Mission Tweets

The Voyager 2 realtime simulation now shows the mission tweets. Hope to expand that to more mission and other pages on the site.

EDIT: This feature is now also available for Herschel, Planck, Kepler, MSL (Curiosity), MESSENGER, Spirit, Opportunity, New Horizons and Cassini


Soccer: Euro 2012 Qualifiers Draw

Qualifying Status as at 10 Feb 2010:

  • Co-hosts (2): Poland, Ukraine
  • Group winners (9): Group A, Group B, Group C, Group D, Group E, Group F, Group G, Group H, Group I
  • Best runner-up (1): best runner-up
  • Winners of play-offs (4): Play-off 1, Play-off 2, Play-off 3, Play-off 4


  • A: Germany, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan
  • B: Russia, Slovakia, Ireland, Macedonia, Armenia, Andorra
  • C: Italy, Serbia, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia, Faroe Islands
  • D: France, Romania, Bosnia, Belarus, Albania, Luxembourg
  • E: Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Moldova, San Marino
  • F: Croatia, Greece, Israel, Latvia, Georgia, Malta
  • G: England, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Wales, Montenegro
  • H: Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Cyprus, Iceland
  • I: Spain, Czech Republic, Scotland, Lithuania, Liechtenstein

Saturn Extended Extended Mission Approved

The Cassini mission had its extended-extended mission approved and will run until 15 Sep 2017 when it will be deliberately crashed into Saturn (to protect Titan from Earthlings contamination). I have uploaded the new timeline as well as the general trajectory (the data that the system will fall back on when the segment trajectory data runs out). The latest segment trajectory is up as well and runs to early March 2010. Go Cassini!

Virgin Blue to fly to Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island

The three weekly flights to Christmas Island are set for take-off on Thursday 1 April 2010 (no joke!) with services between Perth and Cocos Island commencing shortly after on Saturday 3 April. Flights between Cocos Island and Christmas Island will also commence on 3 April. Virgin Blue has committed one of its executive-style Embraer E-190 jets onto the new routes, an aircraft which has the capacity to carry 104 Guests on each sector, upload more freight and reduce the overall flying time to and from the mainland. Read the full media release …

I will include this information into the realtime rotation simulations as soon as possible.

Data update for Cassini and Dawn

The latest Cassini sequence trajectory data has been uploaded and will be used until it expires on 04 Feb 2010. After that date, the data will fallback to the base data until the new trajectory  sequence is available.

Dawn cruise sequence DC036 has been uploaded as well and will take over on 08 Feb 2010.

Reflections on Titan

I found this quote on Stephen van Vuuren’s blog, commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Huygens landing on Titan. These thoughts were made 300 years before Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot:

How vast these Orbs must be, and how inconsiderable this Earth, the Theatre upon which all our mighty Designs, all our Navigations, and all our Wars are transacted, is when compared to them. A very fit consideration, and matter of Reflection, for those Kings and Princes who sacrifice the Lives of so many People, only to flatter their Ambition in being Masters of some pitiful corner of this small Spot.

-Christiaan Huygens, New Conjectures Concerning the Planetary Worlds, Their Inhabitants and Productions, c. 1690.