Wed, Dec 21, 2011
Wednesday Soyuz Launch Will Take New Crew To The Station
When the Dragon COTS vehicle (hopefully) rendezvous with the ISS
in February, there will be a full compliment of astronauts on board
the station to greet it.
Three new crewmembers are scheduled to lift off for the station
aboard a Soyuz FG rocket Wednesday. Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononko
will command the mission from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in
Kazakhstan. Joining him on the flight will be U.S. astronaut Kon
Petit and ESA crewman Andre Kuipers.
The Soyuz is expected to dock with the station Friday.
It will be Petit's second visit to the ISS. He spent six months
aboard the station in late 2002 to early 2003.
USA Today reports that the trio makes up the second
half of the Expedition 30 crew, which has been at half-staff since
an August 24 launch failure of an unmanned Soyuz rocket and
subsequent grounding of the Soyuz launch vehicles left the
station short three crewmen.
The primary mission of the expedition 30 crew is to study how
the human body adapts to long-term exposure to microgravity. They
will also, if all goes well, handle the first re-supply of the
station by a commercial spacecraft.
The SpaceX Dragon unmanned re-supply vehicle carrying
non-essential supplies is scheduled to launch February 7th. It will
make a near approach to the station before moving in to be grappled
by the outposts' robotic arm and brought in to dock with the
Harmony module and deliver its cargo.
The three spacefarers will return to Earth in May. (Image
provided by NASA)
Numerous Flights Cancelled Saturday Britain's Air Traffic Control system suffered what was described as a "technical problem" Saturday resulting in widespread cancellations of flig>[...]
Also: Bell 47 Update, USSC Aero-Legal Decision Coming, Evergreen Kaput, Blue Angels Full Sked The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team is on the airshow circuit again. Ev>[...]
Designed To Pull Spacecraft Away From A Failing Booster In Launch Emergency Scenario NASA engineers and contractors have successfully completed the Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) >[...]
The Aero Experience A blog focusing on GA and sport aviation in the midwest.>[...]
The runway length declared available and suitable for the ground run of an airplane taking off.>[...]