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From the International Space Station, Expedition 25 Commander Doug Wheelock and Flight Engineers Shannon Walker and Scott Kelly discussed life and work aboard the orbital laboratory with students gathered at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 23. The event attracted a number of dignitaries, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan and NASA’s Associate Administrator for Education, astronaut Leland Melvin. Wheelock and Walker will return to Earth Thanksgiving Day with Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin for a landing in their Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft on the steppe of Kazakhstan. Kelly will become station commander during a Change of Command ceremony Wednesday and remain on the complex until March.
NASA Ending Space Shuttle Missions After 30 Years of Flights
The U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery is set to lift off from Florida on November 1 for a mission to the International Space Station. It will be one of the final missions for the shuttle; NASA is ending the program and will retire its remaining fleet of the reusable spacecraft next year. Our correspondent has more on how the US space agency is charting a new course for future human space exploration.
Boeing said Wednesday that it was entering the space tourism business, an announcement that could bolster the Obama administration’s efforts to transform the National Aeronautics and Space Administration into an agency that focuses less on building rockets and more on nurturing a commercial space industry.
The flights, which could begin as early as 2015, would most likely launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida to the International Space Station. The Obama administration has proposed turning over to private companies the business of taking NASA astronauts to orbit, and Boeing and Bigelow Aerospace of Las Vegas won an $18 million contract this year for preliminary development and testing of a capsule that could carry seven passengers.
Expedition 24 Flight Engineers Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Shannon Walker and Doug Wheelock discussed their mission with Voice of America and ABC News during a pair of in-flight interviews on Sept. 14. Caldwell Dyson is scheduled to return to Earth on Sept. 23, to complete more than five months in space.
A new Russian cargo ship pulled up to the International Space Station Sunday to deliver a fresh load of food and supplies for the outpost’s astronaut crew.
The unmanned Progress 39 space freighter docked at the space station right on time at 7:58 a.m. EDT (1158 GMT) as both spacecraft sailed about 216 miles (347 km) above Mongolia.
“We have contact,” radioed Alexander Skvortsov, the station’s cosmonaut commander, to Mission Control in Russia.
The automated Progress 39 cargo ship docked itself flawlessly with no need for Skvortsov and his crew to take remote control of the craft like they did with a previous Progress 38 supply ship in July when it failed to dock on the first try. The spacecraft parked itself at the aft end of the station’s Russian Zvezda service module. [Graphic: Inside and Out – the International Space Station]
A huge particle detector to be mounted on the International Space Station next year could find evidence for the anti-universe often evoked in science fiction, physicists said on Wednesday.
Speaking as the 8.5-tonne Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) machine was being loaded into a huge U.S. Air Force cargo plane at Geneva airport, they said the 20-year research program would bring a huge step forward in understanding the cosmos.
“If there is an anti-universe, perhaps out there beyond the edge of our universe, our space-based detector may well be able to bring us signs of its existence,” U.S. scientist and Nobel laureate Samuel Ting told a news conference.
TWICE AS NICE Astronauts Mark Kelly (right) and Scott Kelly, who are biological twins, are seen in this file photo taken in the check-out facility at Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center. If all goes according to plan, the twins will be the first ever in space when the shuttle Endeavour docks with the International Space Station in February 2011. (Photo via NASA)
The International Space Station is the largest structure ever built in space. Its backbone-like main truss is as long as a football field and the station can clearly be seen from Earth by the naked eye, sometimes rivaling the planet Venus in brightness. Today, the space station is home to crews of up to six astronauts representing five different space agencies and 15 countries that built it. Construction on the $100 billion International Space Station began in 1998 and is expected to be completed by mid-2011. SPACE.com looks at the space station from the inside out to take a close look at orbiting lab.
Despite an eight-hour spacewalk, two astronauts failed to remove a broken pump at the International Space Station. Jon Decker reports.
Engineers are reviewing data after astronauts completed a spacewalk to start fixing a part of the International Space Station’s cooling system, NASA said.
Saturday’s spacewalk lasted 8 hours, 3 minutes — the sixth longest in human spaceflight history, NASA said. But despite its long duration, the two astronauts participating in the spacewalk were unable to complete all they hoped to accomplish.
Astronauts could start another spacewalk Wednesday to resume efforts to remove and replace a failed ammonia pump, NASA said.
The pump failed July 31, setting off warning alarms and shutting down part of the space station’s cooling system.
NASA says that without controls, the temperature of the orbiting station’s sun-facing side would soar to 250 degrees (121 degrees Celsius), while thermometers on the dark side would plunge to minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit (-157 degrees Celsius).
But a backup system on the space station is keeping it cool, even with the failed ammonia pump, NASA said.
Six people — three Americans and three Russians — are on the International Space Station.
The station’s crew members are conducting more than 100 ongoing experiments in biology, physical sciences, technology development, and Earth and space sciences, according to NASA.