but is open to the depth of your message in a way that may even surprise you. You don’t need to lead a double life to have what you want more of daily. Be true to yourself and all else will almost magically flow from that.
Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
Your self-awareness reaches an expansive peak this week, which may be overwhelming. Awareness, although a gift, can be a painful thing. Be bold, imaginative, honest and speak from the soul this week. There is a conversation or creative vision you share that has the potential to bring you deep clarity where there may have previously been a sense of fog. You may worry that if you are honest you will rock the boat with one delicate situation surrounding work or an aspect of your daily life. But truthfully you know that every risk has its downside — and the higher the stakes the greater the rewards. An idea or truth may be too hot to handle, but pushing boundaries has always been your thing and you know better than anyone — only the truth can set you free.
Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
You’ve been an unstoppable force lately, filled with more passion and desire than your usually soft and gentle demeanor. This is because your awareness of life and its frailty has grown at surreal levels, driving you to seize opportunities as they come. You are also recognizing the delicate webs that bind us with those that we love and the dynamic energy that sustains life itself. You can now manifest in your life a great hope you’ve been working toward, bringing you the emotional and financial independence you crave. But far from being a selfish desire, your ability to be bold and dive into yourself has the ability to flood not just your life but the lives of those you love with healing, hope and comfort immeasurable in its value — in both tangible and sublime, ethereal gifts.