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  • Russia Bans U.S. From International Space Station: America Strikes Back

    06/22/2014 5:56:42 PM PDT · by Jack Hydrazine · 41 replies
    The Motley Fool ^ | 22JUN2014 | Rich Smith
    Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's an International Space Station. But if Russia gets its way, it's going to be off-limits to the United States soon. For weeks now, there have been rumblings about Russia wanting to ban the United States from using the ISS while the two countries wrangled over Ukraine. While that would probably violate international law, it may be feasible from a practical perspective. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin argued that "the Russian segment [of the ISS] can exist independently from the American one. The U.S. one...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Camelopardalids and ISS

    05/25/2014 1:29:44 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | May 25, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: From a camp on the northern shores of the Great Lake Erie, three short bright meteor streaks were captured in this composited night skyscape. Recorded over the early morning hours of May 24, the meteors are elusive Camelopardalids. Their trails point back to the meteor shower's radiant near Polaris, in the large but faint constellation Camelopardalis the camel leopard, or in modern terms the Giraffe. While a few meteors did appear, the shower was not an active one as the Earth crossed through the predicted debris trail of periodic comet 209P/LINEAR. Of course, the long bright streak in the...
  • Dragon cargo capsule encounters water seepage

    05/21/2014 4:12:09 PM PDT · by Yossarian · 15 replies
    Spaceflight Now ^ | 5/21/14 | STEPHEN CLARK
    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo -- Sea water seeped into SpaceX's Dragon supply capsule when it parachuted into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, the second such occurrence since the cargo carrier began flying to the International Space Station in 2012, but a NASA space station manager said Wednesday there is no indication the incident damaged any of the sensitive research samples stowed inside. The Dragon spacecraft descends to a parachute-assisted touchdown Sunday. Photo credit: SpaceX  "SpaceX did occur a minor incursion that they saw upon opening the hatch," said Dan Hartman, NASA's deputy space station program manager. "That has not caused us...
  • SpaceX Dragon returns to Earth from International Space Station (Who needs the Russians?)

    05/18/2014 6:05:35 PM PDT · by equalator · 20 replies
    Fox News ^ | 5-18-2014
    "Very nice to have a vehicle that can take your science, equipment and maybe someday even humans back to Earth," Swanson told Mission Control. The SpaceX Dragon is the only supply ship capable of returning items to Earth. The others burn up on re-entry. This was the fourth Dragon to bring back space station goods, with 3,500 pounds aboard; it came down off Mexico's Baja California coast.
  • Russia to ban US from using Space Station over Ukraine sanctions

    05/14/2014 6:22:32 AM PDT · by shove_it · 38 replies
    Telegraph ^ | 13 May 2014
    In retaliation for imposing sanctions, Russia will also bar its rocket engines from launching US military satellites Russia is to deny the US future use of the International Space Station beyond 2020 and will also bar its rocket engines from launching US military satellites as it hits back at American sanctions imposed over Ukraine crisis. Russia’s deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced a series of punitive measures on Tuesday against the US in response to sanctions imposed after Russia annexed Crimea...
  • Russia Restricts U.S. Access To Space Over Ukraine

    05/15/2014 9:15:21 AM PDT · by raptor22 · 18 replies
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | May 15, 2014 | IBD EDITORIALS
    World Leadership: In retaliation for imposing sanctions over Ukraine, Moscow will bar our use of its rocket engines in launching U.S. military satellites and deny the U.S. use of the International Space Station. It may come as news to some that the nation that once used the massive Saturn V launch vehicle to put men on the moon now imports Russian rocket engines, but we do. That supply is to be cut off in response to the sanctions imposed by President Obama in response to Moscow's annexation of Crimea and its actions against Ukraine. Also to be cut off is...
  • US astronauts should use trampolines to get into space, Russian official says

    04/30/2014 1:25:00 PM PDT · by Reaganez · 35 replies ^ | April 30, 2014 | FoxNews
    A Russian official angered over new sanctions that the United States imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis is suggesting that American astronauts get to the International Space Station by using trampolines instead of rockets. "The United States introduced sanctions against our space industry... We warned them, we will reply to statements with statements, to actions with actions," Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who heads Russia's defense industry, said on Twitter, according to Reuters. American astronauts depend on Russian rockets to get to the ISS, but after the U.S. imposed sanctions – which deny export licenses for high-tech items that...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- SuitSat-1: A Spacesuit Floats Free

    04/27/2014 5:01:51 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | April 27, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A spacesuit floated away from the International Space Station eight years ago, but no investigation was conducted. Everyone knew that it pushed by the space station crew. Dubbed Suitsat-1, the unneeded Russian Orlan spacesuit filled mostly with old clothes was fitted with a faint radio transmitter and released to orbit the Earth. The suit circled the Earth twice before its radio signal became unexpectedly weak. Suitsat-1 continued to orbit every 90 minutes until it burned up in the Earth's atmosphere after a few weeks. Pictured above, the lifeless spacesuit was photographed in 2006 just as it drifted away from...
  • Watch Live As Astronauts Conduct Urgent Spacewalk On Space Station

    04/23/2014 7:06:30 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 25 replies ^ | April 23, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell on
    The NASA spacewalk involving Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson is scheduled to start today (April 23) at 9:20 a.m. EDT (1:20 p.m. UTC), with coverage starting around 8:30 a.m. EDT (12:30 p.m. UTC). The spacewalk is scheduled to last 2.5 hours. Bear in mind that the times could change as circumstances arise. The computer, also called a multiplexer/demultiplexer (MDM), failed for unknown reasons a couple of weeks ago. While the primary computer is working perfectly and the crew is in no danger, things get more risky if the primary computer also breaks. That’s why NASA worked to get the spacewalkers...
  • Soyuz TMA-12M docking delayed following problematic burn

    03/26/2014 7:04:37 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies ^ | March 25, 2014 by | Chris Bergin and Pete Harding
    Following the launch of the reliable Soyuz FG rocket – along with a successful orbital insertion shortly thereafter – the Soyuz TMA-12M was immediately tasked with performing the first two engine burns on its first orbit of the Earth, which were pre-programmed into the Soyuz’s on-board computer prior to launch. ... While the crew were expected to dock to the station’s Poisk module less than six hours later at 11:04 pm, a problem during the “Dv3″ burn resulted in mission controllers opting to move to a new flight profile that will allow for Soyuz to arrive in two days time....
  • How Russia could strangle the US space program

    03/25/2014 2:36:15 PM PDT · by KeyLargo · 32 replies
    Global ^ | Mar 25, 2014 | Jean MacKenzie
    How Russia could strangle the US space program Jean MacKenzie If you use a cellphone, have a GPS system in your car, or get cash from ATMs, you should be worried. BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. — Think Russia has no way to put pressure on the United States? Think again. The US relies heavily on Russia to furnish the engines that power rockets that deliver both military and civil payloads into space. This includes GPS systems in cars and cellphones, and even systems that allow ATMs to function. Weather satellites are launched into space via Russian-powered rockets, and military systems such...
  • Rocket launches on mission to International Space Station

    03/25/2014 2:07:58 PM PDT · by don-o · 24 replies
    Fox ^ | March 25, 2014
    Russians getting ready to launch. Live at link.
  • SpaceX Confirms Cargo Mission Launch From Cape

    03/24/2014 9:23:13 PM PDT · by smokingfrog · 22 replies
    space coast daily ^ | 3-24-14 | unattributed
    Launch set for Sunday, March 30 at 10:50 p.m. — SpaceX has confirmed it will target its next cargo mission launch to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, for 10:50 p.m. EDT, Sunday, March 30. Television launch coverage begins at 9:45 p.m. for the company’s third contracted resupply mission to the orbital laboratory. You can catch the Livestream here on SpaceCoast
  • The Spacewalk That Almost Killed Him: How Luca Parmitano survived the scariest wardrobe malfunction

    03/23/2014 10:23:54 AM PDT · by Jack Hydrazine · 8 replies
    Air&Space Magazine ^ | MAY2014 | Tony Reichhardt
    Over dinner that night, the astronauts and cosmonauts had discussed their options. Cassidy was of the opinion that NASA would probably wait until he and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, who was scheduled to arrive in a couple of weeks, could do an extravehicular activity—NASA parlance for a spacewalk—to assess the problem. Houston ordinarily didn’t like to rush into anything, let alone an EVA. Plus, half the crew was packing up to return to Earth in just four days. That’s why Cassidy couldn’t believe what he now saw on his laptop screen in big red letters: “Welcome to EVA prep day.”...
  • State TV says Russia could turn US to 'radioactive ash'

    03/16/2014 3:09:27 PM PDT · by markomalley · 109 replies
    AFP ^ | 3/16/2014 | Stuart Williams
    A leading anchor on Russian state television on Sunday described Russia as the only country capable of turning the United States into "radioactive ash", in an incendiary comment at the height of tensions over the Crimea referendum. "Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash," anchor Dmitry Kiselyov said on his weekly news show on state-controlled Rossiya 1 television. Kiselyov made the comment to support his argument that the United States and President Barack Obama were living in fear of Russia led by President Vladimir Putin amid the Ukraine crisis....
  • Belligerent Russia Could Deny U.S. Access To Space

    03/05/2014 6:44:15 PM PST · by gooblah · 55 replies
    IBD ^ | Posted 06:38 PM ET
    Leadership: Putting an economic and political squeeze on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis could bring another Obama chicken home to roost — our president killed the U.S. space program and made us dependent on Putin. Since 2011, when America's space shuttle fleet was retired and our space program was dispersed to various museums, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which proudly put the first human beings, Americans, on the moon some 45 years ago, has largely been fixated on things like monitoring nonexistent climate change and Muslim outreach. Read More At Investor's Business Daily: Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter...
  • Private Antares/Cygnus rocket Glistens and Go for Launch as Polar Vortex Sweeps in Brutal Bone Chill

    01/08/2014 1:20:43 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 6 replies ^ | January 8, 2014 | Ken Kremer on
    Launch managers gave the “GO” for launch of the private Antares/Cygnus rocket to the space station on Wednesday, Jan. 8, even as the polar vortex swept in bone chilling cold to the launch site on the Virginia shore and across much of the United States. At a launch readiness review today (Jan. 7), managers for spacecraft builder Orbital Sciences approved the launch, pending completion of a few remaining items, said Mike Pinkston, Antares program director for Orbital, at a media briefing today. The commercial Antares rocket is launching the Cygnus cargo spacecraft on its first operational mission bound for the...
  • Nasa delays second spacewalk to repair ISS after build-up of water is found inside a spacesuit

    12/23/2013 8:20:33 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 12 replies ^ | 10:48 EST, 23 December 2013 | Ellie Zolfagharifard
    ‘This issue is not related to the spacesuit water leak that was seen during a July spacewalk.’ The sublimator is a device in the spacesuit's backpack that helps dissipate excess heat. Rather than allow Mastracchio, 53, to wear that suit again, astronauts are planning to work on resizing a spare spacesuit aboard the ISS for him on his next spacewalk to complete the ammonia pump module replacement
  • NASA orders series of spacewalks to fix space station

    12/17/2013 2:45:02 PM PST · by ColdOne · 17 replies ^ | 12/17/13 | AP
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA has ordered up a series of urgent spacewalks to fix a broken cooling line at the International Space Station. Station managers decided Tuesday to send two American astronauts out as soon as possible to replace a pump with a bad valve. It's a major job that will require three spacewalks — Saturday, Monday and next Wednesday on Christmas Day. "The next week will be busy with space walks so not much tweeting from here," NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio tweeted from space soon after the decision was announced.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Landing on Planet Earth

    09/14/2013 5:43:54 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | September 14, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: With parachute deployed and retro-rockets blazing, this spacecraft landed on planet Earth on September 11 (UT) in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Seen in silhouette against the rockets' glare, the spacecraft is a Soyuz TMA-08M. Its crew, Expedition 36 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy of NASA were returning after five and half months aboard the International Space Station. The Soyuz retro-rockets fire very quickly and for an extremely short duration near touchdown. Capturing the moment, the well-timed photograph was taken...
  • Watch SpaceX rocket lift off, hover, return to launch pad in key test

    08/15/2013 1:19:38 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 20 replies
    LATimes ^ | August 15, 2013, 12:20 p.m. | W.J. Hennigan
    Founded in 2002, SpaceX makes its cargo capsules and rockets at a sprawling facility in Hawthorne that was once used to assemble fuselage sections for Boeing 747s. The company, formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., has successfully carried out two cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station for NASA. It is the only commercial company to do so. It was founded by Los Angeles billionaire Elon Musk, who earlier this week laid out plans for his Hyperloop transportation system to much fanfare. The design aims to take travelers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 35 minutes....
  • $71M: Russia Triples Price to Fly U.S. Astronauts to Space Station

    08/05/2013 1:58:28 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 32 replies
    CNS ^ | August 2, 2013 - 11:11 AM | By Barbara Hollingsworth
    Russia will charge the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) $71 million to transport just one American astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard its Soyuz spacecraft in 2016. That’s more than triple the $22 million per seat the Russians charged in 2006, according to a July 8 audit report by NASA’s inspector general. (See NASA IG-13-019.pd) NASA spent $60 billion of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help build the ISS and that figure would increase to $100 billion if the cost of using space shuttles to assemble the ISS was factored in, the IG report noted. NASA still...
  • Russia Triples Price to Fly U.S. Astronauts to Int’l. Space Station

    08/02/2013 10:29:16 AM PDT · by rktman · 82 replies
    CNSNews ^ | 8/2/2013 | Barbara Hollingsworth
    Russia will charge the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) $71 million to transport just one American astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard its Soyuz spacecraft in 2016. That’s more than triple the $22 million per seat the Russians charged in 2006, according to a July 8 audit report by NASA’s inspector general.
  • Launching American Astronauts from U.S. Soil

    06/11/2013 4:59:12 AM PDT · by VaRepublican · 8 replies
    NASA blogs ^ | 4-30-13 | Charles Bolden
    NASA is committed to launching our astronauts on American spacecraft from U.S. soil as soon as possible. Since the end of our Space Shuttle Program in 2011, NASA has relied on the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) for the launch and safe return of astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) aboard its Soyuz spacecraft. While our Russian counterparts have been good partners, it is unacceptable that we don't currently have an American capability to launch our own astronauts. That’s why the Obama Administration has placed such a high priority on correcting this situation. Three years ago, the Administration...
  • Stunning New Photo from the Space Station: The Moon Ushers in Dawn

    05/01/2013 6:45:38 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 22 replies ^ | May 1, 2013 | Nancy Atkinson on
    During his evening ritual of sharing images taken from the International Space Station, Commander Chris Hadfield posted this gem: a gorgeous night-time view of the southeastern United States, with the Moon hovering over Earth’s limb and the terminator separating night from day. Dawn is just beginning to break to the east, as the ISS flies overhead. This image reflects the ‘wistful’ feelings Hadfield is having as his time in space in coming to a close. He and his two crewmates Tom Marshburn and Roman Romanenko will head back to Earth on May 13. During a recent linkup with students, Hadfield...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Space Station Lookout

    04/10/2013 3:22:02 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | April 10, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: If you glanced out a side window of the International Space Station, what might you see? If you were Expedition 34 flight engineer Chris Hadfield, and you were looking out one of windows of Japan's Kibo Research Module on February 26, you might have seen the above vista. In the distance lies the darkness of outer space and the blueness of planet Earth. Large ISS objects include long solar panels that stretch diagonally from the upper left and the cylindrical airlock of the Pressurized Module that occupies the lower right. Numerous ports and platforms of the space station are...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Flying Over the Earth at Night

    03/31/2013 5:50:49 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | March 31, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Many wonders are visible when flying over the Earth at night. A compilation of such visual spectacles was captured recently from the International Space Station (ISS) and set to rousing music. Passing below are white clouds, orange city lights, lightning flashes in thunderstorms, and dark blue seas. On the horizon is the golden haze of Earth's thin atmosphere, frequently decorated by dancing auroras as the video progresses. The green parts of auroras typically remain below the space station, but the station flies right through the red and purple auroral peaks. Solar panels of the ISS are seen around the...
  • 30 Seconds To Mars launch new single into space (Tax dollars sending pop to space)

    03/01/2013 7:04:55 PM PST · by mnehring · 5 replies
    30 Seconds To Mars launch new single into space 'Up In The Air' is travelling to the International Space Station with thanks to NASA Earlier today (March 1), the first copy of 'Up In The Air' was launched from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station in the SpaceX Dragon Cargo Capsule. The single is set for release on March 19. 30 Seconds To Mars were in Florida to watch the galactic launch of the single, which is being transported by the Falcon 9 rocket, alongside in excess of 1,200 pounds of scientific experiments and cargo. For more information on...
  • New Private Rocket Arrives at Virginia Launch Pad for Tests

    10/18/2012 1:24:12 PM PDT · by Jack Hydrazine · 11 replies ^ | 1OCT2012 | staff
    A private rocket NASA is counting on to make robotic cargo flights to the International Space Station achieved a key milestone today (Oct. 1), as its first stage rolled out to its Virginia launchpad for the first time. The first stage of Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket arrived today at its pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), which is located at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia. The move marks the beginning of on-pad preparations for a series of important trials with Antares that will take place over the next few months, Orbital officials said. The company aims to...
  • SpaceX rocket glitch puts satellite in wrong orbit

    10/09/2012 7:57:08 PM PDT · by cruise_missile · 12 replies
    Reuters ^ | October 10, 2012 | Irene Klotz
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct 9 - A prototype communications satellite flying as a secondary payload aboard a Space Exploration Technologies Falcon 9 rocket was sent into the wrong orbit because of a problem during launch Sunday evening, officials said Tuesday. One of the nine Merlin engines powering the Falcon 9 rocket shut down early, though the other engines burned longer to make up for the loss of thrust, saving the primary mission of delivering a Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station for NASA. The rocket blasted off at 8:35 p.m. EDT Sunday (0035 GMT Monday) from Cape Canaveral...
  • Space station to move to avoid debris

    10/03/2012 7:22:38 AM PDT · by Evil Slayer · 18 replies ^ | 10/3/12 | Associated Press
    MOSCOW - The Russian space program's Mission Control Center says it will move the International Space Station into a different orbit to avoid possible collision with a fragment of debris.
  • What Does The Success Of Dragon Mean?

    06/04/2012 10:35:45 AM PDT · by NonZeroSum · 13 replies
    PJMedia ^ | May 31st, 2012 | Rand Simberg
    SpaceX’s Dragon capsule completed a nearly perfect flight this morning, splashing down as planned in the Pacific Ocean within a mile of its target. It replicated everything that the Gemini series of flights in the sixties did in a single flight — getting to orbit, performing a rendezvous with another object, closely approaching it, berthing to it, detaching from it, and entering the atmosphere to be retrieved by a ship — except that it was entirely unmanned (so no spacewalk — that will await flights with crew aboard). The only problem encountered was an issue with the LIDAR, the laser...
  • Private Sector Edges Deeper in Space

    05/14/2012 4:35:59 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 5 replies
    New York Times ^ | 05/14/12 | KENNETH CHANG
    It sounds like a routine event for NASA: At 4:55 a.m. on Saturday, a rocket is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and carry cargo — but no people — to the International Space Station. But if all goes as planned, that morning will mark something transformative for the space industry: a victory for capitalism in what has been for decades a government-run enterprise. The capsule, built by Space Exploration Technologies Corporation — SpaceX, for short — would be the first commercial spacecraft to make it to the space station, and many observers view its launching as the...
  • SpaceX's 1st Private Capsule Launch to Space Station: How It Will Work

    05/15/2012 6:50:50 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 8 replies ^ | 05/15/12 | Clara Moskowitz
    On May 19, if all goes well, the private spaceflight company SpaceX will launch the first commercial spaceship ever to visit the International Space Station. But the mission will be like no other U.S. flight to the orbiting laboratory. SpaceX's unmanned Dragon capsule is due to deliver food, supplies and science experiments to the outpost as a test mission for NASA. The space agency awarded the company a $1.6 billion contract for eight robotic resupply flights to fill the delivery needs left over by the space shuttle fleet's retirement last year.
  • SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch Live Thread (05/19/2012) 04:55 EDT) First Commercial Rocket into Space!

    05/18/2012 6:50:06 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 81 replies
    05/18/12 | Kevin Davis
    Best of luck to SpaceX.
  • SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch Live Thread (05/22/2012) 03:44 EDT)

    05/21/2012 4:47:45 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 176 replies
    05/21/12 | Kevin Davis
    Good luck again.. I'm sure they will make it..
  • Commercial space race gets crowded behind SpaceX

    05/23/2012 5:49:59 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 6 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 05/23/12 | SETH BORENSTEIN
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A privately built space capsule that's zipping its way to the International Space Station has also launched something else: A new for-profit space race. The capsule called Dragon was due to arrive near the space station for tests early Thursday and dock on Friday with its load of supplies. Space Exploration Technologies Corp. — run by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk — was hired by NASA to deliver cargo and eventually astronauts to the orbital outpost.
  • Live Video: Watch SpaceX Capsule Dragon Dock With the International Space Station.

    05/25/2012 8:13:32 AM PDT · by balls · 16 replies
    WSJ ^ | 05/25/2012 | WSJ
    SpaceX’s unmanned spacecraft approached the international space station for a historic docking Friday after sailing through a practice run a day earlier. Watch live video of the capsule as it maneuvers to link up and dock with the space station.
  • Station astronauts enjoy 'new car smell' of SpaceX cargo craft

    05/26/2012 9:49:46 PM PDT · by MCSP2008 · 46 replies
    Cnet ^ | May 26, 2012 8:22 AM PDT | by William Harwood
    Running well ahead of schedule,the International Space Station's crew opened hatches between the Harmony module and the newly arrived SpaceX Dragon cargo ship early Saturday to kick off a busy few days of work to unload about a half ton of supplies and equipment.;topStories
  • Dragon arrives at space station in historic 1st

    05/25/2012 8:45:26 AM PDT · by mandaladon · 183 replies
    Yahoo news ^ | 25 May 2012 | MARCIA DUNN
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The privately bankrolled Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station for a historic docking Friday, captured by astronauts wielding a giant robot arm. It succeeded in making the first commercial delivery into the cosmos. U.S. astronaut Donald Pettit used the space station's 58-foot robot arm to snare the gleaming white Dragon after a few hours of extra checks and maneuvers. The two vessels came together while sailing above Australia. "Looks like we've got us a dragon by the tail," Pettit announced from 250 miles up once he locked onto Dragon's docking mechanism. "You've made...
  • America Doesn't Need NASA To Stay On Top In Space

    05/22/2012 7:07:20 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 57 replies
    IBD Editorials ^ | May 22, 2012 | Editor
    Free Enterprise: For those worried that America's leadership in spaceflight died with NASA's downsizing, meet SpaceX, a private company that showed Tuesday how capitalism will do what government does and better. NASA was once the pride of a country fighting a tense Cold War. It planned and executed what is arguably man's greatest achievement. It indeed engineered a giant leap for mankind. Yet since those lunar landings, the agency has gotten bogged down in politics and bureaucracy, plagued by waste and ambitions that were never reached. Some believe President Obama's decision to cut NASA's budget and the closure of the...
  • Getting to the international space station privately

    05/22/2012 5:00:55 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 11 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | May 21, 2012
    If the company SpaceX succesfully docks its Dragon capsule to the international space station, it will not only mark a new era in commercial space transportation but also provide a viable alternative for NASA to take cargo and potentially crew to the orbital outpost without using the Russian-made Soyuz capsule.
  • SpaceX sets May 19 launch for flight to space station (4:55 a.m. EDT)

    05/07/2012 10:53:06 AM PDT · by Jack Hydrazine · 14 replies ^ | 4MAY2012 | Stephen Clark
    The need for additional software assurance testing has again delayed the launch of SpaceX's commercial demonstration flight to the International Space Station, the company announced Friday, until at least May 19. "SpaceX and NASA are nearing completion of the software assurance process, and SpaceX is submitting a request to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for a May 19 launch target with a backup on May 22," the company said in a statement released Friday. "Thus far, no issues have been uncovered during this process, but with a mission of this complexity we want to be extremely diligent," the statement...
  • New Private Space Plane Aims to Pick Up Where NASA's Shuttles Left Off

    04/26/2012 1:19:10 PM PDT · by Josh Painter · 17 replies ^ | 25 April 2012 Time: 07:00 AM ET | Denise Chow
    The new spaceship being built by private aerospace firm Sierra Nevada Corp. may look like a miniature space shuttle, but while the design takes cues from the past, company officials are hoping this vehicle shepherds in a new era of commercial human spaceflight. Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser space plane is being developed to take astronauts to and from the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit. The company is aiming to begin full orbital flights in 2016. But the Dream Chaser design, which is reminiscent of NASA's space shuttle, is actually based on a concept vehicle, called HL-20, which was first...
  • SpaceX delays first private launch to space station

    04/24/2012 8:54:54 PM PDT · by robowombat · 4 replies
    Space News ^ | April 24, 2012 06:00
    SpaceX delays first private launch to space station by Staff Writers Washington April 24, 2012 SpaceX has postponed by a week its bid to become the first private company to attempt to launch an unmanned cargo vessel to the International Space Station. "After reviewing our recent progress, it was clear that we needed more time to finish hardware-in-the-loop testing and properly review and follow up on all data," SpaceX spokeswoman Kirstin Brost Grantham said late Monday. "While it is still possible that we could launch on May 3rd, it would be wise to add a few more days of margin...
  • NASA clears SpaceX for cargo run to space station (30APR2012)

    04/18/2012 6:32:20 PM PDT · by Jack Hydrazine · 15 replies
    al-Reuters via Yahoo News ^ | 16APR2012 | Irene Klotz
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA on Monday cleared a cargo ship owned by Space Exploration Technologies for a test flight to the International Space Station that is scheduled to launch on April 30, NASA officials said. The Dragon mission would be the first time a privately owned and operated vessel visits the space station, a $100 billion research laboratory owned by the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada that orbits about 240 miles above Earth. NASA is counting on Space Exploration Technologies, also known as SpaceX, and a second company, Orbital Sciences Corp., to keep the space station...
  • ISS crew take to escape capsules in space junk alert

    03/24/2012 5:41:46 AM PDT · by EnglishCon · 8 replies
    BBC News ^ | 03/24/2012 | BBC News
    The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) briefly took refuge in escape capsules as a piece of space junk drifted nearby. The debris - a discarded piece of Russian rocket - was detected on Friday when it was too late to move the ISS. Nasa said the debris was barely close enough to be a threat but that precautionary measures had to be taken. It is the third time in 12 years that the ISS has faced a possible collision with space junk. In June, a piece of debris came within 335m (1,100ft) of the platform. The ISS is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy and the ISS

    12/30/2011 9:36:05 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | December 31, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On December 24, Comet Lovejoy rose in dawn's twilight, arcing above the eastern horizon, its tails swept back by the solar wind and sunlight. Seen on the left is the comet's early morning appearance alongside the southern Milky Way from the town of Intendente Alvear, La Pampa province, Argentina. The short star trails include bright southern sky stars Alpha and Beta Centauri near the center of the frame, but the long bright streak that crosses the comet tails is a little closer to home. Waiting for the proper moment to start his exposure, the photographer has also caught the...
  • NASA Announces Launch Date and Milestones for SpaceX Flight

    12/09/2011 10:52:34 PM PST · by JerseyanExile · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | Dec. 9, 2011 | Josh Byerly
    WASHINGTON -- NASA has announced the launch target for Space Exploration Technologies' (SpaceX) second Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration flight will be Feb. 7, 2012, pending completion of final safety reviews, testing and verification. NASA also has agreed to allow SpaceX to send its Dragon spacecraft to rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS) in a single flight. "SpaceX has made incredible progress over the last several months preparing Dragon for its mission to the space station," said William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. "We look forward to a successful mission, which...
  • Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS (AMAZING 5 MINUTE VIDEO)

    11/14/2011 8:54:28 PM PST · by Yossarian · 18 replies
    Vimeo ^ | 11/11/2011 | NASA ISS crews / Michael König video editing
    If you like space, the planet earth, and the aurora borealis, this is quite possibly the sexiest video ever made. Since FR doesn't allow embedding of videos, you'll just have to click this link to watch it. Make sure the "HD" button (on the embedded viewer) is on (blue), set it to full-screen, sit back, and be amazed.