Gagarin microsatellite launched from ISS on second try.
Bbc.co.uk 4 August 2011
Russian cosmonauts carried out a fraught six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk on Thursday, releasing a student satellite commemorating Yuri Gagarin's first manned mission to space.
The Kedr satellite will send greetings to radio enthusiasts in 15 languages, as well as photos and pressure data.
Its release was delayed when cosmonauts saw it was missing one of two antennas.
The cosmonauts intended also to move a crane, but that was postponed to the next scheduled spacewalk in February.
The crane's relocation is part of a series of preparations for Russian renovations to the International Space Station (ISS). The crane is mounted on the station's Pirs docking module, which will be removed next year and driven to its end in the Earth's atmosphere by a Russian Progress space freighter.
The educational satellite is named after the call sign that was used during Gagarin's historic flight; it means "cedar" in Russian.
Cosmonauts Sergei Volkov and Alexander Samokutyaev exited the ISS with the 30kg satellite before noticing that one of its antennas appeared to be missing.
It later emerged that the second antenna had been folded inside the craft by engineers for the journey into space.
After three hours of debate, the satellite was released anyway; its missing antenna will degrade its reception performance but should not interfere with its ability to send data back to Earth.
Its mission will last about two months, and will burn up in the Earth's atmosphere in about nine months' time.
The cosmonauts spent six hours and 23 minutes on the spacewalk.
Engine that can deliver rocket to Moon or Mars designed in Ukraine.
KYIV, August 9 /UKRINFORM/. Young experts in Dnepropetrovsk (eastern Ukraine) have designed a rocket engine that can deliver research technique to the surface of the Moon or Mars, Andriy Kukhta, one of the authors of the design, an engineer working at Yuzhnoye design bureau, told a press conference.
According to the designers, they are ready to start building the cosmic engine today, and four years later they will be able to demonstrate their know-how. With their design, the young engineers took the third place in the international competition Flight to the Future, and among outer space developments their engine was recognized the best.
With this engine, a space rocket will reach the Moon in just 2-3 days, and Mars in 260 days. The engine will enable the rocket not only to land on a celestial object, but also to take off and transfer to another orbiting spaceship soil samples collected by research equipment on the Moon.
The cost of the development is estimated at $4 million, and the production of this engine at $700 thousand.
A veil of secrecy has been pulled away to lay bare plans for a space hotel 350 km above Earth to serve wealthy private travelers. The Commercial Space Station is expected to welcome its first guests in 2016.
The company Russian Orbital Technologies announced plans to launch a space hotel almost a year ago, in September 2010 – and now the price-list for the trip has finally been disclosed.
A voyage “to the moon and back” will not be exactly a budget vacation – a five-day stay at the hotel is expected to cost about US$ 160,000. The whole trip, including a two-day transfer to the CSS on the Soyuz space ship will strip your wallet of about US$ 800,000, Dailymail.co.uk reports.
However, the service on board is said to worth every cent.
The space hotel is expected to be far more comfortable than the International Space Station which is used by astronauts and cosmonauts, and it will offer an enhanced view of the Earth through larger portholes.
According to the chief executive of Orbital Technologies Sergey Kostenko, the planned module will bear no resemblance to the International Space Station.
The four-room space hotel will comfortably host up to seven travelers.
In the weightlessness of space, visitors will be offered the luxury of choosing between vertical and horizontal beds. The humble ISS astronauts, by contrast, had only horizontal berths at their disposal.
The showers will look similar to those in any standard home, while the crew of the ISS had to make do with sponge baths for the duration of their stay in space. Toilets will use flowing air instead of water to move waste through the system.
The cosmic tourists will be treated to meals prepared on Earth and specially delivered to the rocket to be reheated in microwaves. Delicacies such as braised veal cheek with wild mushrooms, white bean puree, potato soup and plum compote are to replace freeze-dried tubes of food.
Iced tea, mineral water and fruit juices will be available, but alcohol will be strictly prohibited.
Experienced crew will be on-hand to see to the tourists’ needs.
The hotel will be aimed at wealthy individuals and people working for private companies who want to do research in space.
Last Edit: Aug 23, 2011 13:41:53 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 18, 2011 16:55:58 GMT -5
NSAU: Ukraine can create own Earth remote sensing system in 2 years.
The successful launch of Ukraine's new satellite Sich-2 on August 17 confirms the capacity of Ukraine to create its own Earth remote sensing system. This has been discussed at a news conference in UKRINFORM on Thursday, dedicated to the satellite launch ahead of the 20th anniversary of independence of Ukraine.
According to Yevhen Makhonin, head of special programmes at the National Space Agency of Ukraine (NSAU), the appropriate funding can help produce the second vehicle quickly. According to him, under such conditions the NSAU planned to create the system of remote sensing in 2012 - 2013.
The cost for mass production will be half less than for the manufacture of the Sich-2 satellite. According to Makhonin, the creation of the satellite and its orbiting were worth UAH 120 million.
The NSAU official added that with the orbiting of the remote sensing satellites Belka of the Republic of Belarus and the Canopus of the Russian Federation, their capacities will be merged with the Ukrainian spacecraft. "The possibility of combining them to improve the solution of applied problems is being discussed," Makhonin said.
In turn, Lev Semenov, head of NSAU space research and telecommunications, said works are already underway to upgrade the Sich-2 satellite.
"Works are currently in progress to create a modernized version of the Sich-2M satellite, with improved performance on resolution and increased spectral range," he underscored.
The Russian cargo spaceship Progress M-12M has crashed to Earth in eastern Russia. The spacecraft’s wreckage was found in the Altai Region in southern Siberia, the ship having reportedly broken into three parts.
Aleksandr Borisov, the head of the district, told RIA Novosti that the explosion was so strong that the windows of buildings 100 kilometers from the place where the spacecraft crashed were nearly smashed.
One of the witnesses said that she saw a white stripe in the sky, which she first took to be a plane.
“I thought it was a plane at first, but then I realized that planes never fly that low or quietly. Then it turned into some white object and I saw that it was sparkling. It went behind the cloud and I thought that it would come out in a minute, but it disappeared. I didn’t see it again, but I heard a lot of noise. It was like three bangs, one really loud and two quieter. I thought it was thunder at first, but it was not raining at that time,” the woman explained.
No casualties have been reported. However, according to the latest reports, many local cedar nut-gatherers were working in the area of the crash.
“There could be people there, although I don’t know how many. People go there to collect pine nuts. They grow everywhere, so there may well be people out in the Taiga, although we don’t know how many in that area,” said Yury Shmyrin from Choisk Region administration.
Space experts, however, say it is unlikely that many people could be hurt by the rocket.
“There is little chance that such a rocket could land on a city, because they normally fly over very scarcely populated regions,” Mark Hempsell, vice president of the British Interplanetary Society, told RT.
The local department of Emergencies Ministry has decided to cordon off the area where the satellite is thought to have hit the ground. A search operation will start on Thursday morning.
Astronauts have supplies to last up to three months
Roscosmos press service announced a special committee has been established to investigate what could have caused the incident.
Specialists are now investigating what could have caused the incident, the first to happen with Russian cargo spaceships in the last 30 years. One possible cause of the crash could have been problems with the engine.
“According to preliminary data, there was failure in the operation of the engine unit, which led to its emergency outage,” Roscosmos press service says.
The astronauts can survive for other two or three months on the supplies they have. Another Progress cargo spaceship cannot be sent into orbit earlier than late September, reports RIA Novosti. The Progress vessel was to deliver over 2.6 tonnes of cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), including water, food, oxygen, fuel.
The ISS is currently home to six astronauts from Russia, the US and Japan. The Mission Control Center near Moscow says the astronauts took the news of the Progress’s failure calmly.
The spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday. According to a source in the space industry, the accident occurred as the vehicle failed to attain its necessary orbit speed and then split from the rocket-carrier, RIA Novosti reports.
Progress going down is the fourth space failure in Russia in the past twelve months. Back in December, the space program and the Russian military lost connection with three GLONASS satellites, when the satellites used for navigation plunged into the Pacific Ocean. In February, a satellite belonging to the Defense Ministry ceased functioning properly. And on August 18, the Express satellite was lost after its launch onboard a Russian Proton-M carrier rocket from Baikonur. The satellite had been sent into orbit in a bid to broaden telecommunications for Russia and the CIS countries.
Space expert Yury Karash told RT there is no reason to worry about the cosmonauts, as there is enough food and water onboard to satisfy their needs for the nex three or four months.
"Things like this happen. Actually, the Soyuz launch vehicle has a very good reliability rate – almost 98 per cent,” space expert Yury Karash told RT. “ISS operation planners always keep in mind the possibility of a cargo spaceship not docking with the ISS for some reason. So the crew onboard has enough food and water supplies to survive another three or four months until another cargo spacecraft arrives at the station.”
A malfunction of the Briz-M upper-stage rocket reportedly caused the failure of a Proton-M rocket launch two weeks ago, Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Tuesday.
On August 18, a Russian Proton-M rocket lost the prized Express-AM4 satellite that was designed to provide digital television and secure government communications for Siberia and the Far East.
The satellite was placed in the wrong orbit because of the malfunction of the Briz-M upper-stage rocket, the Roscosmos commission said.
The Briz-M manufactured by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center has had five failures over the 12-year history of operation.
The Russian aerospace industry has faced a series of misfortunes over the last nine months. In December, 2010, a Proton-M booster rocket failed to put three Glonass-M satellites into orbit. The launch of the Rokot booster rocket, carrying a military geodesic satellite Geo-IK-2 ended in failure in February.
After the first two mishaps, Roscosmos's chief, Anatoly Perminov, was forced to resign.
One week after the Express-AM4 went off course, a Soyuz-U booster malfunctioned, preventing the Progress M-12M cargo spacecraft from reaching orbit. Its debris landed in Gorny Altai, Russia.
A guided tour of Plesetsk, Russia’s only space center.
The Plesetsk space center is Russia’s only launch facility. The Russian Defense Ministry, which says most spacecraft will be launched from Plesetsk in the foreseeable future, also uses the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan today.
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 31, 2011 18:05:47 GMT -5
Russia mulls semi-unmanned missions as substitute for ISS.
RT.com 31 August, 2011, 15:49
The Russian Federal Space Agency may in future wrap up its manned space exploration programs in favor of unmanned stations that can also be operated by cosmonauts if needed. The idea was floated after a string of Russian space launches failed.
The possible long-term shift in Russia’s space program was announced on Wednesday at a press conference at the Roscosmos Space Agency. Its head, Vitaly Davydov, said partial electronic control may replace a continuous human presence on the space stations.
“We’ve got accustomed to spiral development of our space program. Now we don’t exclude we may look at returning to a previous way of exploring space – with stations attended by manned mission only from time to time instead of an ISS-style continuous mission”, Davydov said.
Concerns about the future of Russian and international space exploration have been fueled by a chain of recent crashes and failures of Russian satellites and carriers. The crash of an unmanned Progress cargo spacecraft in eastern Russia became the third space launch accident in a single week. Russia has already adjusted the supply schedule of the ISS mission and altered its plans for Soyuz rocket launches.
With Russia the only country currently able to launch manned missions into orbit, a shift to unmanned space exploration is likely to influence all future space programs around the world.
However Davydov says there is no threat of an imminent crisis for space exploration. The problems Roscosmos faces now are organizational rather then technical and can be addressed with reforms, which would improve quality control.
One solution the space agency is likely to implement is the introduction of two additional independent test sites, which will perform ground tests of rockets before they are given the green light for a launch. Also the regulations for ground services will be amended to better concentrate authority and responsibility for each launch. Another organizational reform will return all space equipment acquisitions to the control of the military.
Davydov added that Roscosmos takes the series of failures very seriously and offered assurances that those responsible would be sacked.
“The incidents that happened are a serious blow for us. They are serious reasons for a probe, which will end with job consequences for those responsible. Those who failed in their responsibilities will not work for us,” he said.
The current investigation into the Progress freighter crash is to wrap up in a week or two, the official announced. He also confirmed plans to return to Earth three of the six crew members, who are currently manning the International Space Station, on September 16. The return flight was postponed due to alterations to the launch schedule in the wake of the Progress crash.
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 7, 2011 14:26:28 GMT -5
Russia to sink $170 mln into Plesetsk space center.
18:20 07/09/2011 MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti)
Russia will spend over 5 billion rubles ($170 mln) on the development and expansion of the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia this year, Space Forces spokesman Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said on Wednesday.
The money will be spent on "the construction and reconstruction of facilities at the Plesetsk space center," he added.
This includes the reconstruction of a local motorway, the construction of a new barracks and a cafeteria.
The center's energy supply system will also be modernized, he said.
New facilities will be built, including a dormitory, a medical center, parking lots, a hospital, and healthcare facilities.
Plesetsk is used especially for military satellites being put into polar orbit since the area to the north of the launch pad, where debris might fall, is virtually uninhabited.
A Russian manned spacecraft has landed in Kazakhstan, bringing three members of the International Space Station crew back to Earth. Their five-month mission has been one of the busiest times in the history of the ISS.
The Soyuz TMA-21 capsule carrying Russian cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko and Aleksandr Samokutyaev, as well as NASA astronaut Ronald Garan successfully landed in the Kazakh steppe. Three An-2 planes helped ensure a safe landing.
Search and rescue teams helped the ISS crewmembers from the capsule. All the cosmonauts are said to be in a satisfactory condition.
Seventeen helicopters and planes of the rescue services were on hand as the capsule landed. Helicopters will now take the cosmonauts to the Kazakh city of Karaganda, where the Russian cosmonauts will board a special flight to Chkalovsky airport near Moscow, and the American, Ronald Garan, will leave for the United States directly.
The Soyuz TMA-21, named after Yuri Gagarin, left Baikonur Space Center on April 5 and arrived at the station two days later. On its busy mission in orbit the crew welcomed the last American shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis and carried out a number of other mission tasks which included a spacewalk, planting wheat and tomatoes in the station’s greenhouse, and repairing its oxygen- producing system.
They also installed special equipment on the Russian segment of the space station that will transmit large volumes of scientific information to the Earth via laser connection.
The crew also experienced a few cosmic adventures: at the end of June, they had to take refuge inside two Soyuz spaceships when the ISS came dangerously close to a mass of space debris.
The crew had been due to come back on September 8 but its return was delayed due to the crash of the Progress cargo carrier on August 24. An investigation into the causes of the crash is still ongoing.
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 22, 2011 0:14:18 GMT -5
Breaking ill luck: Proton rocket blasts into orbit.
RT.com 21 September, 2011, 18:12
The first Russian space launch after the crash of the cargo ship Progress is a success. The Proton-M rocket has delivered a military satellite into orbit, hopefully breaking the chain of failures.
The rocket blasted off the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday morning. After the successful launch the military communication satellite was given the designation Kosmos-2473, Defense Ministry reported.
Space Troops spokesman Colonel Aleksey Zolotukhin said there were no deviations from the flight plan.
“After its delivery the Titov Chief Test and Control Center took the spacecraft under control and will now be in charge of its orbital mission,” he said.
The launch was scheduled on August 31, but was postponed due to the crash of the Express-AM4 satellite on August 18. Both launches used similar Briz-M upper stage, so the Kosmos launch had to be delayed until an official investigation into the crash is over.
The Wednesday launch was the first after the loss of the Proton space freighter on August 24, which was the last in an embarrassing spate of failures of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
The failures cast doubt on Russia’s ability to sustain the transport needs of the International Space Stations. Russia is the only member of the international collaboration, which at the moment has the ability to deliver crews to the ISS.
The marred record resulted in an overhaul of Roscosmos’ quality control practices. A probe into integrity of the agency’s management is underway.
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 23, 2011 0:20:39 GMT -5
Russia to resume deep space explorations with Phobos expedition.
MOSCOW, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Russia would resume its program of inter-planetary explorations after a long break with an unmanned mission to the Martian satellite Phobos, a Russian space company said Thursday.
According to Victor Khartov, head of the Lavochkin Scientific and Production Company, the launch of the Phobos-Grunt vehicle was scheduled for November.
"Our country is about to return to planets and stars. We must learn how to fly to deep space, to Mars, after a 20-year break," Khartov told the Interfax news agency.
He admitted the Phobos mission would be "very risky", but said "the first step must be made".
Russia had spent about 5 billion rubles (161 million U.S. dollars) preparaing for the three-year mission, which would include drilling Phobos' surface and returning 200 grams of soil back to Earth in 2014, he said.
The mission would also collect bacteria samples for two Russian and one U.S. biological experiments.
According to the director of the Russian Space Explorations Institute Lev Zeleny, scientists want to find out if the bacteria can survive a long space trip.
The vehicle itself would be disinfected before the launch to prevent micro-organisms being inadvertently transferred between Earth and Phobos.
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 30, 2011 15:48:39 GMT -5
Proton launched without a hitch.
RT.com 30 September, 2011, 12:46
As the carrier rocket Proton-M carrying the Mexican communication satellite QuetzSat-1 successfully blasts off from the Baikonur cosmodrome, it looks as if Russia’s space industry might be recovering from a string of recent failures.
It took the rocket ten minutes to deliver the 5.5-ton Mexican sat to suborbital altitude, after which the third-stage Briz-M boosted the cargo higher over nine hours. The satellite will now use its own engines to reach its final destination – a geostationary orbit.
QuetzSat-1, which was constructed by the American company Space Systems Loral, will provide communication links between Mexico and other regions of Northern and Central America. It is expected to have a working life of 15 years.
It was the 19th space launch for Russia in 2011 and had been initially scheduled for September 11. However, it was delayed pending an investigation into the botched blast-off of a Proton rocket which resulted in the loss of a Russian communications satellite in August.
The next Proton rocket launch is scheduled for October 19. The carrier is to deliver American satellite ViaSat-1.
Russia launches Soyuz-2.1B carrier rocket with Glonass satellite.
01:08 03/10/2011 PLESETSK, October 3 (RIA Novosti)
The Soyuz-2.1B carrier rocket with the Glonass-M navigation satellite was launched on early Monday from the Plesetsk Space Center in northern Russia, Space Forces spokesman Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin said.
He said the spacecraft was launched as scheduled at 0:15 on Monday Moscow time (20:15 Sunday GMT).
The launch was initially scheduled for Saturday, but it was postponed since the wind force exceeded the characteristics, allowed at the altitude of 7-10 kilometers.
Glonass is Russia's answer to the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian uses. Both systems allow users to determine their positions to within a few meters.
The Russian aerospace industry has faced a series of misfortunes over the last nine months, including the loss of three Glonass satellites, a prized Express-AM4 satellite and the fall of the Progress M-12M cargo in south Siberia's Altai Republic.
The loss of Glonass satellites alone cost the state 4.3 billion rubles ($152.2 million).
A Progress M-13M spaceship carrying nearly three tons of cargo for the International Space Station successfully blasted off from Baikonur at 10.11 GMT on Sunday. The outcome of the mission will determine the future of manned operations at the ISS.
The spacecraft will dock with the space station on Wednesday.
It is the first launch of a Progress since a crash on August 24 when the rocket's third-stage engine shut down prematurely. Engineers discovered that the problem was caused by a low fuel feed, and returned all the engines currently in stock back to the manufacturer for inspection.
This spacecraft has brand new engines, which were manufactured according to stricter quality standards.
The Progress M-13M spacecraft is packed with 2.9 tons of food, fuel and supplies, including 1,653 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water, and 3,108 pounds of maintenance gear, spare parts and hardware for experiments.
However, the reason so much attention is being paid to this unmanned launch is not its cargo, as the ISS has enough supplies for almost a year of continuous operation, according to NASA.
The launch is critical because it will pave the way for a manned launch of a Progress twin rocket which is waiting on standby, ready to deliver a replacement crew for the ISS.
NASA astronaut Dan Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Anton Shkaplerov are scheduled to take over the watch on November 13. But their rocket will not be given clearance for launch until its unmanned counterpart successfully reaches the station.
The current crew of the ISS will return to Earth on November 22, and if no replacement is delivered by that date, for the first time since 2000, the station will go into unmanned operation.
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Nov 28, 2019 11:30:45 GMT -5
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Jan 10, 2020 14:27:01 GMT -5
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Mar 15, 2020 10:48:19 GMT -5
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Apr 19, 2020 4:29:09 GMT -5
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May 18, 2020 9:10:02 GMT -5
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Jun 5, 2020 14:56:11 GMT -5
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Jun 28, 2020 13:54:49 GMT -5
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Jul 15, 2020 14:52:53 GMT -5
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Aug 30, 2020 13:48:17 GMT -5