RSC Energia Designing New Cargo Ship to Replace Progress

Energia_logoMOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — RSC Energia plans by the end of 2016 to complete the preliminary design of the cargo spacecraft with increased lifting capacity (TGC GHG) for the transport and logistics of the International Space Station (ISS).

The new ships will be delivered in a single flight to the station more cargo than the Progress MS, which are able to take on board not more than 2,600 kg.

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Dragon & Progress Supply Ships Arrive at Space Station

Dragon berthed at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA TV)
Dragon berthed at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was bolted into place on the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 10:03 a.m. EDT on Wednesday as the station flew about 252 statute miles over the California and Oregon border.

The spacecraft is delivering nearly 5,000 pounds of science, hardware and supplies, including instruments to perform the first-ever DNA sequencing in space, and the first of two identical international docking adapters (IDA). The IDAs will provide a means for commercial spacecraft to dock to the station in the near future as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Dragon is the second cargo spacecraft to arrive on station this week. On Monday, July 18, a Russian ISS Progress 64 cargo craft docked to the Pirs docking compartment of the space station at 8:22 p.m., where it will remain for about six months.

The Progress spacecraft has more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 48 crew.

Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station Aug. 29 when it will return critical science research back to Earth.

For more information on the SpaceX CRS-9 mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex.

For more information about the current crew and the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station.

NASA TV to Cover Progress Docking on Monday

Progress 64 is launched aboard a Soyuz U rocket. (Credit: NASA TV)
Progress 64 is launched aboard a Soyuz U rocket. (Credit: NASA TV)

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (NASA PR) — Carrying more than three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the International Space Station crew, the unpiloted ISS Progress 64 cargo craft launched at 5:41 p.m. EDT (3:41 a.m. Baikonur time July 17) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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Getting to Upmass: A Dragon’s Tale

A Station that Needs Everything
A Scrappy Startup Contracted to Ship 35.4 Metric Tons of It
Ought to be Easy Enough, Right?

SpaceX Dragon freighter at ISS. (Credit: NASA)
SpaceX Dragon freighter at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The International Space Station (ISS) is not exactly a self-sufficient outpost. The station’s occupants can’t jump into a Soyuz and pop over to an orbiting Wal-Mart when they run out of food, water or toothpaste. Everything the six astronauts need to survive — save for the random plastic wrench or replacement part they can now 3-D print — must be shipped up from the majestic blue planet 400 km below them.

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Russia Launches Progress Freighter to ISS

Progress MS-02 launch (Credit: Roscosmos)
Progress MS-02 launch (Credit: Roscosmos)

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan, March 31, 2016 (Roscosmos PR) — On March 31, 2016 at 19:24 MSK carrier rocket Soyuz-2.1a to transport cargo vehicle (THC) Progress MS-02 was successfully launched to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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Three Cargo Ships Due at ISS in Quick Succession

Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)
Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — It will be rush hour at the International Space Station for the next two weeks as a pair of spaceships gets ready to launch new science, hardware and crew supplies to the Expedition 47 crew. As the crew prepares for the new shipments, they are already working on the latest research delivered Saturday on the newest Cygnus space freighter from Orbital ATK.

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RSC Energia Looks Back on Successful 2015

Energia_logoMOSCOW (RSC Energia PR) — Yesterday, December 29, the management of RSC Energia in a meeting with employees summed up the results of the company performance in 2015, reported on the key performance figures and presented preliminary plans for 2016.

The Corporation president Vladimir Solntsev presented in his speech the final financial and economic figures, spoke in detail about the core business of the company – development of rocket and space technology, touched upon social policies and outlined the company development vectors in the incoming year of 2016.

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NASA ASAP Concerned About Commercial Crew Safety

Credit: NASA
Credit: NASA

In a sobering report, NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) warned that a combination of funding shortfalls and programmatic decisions have led to an “unacknowledged accretion of risk” that threaten the agency’s Commercial Crew and deep-space human exploration programs.

“As we noted in our 2014 Annual Report and continue to assert this year, NASA’s budget is insufficient to deliver all current undertakings with acceptable programmatic risk,” ASAP stated in its 2015 Annual Report. “Programmatic risk can lead to tradeoffs that are inconsistent with good safety practice.”

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Russia Led in Launch Successes and Failures in 2015

Flight VS13 was the 13th Soyuz liftoff performed from French Guiana since this vehicle’s 2011 introduction at the Spaceport. (Credit: Arianespace)
Flight VS13 was the 13th Soyuz liftoff performed from French Guiana since this vehicle’s 2011 introduction at the Spaceport. (Credit: Arianespace)

Russia continued its dominance of the global satellite launch industry in 2015, conducting 29 of 86 orbital launches over the past 12 months. It also maintained its lead in botched launches, suffering two failures and one partial failure.

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Russia Eyes Advanced Replacement for Soyuz Booster

Expedition 37 takes off for the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)
Expedition 37 takes off for the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

The Russian government owned Sputnik news service reports that officials are eyeing a replacement for the venerable Soyuz launch vehicle within seven years:

The first flying prototype of the new Soyuz-5 carrier rocket could be built by 2022, Alexander Kirilin, general director of Samara-based Progress rocket and space company, said.

“The Soyuz-5.1 is a medium-class carrier rocket with a launch weight of about 270 tonnes,” Kirilin said in an interview with RIA Novosti published Tuesday.

“It could replace the Soyuz-2 carrier rockets in the future,” he added.

Russia’s future Soyuz-5 carrier rocket will be equipped with advanced new engines using ecology-friendly fuel, according to Alexander Kirilin.

“One of the distinguishing features of the Soyuz-5 is the use of liquefied natural gas as fuel,” Kirilin said in an interview with RIA Novosti published on Tuesday.

Read the full story.

Roscosmos Compensated for Progress Loss

Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)
Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos has received 1.9 billion rubles [$29.8 million] in insurance compensation from Sogas and Ingosstrakh due to the destruction of Progress spacecraft. Sogaz and Ingosstrakh insurance companies have fully compensated for the damage caused by the emergency launch of Progress M-27M cargo transport spacecraft on April 28, 2015, from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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Space Access Society Update on Station Supply, Commercial Crew & SpaceX Investigation

Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)
Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)

Space Access Update #144 7/6/15
copyright 2015 by Space Access Society
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Contents This Issue:

Station Supply Update

Latest From SpaceX

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Station Supply Update

A Russian Progress cargo ship successfully docked with Station in the early hours of Sunday morning. This adds a month to International Space Station’s supply reserves, sufficient now for roughly through November.

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SpaceX’s Philosophy: Reliability Through Continual Upgrades

falcon9_debris
Remains of a Falcon 9 rocket fall to Earth.

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

To succeed in the launch business, you need to be very, very good and more than a little bit lucky. Eventually, there comes a day when you are neither.

That is what happened to SpaceX on June 28. A string of 18 successful Falcon 9 launches was snapped as the company’s latest rocket broke up in the clear blues skies over the Atlantic Ocean. A Dragon supply ship headed for the International Space Station was lost, SpaceX’s crowded manifest was thrown into confusion, and the company’s reputation for reliability was shattered.

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Progress Resupply Ship Arrives at Space Station

Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)
Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Traveling about 251 miles over the south Pacific, southeast of New Zealand, the unpiloted ISS Progress 60 Russian cargo ship docked at 3:11 a.m. EDT to the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station.

The craft is delivering more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies, including 1,940 pounds of propellant, 106 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water, and 3,133 pounds of spare parts, supplies and experiment hardware for the members of the Expedition 44 crew currently living and working in space. Progress 60 is scheduled to remain docked to Pirs for the next four months.

For more information about the current crew and the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station.

Critical Progress Resupply Mission Set for Friday Launch

progress_on_approach

UPDATE: Looks like the launch went well. Progress is in orbit, solar arrays deployed.

Russia’s preparing to launch a critical Progress resupply mission containing more than 3 tons of food, fuel, water, oxygen and other supplies to the International Space Station on Friday. The launch of Progress M-28M is set for 0455 GMT (12:55 a.m. EDT).

Progress flights usually attract little attention. However, this flight is seen a crucial following the loss of SpaceX’s Dragon freighter last summer in a launch accident. It was the third launch failure involving an ISS resupply ship in eight months.

On April 28, a Progress vehicle began tumbling out of control after it reached orbit. The mission was eventually abandoned. Last Oct. 28, an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket exploded shortly after liftoff, destroying a Cygnus cargo ship.

Russians officials have blamed a problem with the third stage of the Soyuz-2.1a rocket for the Progress failure. For this launch, they have switched to a Soyuz-U launch vehicle that is not susceptible to the same problem.

The resupply ship is scheduled to arrive on Sunday at 0713 GMT (3:13 a.m. EDT) with an automatic docking to the space station’s Pirs compartment.