EMPTY SPACE STATION? NASA PREPARES FOR THE WORST (BUT HOPES FOR THE BEST) AFTER SOYUZ ABORT - A few months from now, the International Space Station (ISS) could be unoccupied for the first time in nearly two decades.
Russia's workhorse Soyuz rocket suffered a serious anomaly just minutes after launching two astronauts toward the ISS today (Oct. 11), forcing the spaceflyers' crew craft to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan.
Those two explorers — NASA's Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin — made it through the bumpy touchdown just fine and are in good condition, NASA officials said. But the Soyuz will be grounded while Russian investigators try to figure out exactly what happened today, and how to prevent it from occurring again. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 14)
TWO SATELLITES WITH SECRETIVE MISSIONS LAUNCHED BY CHINA - Two Chinese Yaogan military reconnaissance satellites launched this week, riding a Long March 2C booster into orbit on a mission that inaugurated the use of a new restartable upper stage to increase the rocket’s carrying capacity. The two Yaogan 32 satellites, designated Yaogan 32-01 and 32-02, lifted off from the Jiuquan space center in remote northwestern China at 0243 GMT Tuesday (10:43 p.m. EDT Monday), according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
The launch occurred at 10:43 a.m. Beijing time Tuesday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 13)
HERE'S WHAT TODAY'S SOYUZ LAUNCH FAILURE MEANS FOR SPACE STATION ASTRONAUTS - The three astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station were supposed to welcome two new roommates today, but an anomaly a few minutes after launch sent those crewmembers speeding back to Earth in an emergency landing.
Both crewmembers (NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovichin) are safe, but the launch failure means that much more than just today's space station schedule will need to be reshuffled. NASA, the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and the International Space Station control team still have a whole lot of decisions to make about what to do next — not to mention an investigation to conduct into what went wrong. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 12)
NASA’S TERRA SATELLITE CELEBRATES 100,000 ORBITS - More than 400 miles above Earth, a satellite the size of a school bus is earning its frequent flyer miles. On Oct. 6, NASA’s Terra completed 100,000 orbits around Earth. Terra joins a handful of satellites to mark this orbital milestone, including the International Space Station, Earth’s Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS), Landsat 5 and Landsat 7. Terra, which launched Dec. 18, 1999, is projected to continue operation into the 2020s. More
(Source: ECNmag.com - Oct 12)
ASTRONAUTS ESCAPE MALFUNCTIONING SOYUZ ROCKET - A US astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut were forced to make an emergency landing after their Russian Soyuz rocket malfunctioned en route to the International Space Station (ISS).
Shortly after taking off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin reported a problem with the rocket's booster.
The men were forced into a "ballistic descent", with their capsule landing a few hundred miles north of Baikonur.
They have been picked up by rescuers. More
(Source: BBC News - Oct 11)
HURRICANE MICHAEL LOOMS OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO IN NASA VIDEO - Hurricane Michael is growing stronger, expected to make landfall on Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane.
And there's no better view than from the quiet safety of space.
While the storm loomed over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, cameras aboard the International Space Station captured views of Hurricane Michael at 12:13pm and 12:50pm ET.
A short new video from the space station shows a swirling Michael moving northwest at 12 miles an hour. More
(Source: Mashable - Oct 11)
RUSSIANS PLAN THURSDAY LAUNCH OF TWO TO SPACE STATION - One week after a Russian Soyuz spacecraft departed the International Space Station and brought three crew members back to Earth, another Soyuz carrying a veteran cosmonaut and a first-time NASA flight engineer is ready for launch Thursday on a quick four-orbit flight to the orbiting lab complex. Commander Alexey Ovchinin and flight engineer Tyler “Nick” Hague are scheduled to blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:40:15 a.m. EDT (GMT-4; 2:40 p.m. local time), roughly the moment Earth’s rotation carries the Soyuz MS-10/56S spacecraft into the plane of the space station’s orbit. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 11)
SPACE AGENCIES WELCOME NEW ENTRANTS DEVELOPING SATELLITES FOR TRACKING GREENHOUSE GASES - As a growing number of organizations propose satellites to monitor greenhouse gases, national space agencies who already operate such spacecraft welcome those new entrants — as long as they’re willing to share their results.
Missions to track emissions of such gases by human activities, once solely in the realm of major space agencies, are now being considered by state governments, non-profit organizations and companies, seeking to leverage advances in small satellites to fill perceived gaps in what data is already available. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Oct 10)
GYROSCOPE MALFUNCTION FORCES HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPES INTO SAFE MODE - The Hubble Space telescope is currently in safe mode. Engineers were forced to suspend the telescopes' scientific activities over the weekend after one of its gyroscope's failed.
In a series of tweets, Rachel Osten, deputy mission head for the Hubble Space Telescope at the Space Telescope Science Institute, confirmed the problem.
"Right now HST is in safe mode while we figure out what to do," Osten wrote. "Another gyro failed. First step is try to bring back the last gyro, which had been off, and is being problematic." More
(Source: UPI - Oct 10)