Is it a coincidence that Apple releases Mac OS X Lion and the new MacBook Air models on the anniversary of the Eagle landing on the moon 42 years ago?
Perhaps…but if the timing were really well thought through, STS-135 Atlantis might have landed back on earth today as opposed to its scheduled landing tomorrow.
Pretty soon, we space nuts will have to look beyond the Space Shuttle for our orbital kicks.
In fact, I’m already looking beyond the Shuttle and into the Heavens, and to the increased focus on commercial space ventures.
Orbital Sciences Corporation announced today that the Dawn spacecraft, which the company built for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, successfully achieved orbit around the solar system’s move massive asteroid, Vesta, which resides in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and which is 1.7 billion-miles away.
It took Dawn four years to make it out to Vesta, and successfully entered its orbit last Friday. As its mission progresses over the next year, Dawn will descend to additional science orbits at 425 miles and then 125 miles above the asteroid’s surface, which is said to be the size of Arizona.
Godspeed to the Asteroid Mapper…it’s going to have to be the next best thing to a man (or woman) being there.
Back here on Earth, IBM shared some good news earlier today, awarding nearly $1 million in Smarter Planet grants to 11 organizations around the world.
Known as the IBM Centennial Grants, these are both monetary and in-kind awards up to U.S. $100,000 each which fund innovative projects in areas such as healthcare, energy, and food safety.
These grants fall under the auspices of IBM’s continued “Celebration of Service” as the company enters its second century of social engagement and of IBMers helping their communities work better.
By way of example, one award recipient, the Drishtee Foundation, i funding a Smart Rural Aggregation Platform which will help evolve Drishtee’s model villages into sustainable Smarter Villages in rural India.
The solution will help to aggregate critical services and products related with livelihood, agriculture and information services and making services accessible to farmers and village communities.
You can read more about IBM’s Celebration of Service here.