A workhorse Soyuz booster thundered to life and climbed into a dark Kazakh sky Friday, carrying NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko on a four-orbit voyage to the International Space Station to kick off a marathon 342-day mission, the longest flight ever attempted by an American.
This video from a camera on Atlantis’ flight deck shows what it’s like to launch into orbit aboard the space shuttle. The footage begins with the final countdown to blastoff and continues through the astronauts getting out of their seats to see the jettisoned fuel tank fall away. (Membership Required)
Russian space agency and NASA officials said Wednesday they will accelerate the launch of the next Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station, and fly it to the complex next month without anyone on-board to replace a Soyuz crew ferry ship damaged Dec. 14 by a high-speed impact, likely from a tiny particle from deep space. The schedule shuffle will mean two Russian cosmonauts and one U.S. astronaut will stay in space several months beyond their planned return to Earth in late March.
A Russian Soyuz crew ferry ship docked to the International Space Station spewed particles of an unknown substance, presumably coolant fluid, into space Wednesday night, forcing two Russian cosmonauts to call off a planned spacewalk as engineers on the ground scrambled to determine the source and the effects of the leak.
The mobile launch platform for NASA’s Space Launch System moon rocket rolled back into the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center Friday for inspections and repairs after liftoff of the Artemis 1 moon mission last month, setting the stage for upgrades to the 380-foot-tall structure before the first crewed Artemis moon flight scheduled for 2024.
Three Chinese astronauts landed Sunday after 182 days on China’s Tiangong space station, completing the busiest mission yet for the country’s human spaceflight program. The astronauts performed three spacewalks and assisted in the arrival and outfitting of two new lab modules at the Tiangong outpost.