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 »
Posts in category ISS
Today sees the express delivery of the next ISS Crew to the Space Station. Launching onboard a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan the Rapid Rendezvous Flight Profile trialled on the Proton cargo missions will be employed.
The launch is timed for 20:43 GMT (4:43pm EDT) which is 2:43am on the 29th at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The rocket was rolled out to Launch Pad 1 / Launcher 5 on the 26th March where it has been undergoing final preparations for todays flight.
This calls for a very precise launch window with the launch pad and the space station carefully lined up. After launch the Soyuz will chase down the ISS and rendezvous with the space station after only four orbits. Launch to docking will take less than six hours rather than the normal 2 days.
With an instantaneous launch window SpaceX only had one shot at getting the Falcon 9 off the ground tonight and they managed it perfectly. With a by the book countdown everything went exactly as planned until T-3 seconds when the 9 Merlin engines roared into life. Three seconds later the Falcon 9 Rocket was on its way into space.
The first stage hauled the capsule with 882 lbs of supplies into the skies on a nominal flight path. When the propellant was depleted the engines shut down, the first and second stages separated and the second stage ignited.
The second stage powered the Dragon capsule into orbit with a six minute burn. After achieving an orbit of between 192 and just over 200 miles the second stage separated from the Dragon spacecraft and the capsule was then in successful orbit.
A few minutes after the separation the Dragon deployed its solar panels once again everything went exactly to plan. The entire launch was a 100% total success.
The Dragon will rendezvous with the International Space Station on Wednesday 10th October at 7:22am EDT (11:22 GMT).
Well done SpaceX. NASA now has a proven supply spacecraft to transport supplies and experiments to and from the ISS once again.
Continue reading for the SpaceX press release: READ MORE »
Today sees the launch of the first commercial cargo mission for NASA to resupply the International Space Station when a SpaceX Falcon 9 will launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 40 at 8:35pm EDT. The mission code named CRS-1 will see the SpaceX Falcon 9 booster launch the Dragon cargo capsule up to chase down, rendezvous and dock with the ISS.
Due to the orbital requirements the Falcon 9 must launch exactly as the ISS is passing overhead to allow it to be inserted into orbit at precisely the right point to make the rendezvous. This means that there is no launch window for this mission and the rocket must launch at exactly 8:35pm EDT (0:35 GMT). If the launch goes to plan then the Dragon capsule is scheduled to dock with the ISS on October 10th and to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and splash down in the Pacific Ocean on October 28th.
Continue reading about the NASA and SpaceX CRS-1 mission, and view the launch pad image gallery: READ MORE »