soyuz capsule

SpaceX's Dragon arrives at ISS with inflatable space habitat

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) today, carrying an experimental inflatable space habitat that might be crucial for future deep space explorations.

The spacecraft was successfully captured at 7:23 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (1123 GMT) by European astronaut Tim Peake, using the orbiting lab’s robotic arm, with help from US astronaut Jeff Williams.

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Astronaut Art

Each time an astronaut flies to the International Space Station, they get the opportunity to express themselves through the photos they take of the remarkable blue sphere passing below them. It really is fascinating to observe their different styles – some seem partial to urban scenes, some wilderness. Some focus on weather, some aim their lenses at the oceans. Some aim for videos, some aim for vines, some aim for still frames.

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The Mir base module was launched on 20 February 1986. Large expansion modules, launched on Proton rockets, were periodically added to the station. These modules used automated docking techniques developed during the missions of Salyut 6 and 7.

Crews were launched using Soyuz rockets and capsules. Progress spacecraft, also launched on Soyuz rockets, carried food, fuel, water, and other supplies to the station.

Starting in July 1995, several American space shuttles docked with the Mir station. Seven American astronauts lived onboard the station for extended periods of time. Shannon Lucid’s six month tour was the longest American stay on the station.

Cosmonauts performed many long duration stays aboard the station. Several spent over one year on the station. Dr. Valeri Polyakov lived aboard the station for a record 438 consecutive days.

With the International Space Station under construction in the late 1990’s, Mir was abandoned. Using progress tugs, Russian controllers were able to re-enter the station over a remote area of the Pacific ocean.

Operated in orbit for over a decade, the Mir space station proved human outposts could be maintained for extended periods of time.

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Was shadowing on console in MCC this morning at 2 am Houston time to watch the SpaceX Dragon capture~

This is a progression of our available views from our very first shining dot, to capture with the robotic arm.

Install happened a couple hours later to Node 2 Nadir, and the last image (from NASA TV because I was home sleeping after the capture shift xD) shows Dragon, Cygnus, and the Soyuz crew capsule all in one view.

We’ve got a busy Space Station ;D Stay tuned for our very first expandable/inflatable module, BEAM!!!

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Expedition 31 Landing

“The Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 31 Commander Oleg Kononenko of Russia and Flight Engineers Don Pettit of NASA and Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Sunday, July 1, 2012. Pettit, Kononenko and Kuipers returned from more than six months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 30 and 31 crews. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)”

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There are few feelings more gratifying than returning home after a long journey. For most of us, this means a plane trip or a car ride and then a final struggle with unfamiliar keys on the front door. However, if you’re coming home from space, things are a little more … scenic.

The amazing pictures above shows a Soyuz space capsule containing two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut. They’re returning to Earth after a six-month stint onboard the International Space Station (ISS). The capsule is seen floating above the clouds of Kazakhstan at around 5am local time. It landed safely in an upright position and the three travelers — the crew of ISS Expedition 42 — were safely retrieved.