Just to give an idea of lead times in spaceflight: Arianespace has begun loading cargo into the European Space Agency’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle robotic supply ship, named Albert Einstein – which launches via Ariane 5 rocket for the International Space Station in April. ESA’s launch operator actually began loading ATV4 in late 2012, working […]
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While Hyperbola still rates NASA’s Skylab space station of the 1970s as probably the best so far, (it was the most cost effective in using Saturn V hardware and had the a diameter so large that astronauts could stretch out without touching the walls) it has to be noted that the International Space Station is very impressive as well (even it it was very costly to build). Equating roughly to a bunch of caravans attached to each other in space, its 3D maze-like interior gives it feel of being a cross between a multi-roomed small house and a submarine.
After the successful flights of an Atlas V 501 carrying the US Air Force X-37B/OTV 1 (FLIGHT 2) minispaceplane and of the Taipodong-3 (Uhna-3) carrying the North Korea’s Kwangmyongsong 3-2 spacecraft there are just three launches left.
The Dragon CRS-1 has returned to Earth. The International Space Station’s robot arm unberthed Dragon CRS 1 from the Harmony module at 1119 GMT and released it at 1329 GMT on 28 October 2012. After making two burns and jettisoning its “trunk”, the Dragon CRS-1 spacecraft re-entered at 1902GMT, splashing down in the Pacific off Baja California at 1922GMT. As part of its NASA contract, the cargo, including medical samples, will be returned to the Administration.
The European Space Agency’s cargo craft, ATV 03 (EDOARDO AMALDI), has failed to undock from the Zvezda port of the International Space Station as planned at circa 2230 GMT on 25 September. The fault which prevented the full undocking sequence from going ahead was traced to a faulty laptop which was commanding the sequence.
Astronauts Sunita Williams and Akihiko Hoshide made a spacewalk to finish the replacement of a key component on the International Space Station. The EVA (Extravehicular Activity) on 5 September lasted six hours and 28 minute (ending at 1734 GMT. After using a toothbrush to clean metal shavings/debris from a bolt hole they successfully drove home a new bolt to latch the replacement Main Bus Switching Unit No 1 (MBSU No 1) into place.
Following the aborted attempt by the ATV-03 to boost the International Space Station’s orbit last week, a second attempt was made on 22 August, successfully. The ATV-03 conducted two engine firings to boost the ISS orbit to around 420 kilometres. The first engine firing took place at 0915 GMT and operated for 384 seconds to […]
The HTV-3 Japanese cargo spacecraft has been successfully captured in orbit using the Canadarm 2 robot arm aboard the International Space Station at 1223 GMT on 27 July. Berthing with the forward facing port of the Harmony module occured at 1419 GMT with the final bolt tightening of the latching operation being completed at 1435 GMT. JAXA astonaut Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide was responsible for the control of the berthing procedure.
The Japanese cargo craft HTV-3, which is to be docked with the International Space Station, was successfully launched at 0206 GMT on 21 July from the Tanegashima launch site in Japan. The spacecraft was launched by an H-2B launch vehicle. Also aboard the flight were five scientific/experimental cubesats: RAIKO, FITSAT 1, WE WISH, F-1 and TECHEDSAT.
With all three crew aboard, at around 0318 GMT on 24 June, the Chinese manned Shenzhou 9 spacecraft undocked from Tiangong 1 mini-space station and moved approximately 400 metres away from the craft. The Shenzhou 9 craft, piloted by taikonaut Liu Wang, then approached Tiangong 1 to conduct a manual docking. The two craft were successfully manually redocked at 0448 GMT.
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