ISS Crew Size Doubles to Six

Expedition 20 - the first six-strong International Space Station crew - assembled in the Zvezda module for the welcoming ceremony immediately after hatch opening following the arrival of ESA astronaut Frank De Winne, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk with the Soyuz TMA-15 spacecraft on 29 May 2009. Credit: ESA
Expedition 20 - the first six-strong International Space Station crew - assembled in the Zvezda module for the welcoming ceremony immediately after hatch opening following the arrival of ESA astronaut Frank De Winne, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk with the Soyuz TMA-15 spacecraft on 29 May 2009. Credit: ESA

ESA MISSION UPDATE

The crew of the International Space Station has increased to six for the first time today with the arrival of three new residents including ESA astronaut Frank De Winne with the Soyuz TMA-15 spacecraft.

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Falcon 9 Launch Delayed Until Fall

falcon9launchartist

Florida Today reports:

SpaceX’s planned summer demonstration launch of the first Falcon 9 rocket has been delayed to the fall.

A combination of technical work and lack of documentation for the Air Force, which manages safety on the Eastern Range, created the delay. The launch has been scheduled for July and now will occur no sooner than October.

“It’s basically dealing with the complexities associated with lifting a new rocket off from a new launch site,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said.

Read the full story.

Space Solar Power: Now More Than Ever….

Hey everyone! Greetings from sunny (and stormy) Orlando!

I attended a couple of ISDC sessions this afternoon on space-based solar power.  A couple of key takeaways from the sessions before Iget into posting some detailed notes.

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Augustine Panel to Include XCOR’s Greason, Sally Ride

The Orlando Sentinel has identified most of the members of the review panel that will be led by Norm Augustine to review the troubled Constellation lunar program.

The list includes some interesting names, including XCOR CEO Jeff Greason, former NASA astronaut Sally Ride, Aerospace Corporation CEO Wanda Austin, and former Boeing executive Bohdan “Bo” Bejmuk (who helped to put together Sea Launch).

Read the full list here.

Ares First Flight Set for This Summer

NASA's Ares I rocket lifts off in this artist's conception. (Credit: NASA)
NASA's Ares I rocket lifts off in this artist's conception. (Credit: NASA)

NASA PRESS RELEASE

The first flight test of NASA’s new rocket configuration to carry astronauts into space will take place later this year. Ares I-X consists of a four-segment first stage solid rocket motor, and a simulated upper stage that represents the weight and shape of the Ares I rocket and Orion crew vehicle. It will be launched in a suborbital arc into the Atlantic to collect data on its flight dynamics and parachute recovery performance.

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