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10 Things for the Week of June 1-7
Columnist: Autumn Burdick

10 Things for the Week of June 1-7
30 May 2014

We are going places never explored -- places made of the stuff of dreams.

Who inspires you? For me, it is the men and women who have reached further and who have gone farther.

This week, remember John Couch Adams, Frank Malina, Major Edward H. White, Pete Conrad, and Ray Bradbury. Plus, stay informed about the Rosetta mission to comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko -- all this, and more, in this edition of 10 Things.

P.S. Always keep your sense of wonderment.

1. THE ORIGINAL ROCKETEER

On June 1st an asteroid named for Frank Malina will make it closest approach to the Earth at a distance of 1.283 AU.

Malina was one of America's first rocketeers and was the second director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

2. RAY BRADBURY

Ray Bradbury the best-selling author of such works as The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451 died at the age of 91 in 2012 (June 5th), but we will forever remember him, his words and visions of the future.

Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. --Ray Bradbury

2 1/2. AUTODIDACT

Autodidact. Do you know what this word means? It means to self-teach. Ray Bradbury was self-taught -- he did not attend college after high school, but taught himself by reading all sorts of books in the library:

I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it's better than college. People should educate themselves -- you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I'd written a thousand stories. -- Ray Bradbury

3. AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

June 1st through 5th is the 224th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Boston, Massachusetts. Learn all about it by checking out the link below.

4. MARTIAN

Ray Bradbury did participate in a symposium at Caltech on the eve of Mariner 9 entering orbit at Mars in 1971. (See the video link below.)

Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to orbit Mars and was the first spacecraft to enter obit at ANY planet. Mariner 9 just celebrated its 43rd anniversary of launch last week (May 30, 1971).

5. ROSETTA

Several spacecraft are on their way to destinations we could only hope to reach ...

Rosetta is on its way to rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August -- only a few months away. Rosetta will become the first mission to orbit and land on a comet.

This Wednesday, the spacecraft will experience a trajectory correction maneuver to help set it on its path to meet up with the comet in August.

Want to learn about each step of Rosetta's journey to comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Check out the Rosetta Mission Timeline Infographic for more.

6. PLANET PREDICTOR

Thursday, June 5th is also the 195th anniversary of the birth of John Couch Adams (1819-1892). Adams was one of the men who predicted that the planet Neptune existed through mathematical calculations. The other man: Urbain Le Verrier, published his predictions, Couch did not -- however he still credited.

7. ASTRONAUT

Monday, June 2nd is the 84th anniversary of the birth of astronaut Pete Conrad (1930-1999).

Conrad was the third man to walk on the moon during the Apollo 12 mission. Conrad was only five feet, six inches tall. He is quoted as saying when he stepped down onto the lunar surface in November of 1969, Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that's a long one for me.

8. CASSINI SCIENCE

Learning more about the planets and moons in our solar system informs us, and intrigues us. The more we learn about a world, the more we can discover about it.

Recently, students entered the Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay contest. The students were asked to examine three possible observations to be made by the Cassini spacecraft. You can read the winning essays in the link below.

9. EVA

49 years ago, Tuesday, astronaut Edward H. White became the first American to conduct an EVA (extra-vehicular activity) in space. Imagine, being in space and stepping out of the spacecraft for the first time. Bravery and tenacity must have gone with that first step.

Sadly, White died during the Apollo 1 spacecraft fire in January of 1967.

10. EARTH FROM SPACE

Ah -- wonderment. Have you checked out the live views of Earth from the International Space Station yet? It is pretty spectacular.

Please note that this is a live stream and when the ISS is in darkness (which occurs during part of each orbit) the Earth will be dark. Also, when the screen is grey it means that the camera view is being changed.


Read More by Autumn Burdick

About: Autumn Burdick
Photo of Autumn Burdick
Autumn is the science writer who enjoys bringing this weekly look at upcoming events and stories from around our solar system to you. Follow SSE on Twitter: @NASASolarSystem
Read More by Autumn Burdick
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Last Updated: 5 Jun 2014