Today in the NASA Village… When it’s Time to Capture a Dragon.
Systems Engineering Simulator. Upon entering the darkened dome one can forget
for a moment the actual world isn’t floating overhead. This space can contain a
physical Space Station mock-up cupola (like the picture below) an Orion crew
station mock-up, or a multi-mission space exploration vehicle mock-up. It is a
hybrid of virtual reality and physical structure. Perfect for practicing the rendezvous
(approach) and capture. It is in this dome where we are trained to capture the
capsules launched from Earth to station that come bearing gifts like food,
clothing, and fuel.
the deal with these visiting cargo vehicles? Where in the world are they coming
from and why do they all have different names?
answer is that these cargo-carrying vehicles are a form of currency in the
spaceflight world. Building a vehicle and loading it with materials to supply
the crew is a part of the international agreement of participation. For the
Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) and the European Space Agency (ESA), their
vehicles are the HTV (H-II Transfer Vehicle) and ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle), respectively. ESA’s ATVs have
delivered cargo to the station and docked to the Russian segment using their
docking system. During Expedition 16, Yuri and I monitored the first approach
and docking of the ATV to ISS. Reminds
me a bit of an X wing fighter from Star wars.
a capsule provided by the Russian Space Agency (RSA). It is launched on a Soyuz rocket, similar to
the Soyuz rockets that launch the astronauts to station. A progress will
commonly remain for a few months until the next Progress is about to launch.
During this time docked to the station, after unloading all the valuable cargo,
the capsule is filled with trash that will burn upon re-entry.
after Shuttle retirement, the US has purchased additional cargo carriers from
Space X and Orbital. The capsule called
Dragon comes from Space X. It is the only capsule that returns to ground,
bearing scientific return samples or critical hardware from station. Cygnus is a capsule launched by Orbital.
these capsules can be mated to the station at the same time. In the Dome, we practice for the arrival and
capture, using the Canadian robotic arm, of HTV, Cygnus and Dragon.
capsules are essential because they are the lifeline between the astronauts and
the Earth. When something happens to a capsule, the crew onboard shares their
supplies. However, important items like a lost spacesuit are irreplaceable.
widely known as Tux, was a Shuttle rendezvous trainer and has since become the rendezvous
instructor for HTV, Cygnus and Dragon. We have the visual out the window view
to illustrate the approaching vehicle (it looks big when it is coming at you!),
as well as multiple camera views to monitor during the capture.
Expedition 5 and 16, I helped install large truss elements that now hold the
solar arrays. We also maneuvered a whole
module to “rearrange” our living volume (we had to wait for Shuttle
departure to put it in its proper place).
At that time we didn’t have any visiting cargo vehicles like these
currently resupplying station. And more importantly, there was no cupola when I
was last on station, but now I get to enjoy the view from here!
Do you want more
stories? Find our NASA Villagers here!
ESA (European space agency… or if you’re like, fancy, in French, fancy in French, French fanciness, Agence spatiale européenne) is an organization in which multiple countries are engaged in, dedicated to exploring space
these hennies do things like: human space flight, launching and operation unmanned missions, Earth observation, science and telecommunication and like, other stuff, ya kno
unlike NASA, ESA has 22 member countries, talk about collaboration yo
there’s even a treaty among the countries: ESA’s purpose shall be to provide for, and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems
I may or may not be tearing up a little
because they’re like, so nice, they let Canada play with them too, so Canada (CSA) is an associated member of the ESA
ESA has a couple of dope-ass launch vehicles
Ariane 5: (yes, that’s the most German name ever) this gurl has been in use for 20 years! she’s been super successful, after an initial failed launch, she’s been transporting satellites into space for 71 successful starts in a row!
Soyuz: now, I kno, when you hear Soyuz, you think Russia, but hear me out: Roscosmos and ESA have an agreement in which Russia builds parts for the Soyuz launch vehicle and it gets assembled in French Guiana. Russia gets access to a good launch site for their launches, and ESA gets access to the very safe Soyuz launcher in exchange. [insert handshaking stock photo meme here]
Notable ESA missions that will blast your balls off:
Planck spacecraft: a cosmology mission that mapped the cosmic microwave background and essentially delivered amazing evidence for the age of the universe and cosmic inflation
Rosetta: ESA successfully landed on a COMET for the first time ever, telling us about the composition of comets. the spacecraft traveled 9 years to get there and yet they managed to land and signals. fuckin amazing
Huygens: ESA successfully landed a probe on Saturns moon, Titan. This was the first and only landing ever accomplished in the outer Solar System!
Expedition 51 Launch to the International Space Station
The Soyuz MS-04 rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in
Kazakhstan on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 1:13 p.m. Baikonur time
carrying NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin of
the Russian space agency Roscosmos into orbit to begin their four and a
half month mission on the International Space Station.
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.
Russian Soyuz-FG rocket with the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft and a crew of US astronaut Steven Swanson, Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev aboard, blasts off from a launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, early on March 26, 2014.
Expedition 50 Soyuz Launch (NHQ201611180003) by NASA HQ PHOTO Via Flickr: The Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with Expedition 50 crewmembers NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, (Kazakh time) (Nov 17 Eastern time). Whitson, Novitskiy, and Pesquet will spend approximately six months on the orbital complex. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
November 28, 1966 - Soyuz rocket makes its inaugural flight.
Beginning an unprecedented reign of launch service, the Soyuz rocket was introduced 50 years ago today, on November 28, 1966.
Derived from the R7 class of missiles, which launched the world’s first satellite and human into space, the Soyuz featured upgrades and modifications allowing the launch of a new, heavier, three-person vehicle in development at the time. Over 1,000 flights have been performed under the Soyuz name, and have launched payloads ranging from the namesake Soyuz spacecraft, Progress cargo freighter, smaller modules of the International Space Station, Bion bioscience missions and countless satellites.
More than a dozen subvariants of the rocket have been developed in accordance to specific payloads or newer systems, but the overall design of the rocket has remained the same. Four strap-on boosters act as the rocket’s first stage, while the core ignites further into the flight as the second stage. While a third stage provides the final push into orbit for most Soyuz flights, some variants of the rocket, such as the Fregat and Soyuz-U, use additional upper stages to place their payloads into the proper orbit.
NASA severs most ties With Russia, sparing Station but pushing for U.S. launches again
NASA plans to cease most work with the Russian Federal Space Agency amid growing tensions concerning the Ukrainian crisis, a spokesperson confirmed with a statement to Universe Today Wednesday evening (April 2).
While the International Space Station will still see work to “maintain safe and continuous operation”, most other NASA activities with Roscosmos will cease, the statement read. It added (citing the Obama administration) that Congress now faces a choice between fully funding human U.S. launches again in 2017, or facing years more of sending money to the Russians for Soyuz launches from Kazakhstan.
In full, this is the statement that Bob Jacobs, NASA’s deputy associate administrator of communications, sent to Universe Today (UPDATE, 8:54 p.m. EDT — this is also now available on NASA’s G+ page)
Given Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, NASA is suspending the majority of its ongoing engagements with the Russian Federation. NASA and Roscosmos will, however, continue to work together to maintain safe and continuous operation of the International Space Station.
NASA is laser focused on a plan to return human spaceflight launches to American soil, and end our reliance on Russia to get into space. This has been a top priority of the Obama Administration’s for the past five years, and had our plan been fully funded, we would have returned American human spaceflight launches – and the jobs they support – back to the United States next year.
With the reduced level of funding approved by Congress, we’re now looking at launching from U.S. soil in 2017. The choice here is between fully funding the plan to bring space launches back to America or continuing to send millions of dollars to the Russians. It’s that simple. The Obama Administration chooses to invest in America – and we are hopeful that Congress will do the same.
Progress MS-2/63P successfully launched to the International Space Station at 12:23pm EDT this afternoon (March 31) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Soyuz 2.1a rocket launched flawlessly, disappearing into a cloud band just a few seconds after liftoff. Roscosmos provided animation of the vehicle’s ascent to orbit along with velocity and altitude indicators.
At T+1:57, the rocket’s four strap-on boosters fall away while the core booster, or second stage, continues to fire.
2 minutes 49 seconds later, at T+4:46, the core stage is shut down while the third stage simultaneously fires in what is known as a “hot fire” staging event.
Ten seconds later, T+4:56, the third stage aft engine section and payload fairing separate, exposing the Progress spacecraft to space.
The third stage fires for over four minutes before shutting down, and spacecraft separation occurred at T+8:47.