Three days after three space fliers wrapped up their 139-day space mission, another trio launched Sunday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome to continue a rapid-fire crew rotation and bring the International Space Station back to a full complement of six residents. Russian commander Anton Shkaplerov, NASA flight engineer Scott Tingle and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai lifted off at 0721 GMT (2:21 a.m. EST) Sunday.
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With a fix in place for a propulsion system alarm that cut short a countdown in the final seconds Monday, U.S. time, Rocket Lab readied an Electron rocket for another try Wednesday night, but unfavorable upper level winds kept the booster grounded. The Electron rocket is awaiting launch on a test flight aiming to deliver three small commercial CubeSats to orbit from a remote New Zealand launch pad.
Unimpeded by rain showers and a dark gray blanket of low clouds, an Ariane 5 rocket thundered away from a European-run space base in the jungle of French Guiana Tuesday to place four Galileo navigation satellites in orbit, an on-target deployment that should improve the location accuracy of new smartphones around the world.