Three new residents for the International Space Station have arrived safely at the expansive orbital outpost, following a record-setting “fast rendezvous”. Soyuz TMA-09M Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of Russia, together with Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA’s Karen Nyberg, docked successfully at the Earth-facing Rassvet module at 10:10 p.m. EDT Tuesday, some five hours and 39 minutes after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This slightly eclipsed the previous record of five hours and 45 minutes, set by Soyuz TMA-08M crewmen Pavel Vinogradov, Aleksandr Misurkin and Chris Cassidy, who journeyed to the ISS in late March. Less than two hours after docking – following standard pressure and other checks – the hatches were opened and Vinogradov’s team welcomed the new arrivals as the second half of Expedition 36. READ MORE »
Monthly archives for May, 2013
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — Providing a strong showing for itself, United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV medium rocket thundered off of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37 (SLC-37) at the opening of its launch window at 8:27 p.m. EDT Friday, May 24. In so doing, it returned the launch vehicle to service after an issue cropped up during the Delta IV’s previous launch. Unique angles, incredible imagery, and an epic return to flight were all part of a day’s work. READ MORE »
United Launch Alliance’s venerable Atlas V booster is set to roar aloft on 15 May on a mission to place the Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-4 satellite into medium orbit, more than 11,000 miles above Earth. The new mission will keep the Navstar network of worldwide positioning, velocity and timing assets fully operational until the next-generation GPS Block IIIA comes online, sometime in 2014.
Liftoff of the Atlas V – which will fly in its “401” configuration, with a 4-meter-wide (13-foot) payload fairing, no strap-on rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage – is scheduled to occur within a short “window”, extending from 5:38-5:56 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. Notably, this will be the first GPS launch aboard an Atlas in almost 28 years.