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Good Morning MOTleyville, It's Tuesday July 2nd, 2013

Mot should be here every morning @ 6:30 AM
Voyager 1

The Spaceship that just keeps going

Data from Voyager 1, now more than 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from the sun, suggest the spacecraft is closer to becoming the first human-made object to reach interstellar space.

Research using Voyager 1 data and published in the journal Science provides new detail on the last region the spacecraft will cross before it leaves the heliosphere, or the bubble around our sun, and enters interstellar space.

Three papers describe how Voyager 1's entry into a region called the magnetic highway resulted in simultaneous observations of the highest rate so far of charged particles from outside heliosphere and the disappearance of charged particles from inside the heliosphere.

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Opportunity News

On Sol 3346 (June 22, 2013), the rover continued the trek toward 'Solander Point' with a 295-foot (90-meter) drive due south. On Sol 3347 (June 23, 2013), Opportunity imaged the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) bit to assess remaining bit life.

On the next sol, Opportunity exceeded 23 miles (37 kilometers) of odometry with a 318-feet (97-meter) drive. On Sol 3349 (June 25, 2013), a long drive was planned, but was terminated after only 207 feet (63 meters) when the potentiometer on the robotic arm elbow indicated an unexpected motion, stopping the drive.

This potentiometer is a sensor that can indicate if the arm has moved, which is not intended during a drive. Investigation of the joint and the use of before and after images showed no joint motion.

The Sky in July

Summer planets, constellations and a late-month meteor shower should combine to make July a skywatching treat, weather permitting.

The Delta Aquarid meteor shower graces the night sky at the end of July, and during the month, the constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius shine, pointing the way to other celestial sights.

"The Scorpion is easy to trace in the sky," Nancy Calo from the Space Telescope Science Institute said during her narration of a video highlighting July stargazing. "Its head, curved tail, and venomous stinger are prominent."

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Atlantis exhibit opens

The grand opening on June 29, 2013, was attended by a massive crowd and more than 40 astronauts representing all 33 of Atlantis' missions to space. It "launched" with a bang as sparks and smoke appeared to furl out of the humongous life-size fuel tank and solid rocket boosters guarding the entrance to the Atlantis building at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
some good pictures !
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