Tag: Soyuz

Lucky Russian Students Spend Winter in Balmy Vostochny

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Vladimir Putin reviews a map showing the plan for the Vostochny spaceport. (Credit: Presidential Press and Information Office)

Vladimir Putin reviews a map showing the plan for the Vostochny spaceport. (Credit: Presidential Press and Information Office)

RussianSpaceWeb.com says 200 lucky students had a chance to spend their winter break in Russia’s frigid Far East, where they are taking a course in Screwed Up Construction Projects 101.

In an unusual step, the Russian government organized 200-strong “winter student brigade” to provide low-skilled labor in Vostochny beginning on February 1, even though normally such groups would only be available during summer. Official press releases did not elaborate whether members of the brigade would have to skip a semester. As many as 1,200 students were promised in Vostochny during the summer of 2015, Roskosmos said.

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NASA Purchases More Soyuz Seats From Russians as Commercial Crew Hedge

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The Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft with Expedition 36 Commander Pavel Vinogradov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos and Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy of NASA aboard, lands in a remote area near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. (Credit:  NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft with Expedition 36 Commander Pavel Vinogradov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos and Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy of NASA aboard, lands in a remote area near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. (Credit:
NASA/Bill Ingalls)

NASA has announced its intention to purchase six additional seats aboard Russian Soyuz crew transports to maintain America’s presence aboard the International Space Station through 2018.

“NASA needs to secure crew transportation with a known reliable provider to ensure a continued U.S. presence aboard the ISS until the sustained availability of a U.S. commercial vehicle,” the space agency said in its notice. “The intent of this proposed action is to provide the Government the ability to procure these uninterrupted services until a U.S. provider demonstrates full operational capability.”

Boeing and SpaceX are currently working on crew transports which are scheduled to be ready to deliver astronauts to ISS on a commercial basis in late 2017. Purchasing Soyuz seats is a hedge against delays in the program.

“Given the current maturity level of the commercial vehicles and the 3-year procurement lead time for Soyuz crew transportation services, NASA must contract for Soyuz now in order to assure uninterrupted access to ISS in CY 2018,” the space agency said.

Under its most recent contract, Soyuz seats cost approximately $76 million apiece.

Sarah Brightman Undergoes Wilderness Survival Training

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Sarah Brightman and crew mates undergo wilderness survival training. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Sarah Brightman and crew mates undergo wilderness survival training. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) – The autonomous training for surviving in a case of emergence landing in marshy-wooded area in the winter will take place since Jan 19 till Feb 9.

Crewmates of ISS crew 48/49: Anatoly Ivanishin (Roscosmos), Takuya Onishi (JAXA), Kathleen Rubins (NASA) and ISS crew 49/50: Sergey Ryzhikov & Andrey Borisenko( Roscosmos), Robert Kimbrough (NASA) and spaceflight participants Sarah Brightman and Satoshi Takamatsu take part in this training.

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Sarah Brightman Discusses Upcoming Trip to Space

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British singer Sarah Brightman and backup Satoshi Takamatsu at as press conference in Moscow on Monday.

Brightman & Takamatsu Complete First Day of Cosmonaut Training

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Satoshi_Takamatsu and Sarah Brightman (far right) meet the media. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Satoshi_Takamatsu and Sarah Brightman (far right) meet the media. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) – Today in the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre (GCTC) the famous British actress, songwriter and dancer Sarah Brightman and Japanese advertising guru Satoshi Takamatsu began their spaceflight training.

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Roscosmos Deputy Throws Cold Water on New Space Station, Chinese Visit to ISS

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The Shenzhou 10 crew prior to launch. (Credit: CNSA)

The Shenzhou 10 crew prior to launch. (Credit: CNSA)

Roscosmos deputy head Sergey Savelyev said Russia has no current plans to build a successor to the International Space Station before 2025. He also characterized the possibility of the Chinese Shenzhou crewed spacecraft docking at ISS as highly improbable, the Russian news agency TASS reports.

“A possibility of creating a new Russian space station does exist in principle. Such project may be implemented in international cooperation, with China for example. But neither the current, nor the draft of a future federal space program have such provisions. Such project can be linked with the lifecycle of the International Space Station,” he said.

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Arianespace Looks Forward

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Stephane Israel (Credit: Arianespace)

Stephane Israel (Credit: Arianespace)

PARIS (Arianespace PR) — Building on its record year of mission operations in 2014 – and supported by European decisions to develop the heavy-lift successor Ariane 6, as well as an enhanced lightweight Vega C vehicle – Arianespace is looking to the future with confidence as a leader in the launch services marketplace.

Speaking to reporters during the company’s traditional New Year’s press conference in Paris this morning, Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël underscored Arianespace’s ability to deliver for its customers in 2014 – which is to continue with an intense 12-month schedule of launches in 2015.

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Japanese Space Tourist to Train for Space Station Flight

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VIENNA, Va. (Space Adventures PR) –
Today, Space Adventures, Ltd., the only company that provides human space missions to the world marketplace, announced that Satoshi Takamatsu will begin training as an International Space Station (ISS) crew member candidate for a flight on a Soyuz TMA spacecraft. After successful completion of the program, Takamatsu will be certified as a ‘fully-trained spaceflight participant cosmonaut’ and will be the first Japanese private astronaut qualified to visit the ISS.

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Year in Review: Launch Industry Disrupted in 2014

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SpaceX Founder Elon Musk has long talked about disrupting the launch industry with low prices and technological innovations. In 2014, the impacts of those efforts were felt far and wide as competitors responded to the threat the California company posed to their livelihoods.

ULA Pivots. With SpaceX reeling off one successful launch after another, ULA pivoted on several fronts. One was to announce efforts to significantly reduce costs on its highly reliable but pricey Atlas V and Delta IV boosters. But, even that proved to be insufficient as SpaceX threatened ULA on several fronts.

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The Year Ahead in Space

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The BEAM module docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

The BEAM module docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

Update: Added Falcon Heavy flight test to the list.

A number of very cool space missions are set to unfold in the coming year. Here’s a brief rundown:

Jan. 6: Falcon 9 Barge Landing Attempt. SpaceX will attempt to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a barge. The goal is to recover the stage intact for later relaunch. Success could lead to significantly lower launch costs in the years ahead.

March 5: Dawn Arrives at Ceres. Having completed an exploration of the asteroid Vesta, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is due to arrive at the dwarf planet Ceres on March 5. The vehicle will enter orbit around the unexplored world, which is the largest object in the Asteroid Belt.

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