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Wanna Be An Astronaut?

Friday, September 21, 2007

NASA's hiring several new astronauts! The positions are advertised on the USAJobs website. Duties are described as:

Astronauts are involved in all aspects of assembly and on-orbit operations of the ISS. This includes extravehicular activities (EVA), robotics operations using the remote manipulator system, experiment operations, and onboard maintenance tasks. Astronauts are required to have a detailed knowledge of the ISS systems, as well as detailed knowledge of the operational characteristics, mission requirements and objectives, and supporting systems and equipment for each experiment on their assigned missions.

Long-duration missions aboard the ISS generally last from 3 to 6 months. Training for long duration missions is very arduous and takes approximately 2 to 3 years. This training requires extensive travel, including long periods away in other countries training with our international partners. Travel to and from the ISS will be by Space Shuttle until its retirement in 2010. Following the Shuttle retirement, all trips to and from the ISS will be aboard the Russian Soyuz vehicle. Consequently, astronauts must meet the Soyuz size requirements. Additional information about the position can be found at www.nasajobs.nasa.gov/astronauts.

USAJobs: Astronaut Candidate - Announcement Number JS07A0176 (open until July 2008)

Three New Saturnian Moon Names and Expansion of Theme

Friday, September 21, 2007

The IAU has approved names for three more Saturnian moons. They are:

Saturn L = S/2006 S 6 Jarnsaxa

Saturn LI = S/2006 S 4 Greip

Saturn LII = S/2007 S 1 Tarqeq

The theme for prograde satellites with an inclination of around 48 degrees has been expanded to include Inuit spirits. See the Planet and Satellite Names and Discoverers page in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature for more details.