Tag: ISS

Roscosmos: Telemetry Interrupted Just Prior to Progress Separation


Roscosmos_logoRoscosmos has posted an update on the Progress 59 flight. It’s in Russian, but I was able to use Google Translate to understand it.

The flight was nominal until 1.5 seconds before the time at which the Progress vehicle was to have separated from its third stage booster. At that point, telemetry data from the booster was interrupted.

After separation, partial communications with the progress was restored. The data indicated that various systems were not performing normally. The ship was also rotating at about 90 degrees per second.

Docking the cargo ship at the International Space Station is impossible. The station and its crew are not at risk because they are in a much higher orbit.

A commission has been established to identify the cause of the failure. The commission’s findings are expected no later than May 13.

Russia plans to launch additional Progress resupply ships in the third and fourth quarters of this year.


Latest NASA Updates on Progress Anomaly

Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Progress mission has failed. Scott Kelly, who is aboard the International Space Station, said in an interview with The Associated Press that Russian controllers had told the crew Progress would not dock with the station. The cargo ship will eventually enter Earth’s atmosphere and burn up.

UPDATE (4/29 9:50 a.m. EDT): Docking has been called off for the Progress 59 spacecraft. Russian flight controllers are continuing to assess the vehicle and what the plan going forward will be. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

UPDATE (4/28 11:00 p.m. EDT): Russian flight controllers are continuing attempts to communicate with and troubleshoot issues with the Russian Progress 59 cargo spacecraft as it makes additional passes tonight over Russian ground stations.

UPDATE (4/28 9:35 a.m. EDT): Russian flight controllers have continued to try and recover telemetry capability with the ISS Progress 59 cargo craft this morning. The most recent ground pass started at 9:20 a.m. EDT and flight controllers reported no change in the issues with receiving telemetry data from the unmanned craft. The Russian flight control team attempted to command the vehicle over four orbits flying over Russian ground sites with no success. The next series of ground station passes is expected to resume late Tuesday evening. Teams are standing down on the Thursday docking attempt while Russian teams continue to analyze data and develop a troubleshooting plan going forward.

UPDATE (4/28 8:15 a.m. EDT): Russian flight controllers are continuing to troubleshoot issues with the ISS Progress 59 cargo craft. The spacecraft made another pass over Russian ground stations and continued to experience telemetry problems regarding the deployment of navigational antennas and the pressurization of the manifolds in the propulsion system. Flight controllers also confirmed that the vehicle had entered into a slow spin and have issued commands to attempt to control it.

USAF Statement on Progress Anomaly


USAFVANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., April 28, 2015 (JFCC PR) — Joint Functional Component Command for Space’s Joint Space Operations Center made an initial observation of an anomaly with an International Space Station Progress resupply cargo craft at 12:04 a.m. (3:04 a.m. EDT), today.

The JSpOC immediately began tracking the event and initiated the appropriate reporting procedures.

Continue reading ‘USAF Statement on Progress Anomaly’

Progress Supply Ship Spinning Out of Control


Russia’s Progress 59 cargo ship has been spinning out of control since it was launched into orbit from Baikonur. Media reports indicate that the ship’s Kurs rendezvous antennas onboard the vehicle have failed to deploy. There are also questions about whether there has been pressurization of the Progress propulsion system.

Controllers have had difficulty in communicating with the cargo ship. They have managed to switch from a four orbit rendezvous plan to 34 orbits, which will give them time to troubleshoot the problems.

House Science Committee Whacks NASA Science Budget

Lamar Smith

Lamar Smith

The House Science Committee would whack nearly a half billion dollars out of NASA’s proposed Earth Science budget in order to boost funding for deep space exploration under a two-year authorization legislators will mark up on Thursday.

“For more than 50 years, the U.S. has led the world in space exploration,” said Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX). “We must ensure that the U.S. continues to lead in space for the next 50 years.

“The NASA Authorization Act for 2016 and 2017 builds on the bipartisan one-year agreement that the House passed just weeks ago,” Smith added. “It restores much-needed balance to NASA’s budget while complying with funding levels set by current law. It authorizes full funding for the exploration systems that will take us to the Moon and Mars as well as the Commercial Crew program. It provides NASA with a science portfolio that is truly balanced.”

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ISS to Get New Docking Ports

One of the International Space Station's new docking ports. (Credit: NASA)

One of the International Space Station’s new docking ports. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — In the next year, the International Space Station will gain two new docking ports for spacecraft visiting the orbiting laboratory, including the Boeing CST-100 and SpaceX Crew Dragon under development in collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Earlier this year, NASA astronauts conducted three spacewalks to rig the power, data, and communications cables for the docking ports.

The next step is to add the International Docking Adapters that will provide a flawless fit between the space station and any visiting spacecraft so crews can safely move between them through connecting hatches. The first docking adapter now is deep into processing at Kennedy Space Center to prepare for its delivery to the station on the seventh SpaceX commercial resupply services mission, scheduled to launch no earlier than June 19. The second adapter will go through similar processing later this year for launch on the ninth SpaceX resupply mission.

Engineers will continue in-depth analysis and measurements of the ports before they are launched. Commercial Crew providers, Boeing and SpaceX, are using the precise measurements and standards of the adapters and space station as they build the spacecraft and docking mechanisms they will launch to carry astronauts to the station.

UrtheCast Teams With NASA To Stream Live High-Definition Earth Video

Spacewalker Oleg Kotov works outside the Zvezda service module. (Credit: NASA TV)

Spacewalker Oleg Kotov works outside the Zvezda service module. (Credit: NASA TV)

VANCOUVER, April 23, 2015 (UrtheCast PR) — UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR) (“UrtheCast”or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has teamed with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”) to stream real-time Earth video data from NASA’s High-Definition Earth-Viewing System (“HDEV”) aboard the International Space Station (“ISS”) to UrtheCast’s interactive web platform.

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Canadian Budget Supports ISS Extension to 2024


CSAThe new Canadian federal budget supports the extension of the International Space Station from 2020 to 2024. Canada joins the U.S. and Russia to agreeing to the four-year extension; Japan and Europe have yet to weigh in.

 The budget also commits $30 million CND ($24.7 million US) over four years to support technology research and development through the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) program. Canada is an associate member of ESA.

“The inclusion of these measures, which follows on the heels of announcements by Industry Minister James Moore of a national Space Policy Framework and the creation of a Space Advisory Board, is another step as we continue to work with the government on a long term vision for Canada’s future in space,” said Jim Quick, President and CEO of Aerospace Industries Association of Canada.

Scientists Propose Space Laser to Zap Orbital Debris

Space debris in orbit around Earth. (Credit: NASA)

Space debris in orbit around Earth. (Credit: NASA)

TOKYO (RIKEN PR) — An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal, published in Acta Astronautica, combines a super-wide field-of-view telescope, developed by RIKEN’s EUSO team, which will be used to detect objects, and a recently developed high-efficiency laser system, the CAN laser that was presented in Nature Photonics in 2013, that will be used to track space debris and remove it from orbit.

Space debris, which is continuously accumulating as a result of human space activities, consists of artificial objects orbiting the earth. The number of objects nearly doubled from 2000 to 2014 and they have become a major obstacle to space development. The total mass of space debris is calculated to be about 3,000 tons. It consists of derelict satellites, rocket bodies and parts, and small fragments produced by collisions between debris.

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CASIS-Sponsored Research Arrives at ISS


casis_new_logoKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. (April 17, 2015) – The fifth series of payloads sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) successfully berthed to the International Space Station (ISS) onboard Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s (SpaceX) Dragon capsule. CASIS is tasked with managing and promoting research onboard the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.

Research onboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule includes a range of experiments sponsored by CASIS from the commercial and academic communities. Below is an overview of the major payloads sponsored by CASIS:

Osteo-4 (NIH Transitioned Payload)
PI: Paola Divieti Pajevic, MD, Ph.D., Boston, MA, United States

Osteocytes and Mechanomechano-transduction (Osteo-4) studies the effects of microgravity on the function of osteocytes, which are the most common cells in bone. These cells reside within the mineralized bone and can sense mechanical forces, or the lack of them, but researchers do not know how. Osteo-4 allows scientists to analyze changes in the physical appearance and genetic expression of mouse bone cells in microgravity.
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