I've really been slacking on keeping up to date with what's going on off-Earth. Here are a few tidbits.
1. As you may have heard, the Space Shuttle is kaput. Kaput is Russian for "we own space now". However, this opens the door for private enterprise to take over, and I'm cautiously optimistic about that. Rand Simburg even thinks private investors could potentially get to the Moon before China.
2. NASA is planning to send a new rover to Mars. Good idea. The plan is to search for the remains of life, which they are bound to discover since several million tons of this planet has been dumped on that planet over the last few billion years.
3. The Dawn spacecraft arrived in orbit around the asteroid Vesta a few days ago. Cool and groovy. Grool.
4. Considering how much I focused on it en route it's unfortunate that the arrival of the Messenger spacecraft in orbit around Mercury a few months ago went unnoticed here as it was during my recent brown-out.