Visit to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit and for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Breaking News. Meteorite Explodes over Russia! Over 700 Injured. Buildings Damaged.

Meteorite Explodes

Up to 725 people have been injured from the damaged caused by the sonic boom of an exploding meteorite over Chelyabinsk in central Russia.  Russia’s Emergencies Ministry puts the number of wounded people at 150.  Chelyabinsk city officials say the blast happened at an altitude of 33 miles with the meteor breaking apart and causing a shower as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere at around 9:20 in the morning local time.

As of 15:00 Moscow time, 725 people have sought medical attention in Chelyabinsk alone because of the disaster, 112 of whom have been hospitalized, of them two in critical condition. Among the injured there are 159 children, Emergency ministry reported.

Part of the meteorite raced across the horizon, leaving a long trail of white smoke behind it which could be seen 200 kilometres away in Russia’s fourth-largest city, Yekaterinburg.
A number of buildings have been damaged in the industrial city of Chelyabinsk,1,500 kilometres east of Moscow.

The Ministry reported that 297 buildings were damaged, and another 450 buildings were left without gas because facilities in the city had also been damaged, an Emergency Ministry spokesperson said, according to Russia 24 news channel.

The meteorite explosion and shower set off car alarms, shattered windows and disrupted the mobile phone network.

Six hundred square metres of the roof of a zinc factory collapsed, according to the Interior Ministry.
City officials have urged people to stay indoors unless they need to pick their children up from schools and nurseries.

Read More

Space Center News.

Hello Troops,
Wednesday's second day of missions went better.  Those of us new to the Magellan are improving our skills at 2nd Chair.  Computer bugs still top the list of things to fix.  On the bright side, our dimmers are in and our lighting problem is resolved. 

New computer controls converting the Magellan from a space station to a starship were installed in the simulator just before the Space Center closed in August.  We didn't have time to do a proper debugging then, hence the problems we have now.  However, there is no need to fear, SuperTech Matt Ricks is here.  Matt and Zac spent a few hours debugging the controls Thursday afternoon.  If they can't fix it, nobody can.    

Today we see our last class from Central Elementary.  Ridgeline Elementary starts us off next week.  The Phoenix joins the Magellan in the simulator line up on Tuesday.  We will be running on all engines.  

Letters to the Space Center
My name is Mitch Burton and I'm a Nuclear Electricians Mate in the the U.S. Navy. I was talking to my wife today, freaking out about how excited I was, about everything I learned on the two field trips I took to the Space Center back when I was in elementary school at Washington Elementary in Bountiful, UT.

A quick background, I've been studying in the Nuclear Engineering Field for the last 2 years, training in all types of sciences and qualifying as a Nuclear Reactor Operator. I have to train in systems, work through challenges, practice for casualties and damage control in the ship. It's incredible, because I remember vividly the missions we took when I was in 5th and 6th grade at y'alls Space Center, and it in a way reminds me of my training here. I really felt like I was being trained to operate a ship that was going on missions to help the universe, fight aliens, and discover new worlds. I remember the pressure that I felt to not let my classmates down when I operated the propulsion system to try and dodge photon torpedoes, and the courage I had when I was selected to go fight aliens with phaser guns that had boarded our ship. Its really hard to explain how awesome it is looking back from where I am now, and knowing that I helped shipmates complete missions and a had a blast doing it, when I was so young! It makes me feel like I can accomplish anything now as I serve my country in the Nuclear Navy.

I just wanted to let y'all know that I loved the experiences I had on field trips to your program, and am stoked to relive those memories to my wife and kid. I think what y'all do to help encourage kids to have critical thinking, courage, determination, leadership skills and imagination, is amazing and I hope y'all can keep doing it forever.

I know this is random and out of the blue, but y'all inspired one kid with blonde hair and buck teeth to think maybe he was a leader, and maybe he could do impossible things. And I'm proud of where thinking that way has brought me.

Thanks for all you do!

Mitch Burton
Nuclear Electricians Mate Petty Officer 3rd Class
United States Navy

Mr. Williamson,
I just wanted to take a moment and express my gratitude for Space Center and it's excellent staff.  As a former camper and volunteer (now some 10 years removed) CMSEC still holds a special place in my memory: good camaraderie, strong work ethic and an interminable sense of wonder of the world.  The Center inspired me to excel.  Even after I left Utah, the momentum from the center carried me through a degree at UCLA, into a good job and a continues to drive me to seek out new knowledge, never just satisfied with regular.

I am encouraged to hear that Center was not closed permanently, though at a loss of two fine ships, may a candle be lit in their honor.  While difficult for the Center (and the nostalgia of former volunteers) I suspect a silver lining glow through the clearing smoke in the form of the independence of the EdVentures Foundation.  I extend my thoughts, prayers and other general well-wishes to the continuing success of the mission: that younger generations may get to partake in such an amazing experience, and that (fate willing) that mission can expand and grow.  
Perhaps even, to boldly grow.

Taylor Dacus
(former) Volunteer, CMSEC

Space Center Programmers Named as Sterling Scholars

Congratulations to John Robe, Justin Meiners and Danny Shields for being named Sterling  Scholar Computer Technology Scholarship winners for the South Area.  It isn't a coincidence that of the five winners, three came from the Space Center's Programming Guild.  

Matt Long, Space Center Programming Master, has done a great job working with these young men.  Good Job Matt and thank you for your work.   

Other Space News of Interest 
By Mark Daymont

Atlas V LANDSAT lifts off from Vandenberg AFB, CA.


Well my rocketing into 2013 hit a bit of a speed bump as things got very busy at work, and it's sometimes hard to have the drive for blogging when you've been at the computer all day anyway. HOwever, lots of interesting things happening so let's start with today's great visuals from the launch of the LandSat Earth Observation Satellite from Vendenberg AFB. Once again the Atlas V does a fantastic job lifting the payload into orbit. SpaceRef did a good deed by linking to UStream and NASA on their site.

Atlas V on the pad just about an hour before launch. Beautiful day for rocketeering.

Payload section carrying the LandSat Earth Observation Satellite. almost 3 minutes to lift off.

More distant view of the Gantry rolled away from the pad. Venting of fuel fumes continues. The hills prove this is not Florida!


As the flight continued, NASA provided computer graphics of the rocket's status and orientation. Small inset picture shows its location over the Pacific ocean heading away from Southern California. The fairings of the payload have jettisoned, exposing the satellite to the vacuum of space.

After MECO (main engine cut-off) the thrusters were used to re-orient the craft prior to a secondary burn which would place the satellite into its designated orbit. Good Job, ULA (United Launch Alliance) and NASA!

Different launch, different site. For comparison, this is the Atlas V launch site in Florida. On the Atlas V is the TDRS communication satellite launched January 31. Notice the lightning rods...

Baikonur. Soviet 2.1a rocket with a payload of 6 Globalstar Communications satellites ready for launch. It blasted off on February 6. There are now 24 Globalstar sats in orbit providing world-wide communications coverage for its customers. RIA Novosti image. has some great images of the recent Arianne space mission, which launched two satellites for international interests. You can see the liftoff images and satellite pics here:

The SEALAUNCH company had a setback this month with a failed launch of their Zenit-3SL rocket. You can read the information at:

There were two Progress cargo mission events this last weekend, and I'll post a separate blogpost on that situation shortly.
Post a Comment