Source: Florida Today NASA is in the midst of a Flight Readiness Review that is widely expected to result in the selection of May 14 as the firmed up launch date for shuttle Atlantis and six astronauts on a mission to the International Space Station. The last flight of Atlantis, and only one of three […]
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden urged aerospace veterans on Friday to support President Obama’s initiative to develop a commercial space industry that can transport astronauts to Earth orbit as part of a long range international effort to resume human deep space exploration. Bolden characterized the space policy agenda outlined by the president since February as risky […]
NASA’s space shuttle program has received a brief reprieve from retirement. The last of three missions still remaining had been scheduled for a Sept. 16 launching aboard the shuttle Discovery. On Monday, shuttle managers moved the planned July 29 launching of the shuttle Endeavour with the $1.5 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to mid-November. The […]
Source: Los Angeles Times The agency may send the Orion capsule to the International Space Station in three years, Administrator Bolden says at a Senate hearing. NASA may be able to send a new vessel to the International Space Station within three years to provide astronauts aboard the orbiting outpost an emergency escape, Administrator Charles […]
President Obama’s plans to cancel NASA’s Constellation Program in favor of major new investments in commercial space transportation for astronauts and a future mission to Mars faced new bi-partisan criticism on Thursday from the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. Ares 1-x soars on Oct. 28 test flight The hearing on […]
NASA’s 13-day, STS-131 mission by the shuttle Discovery will mark a couple of spaceflight milestones, the first times four women and two Japanese have been in space at the same time.
Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on a re-supply mission to the International Space Station on Monday, April 5, at 6:21 a.m., EST.
The shuttle’s seven-member crew includes Mission Specialists Stephanie Wilson, Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, and Naoko Yamazaki of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Three Expedition 23 space station crew members, including NASA flight engineer Tracy Caldwell Dyson, are scheduled to lift off aboard a Russian spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, April 2, at 12:04 a.m., EST, setting the stage for the two milestones.
The space station dockings of the Soyuz crew on Sunday, April 4, at 1:26 a.m, EST, and Discovery on Wednesday, April 7, at 3:50 a.m., EST, will unite 13 U. S., Russian and Japanese astronauts.
The three Expedition 23 crew members, including Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, reached the space station on Dec. 22.
Wilson, 43, who will serve as one of Discovery’s robotics offers, is participating in her third shuttle mission, all launched since NASA’s recovery from the 2003 shuttle Columbia tragedy.
Metcalf-Lindenburger, 34, will be the fourth of NASA’s educator-astronauts, to take flight. The Vancouver, Wash., high school Earth science and astronomy teacher joined NASA’s astronaut corps in 2004. She will serve as Discovery’s flight engineer.
Yamazaki, a 39-year-old aerospace engineer, was selected by JAXA for astronaut training in 1999. The mission marks her first spaceflight. Yamazaki will supervise the cargo transfers between shuttle and space station.
Caldwell Dyson, a 40-year-old chemist, is embarking on a six-month space station voyage. She’ll serve as a flight engineer. Caldwell Dyson flew previously on the STS 118 mission in 2007.
Led by Alan Poindexter, a U. S. Navy Captain, Discovery’s mission will deliver 3,800 pounds of new science equipment and other supplies to the station in the European Space Agency-furnished Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo.
The new science gear includes the Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise system rack, or MARES, which will help astronauts exercise seven different joints and attached muscles that weaken during lengthy periods of weightlessness. MARES will enable astronauts to measure changes in muscle mass during their missions for the first time, revealing the effectiveness of exercise regimes intended to slow the deterioration.
The new Window Observational Research Facility, or WORF, will position cameras, spectral scanners, camcorders and other sensors over an optical quality window in the station’s U. S. Destiny science module. The new imagers will enable astronauts to carry out climate change studies, make land and sea observations and detect weather-related crop damage.
Discovery will deliver a third Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for ISS, or MELFI, for the preservation of blood, urine and saliva specimens collected as part of crew health studies. Plant and microbial samples will be stored in the freezer as part of experiments assessing the effects on weightlessness on their development.
During three spacewalks, Discovery astronauts Clay Anderson and Rick Mastrachhio will replace an external Ammonia Tank Assembly. The bulky tank holds an ammonia coolant that circulates through the station to remove the heat generated by internal electronics.
Jim Dutton, a U. S. Air Force colonel, will serve as Discovery’s pilot.
Space Station commander Oleg Kotov, flight engineer T. J. Creamer and Noguchi will be joined by Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko as well as Caldwell Dyson as the new Soyuz docks.
Discovery’s will mark NASA’s second shuttle mission of 2010.
NASA’s shuttle fleet is facing retirement after three additional missions