I’ve been so busy lately that I’m only now getting a few spare minutes to show off some rather cool pictures I was sent a week ago. A week ago Monday, I got an email from Claire Flanagan of the Johannesburg Planetarium in South Africa, asking about some strange pictures, including the one taken above by Mitchell Krog of Livingcanvas.co.za (check out some of his nature photographs–they’re breathtaking!). She had reason to believe that these bubbles had something to do with last week’s Atlas-V DMSP launch.
This was the launch I mentioned in my propellant depot paper, where after delivering the spacecraft they did a series of cryo-fluid management tests, including several tests on centrifugal propellant settling. BTW, I hear they got some good data from the tests, but I’ll let the ULA guys speak for themselves once the data is fully analyzed.
Anyhow, after helping the Johannesburg Planetarium gals/guys get in contact with ULA, they were (with Case Rijsdijk’s help) able to resolve the mystery. But I’ll let you read what Case and the Planetarium had to say about it, instead of just repeating it.
Kudos to Mitchell and Claire for letting me post some of the pictures and links.