This evening, the lab denizens will be attending Spacebots v. Spacemen. Although honestly I don't think any of us are too bothered about the debate about manned v. unmanned space flight. We mostly want to meet Bridget the robot.
Additionally, we recently received the good news that the Cross-Scale mission has progressed to the next round of selection in the European Space Agency's Cosmic Vision programme along with seven (7) others. It's the next step up from the 4-spacecraft mission, Cluster, that I have the pleasure of working on. The next round of selection, from which four (4) missions will be chosen, begins a week from today.
Also, one of the two Double Star spacecraft, for which our lab built the magnetometers and which is the sister mission of Cluster, will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere on 10 October. We will be mourning the passing of this expensive flaming meteorite in the only fitting manner - by holding a drunken wake.
Finally, one of my bosses, the PI for the magnetometer instruments on board Cassini, recently announced the Saturn After Cassini symposium that will be held next year at Imperial College. I mention this because the outcome of it, and the sister symposium on Titan in Corpus Christi, will be two books that I thought might interest some of the more technically-minded folk among you. The text of the announcement is below.
With the endorsement of the Cassini Project we have embarked upon an effort to organize two symposia and produce 2 books which will capture the overall efforts of the Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturn-Titan system. These books will be published by Springer-Verlag in the second half of 2009. One of the symposia linked to the “Titan after Cassini-Huygens” book will be held in Corpus Christi, Texas in June 2008; and the other linked to the “Saturn after Cassini-Huygens” book will be held at Imperial College London between 28th July – 1st August 2008.
The primary purpose of the Imperial College symposium will be to exchange ideas which will culminate in the publication of the Springer-Verlag book on the Saturn system. Authors for all of the chapters are in place and attendance of up to 400 international scientists are expected at the meeting. The format will include invited talks on the various chapters and poster sessions with summary plenary reporting for introducing new ideas and material which will be incorporated into the final text. The meeting will conclude with presentations and discussions regarding the status of future plans by ESA and NASA to return to the Saturn system for further exploration. Press conferences and public lectures linked to the results being presented will take place during the week.