The launch of a Soyuz rocket with a Progress refueling and resupply freighter was aborted seconds before liftoff Thursday in a rare scrub for Russia’s workhorse rocket, delaying the start of a journey to the International Space Station until at least Saturday and thwarting plans to test out a new automated fast-track rendezvous sequence.
Five days after work to replace the grapple fitting on one end of the space station’s robot arm, commander Randy Bresnik and flight engineer Mark Vande Hei ventured back outside the lab complex Tuesday to lubricate the new arm mechanism, to replace a degraded camera and to carry out a variety of lower-priority chores.
Returning home from more than a month in orbit, a SpaceX Dragon supply ship departed the International Space Station and parachuted into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday with nearly two tons of research specimens and hardware, including mice sent up to investigate how spaceflight affects eyesight and locomotion.
SpaceX’s Dragon supply ship returned to to Earth on Sunday with more than 3,800 pounds of NASA cargo, research specimens and other hardware. The commercial capsule was released from the International Space Station’s robotic arm at 4:40 a.m. EDT (0840 GMT), and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California occurred at approximately 10:15 a.m. EDT (1415 GMT).
Russian Soyuz commander Alexander Misurkin and two U.S. astronauts — flight engineers Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba — lifted off Tuesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The trio began their six-hour journey to the International Space Station with a launch aboard a Soyuz rocket at 2117 GMT (5:17 p.m. EDT), and docking occurred at 0255 GMT (10:55 p.m. EDT).