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Archive for the ‘Manned Spaceflight’ Category

Coverage Set For Next International Space Station Crew Launch


NASA Television will provide extensive coverage of prelaunch, launch and docking activities of the next trio of crew members who will fly to the International Space Station.

NASA TV coverage of the Soyuz TMA-05M launch begins at 8:30 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 14. NASA Flight Engineer Sunita Williams, veteran Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will launch to the station at 9:40 p.m. (8:40 a.m., July 15 Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_M12-127_Expedition_32-33_TV_Coverage.html

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NASA Astronaut Stephen K. Robinson Leaves Agency


NASA astronaut Stephen Robinson has left the space agency. Robinson ends his 36-year NASA career as a veteran of three spacewalks with more than 48 days of spaceflight experience. Robinson will become a professor at the University of California at Davis in the fall of 2012. His last day at NASA was June 30.

Robinson began work with NASA as a cooperative education student in 1975 at the agency’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. He was selected for the astronaut corps in 1995. Robinson served as a mission specialist on four spaceflights, including space shuttle missions STS-85 in 1997, STS-95 in 1998, STS-114 in 2005 and STS-130 in 2010.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-227_Robinson_retires.html

NASA Extends Sympathy To Poindexter Family On Death Of Former Astronaut


Former NASA astronaut and space shuttle commander Alan “Dex” Poindexter died while on vacation with his family July 1 in Pensacola, Fla. A veteran of two spaceflights, Poindexter spent a total of 28 days in space.

Poindexter, a U.S. Navy captain, commanded the STS-131 space shuttle Discovery mission to the International Space Station in 2010, delivering more than 13,000 pounds of hardware and equipment. He was the pilot for shuttle Atlantis’ STS-122 mission that delivered and installed the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory on the station in 2008.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-228_Former_Astronaut_Poindexter_Dies.html

Virginia Students To Speak Live With Space Station Resident


More than 200 students will meet at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, Va., to speak with Expedition 32 flight engineer Joe Acaba aboard the International Space Station at 8:55 a.m. EDT, Thursday, July 5. Media representatives are invited to attend.

The question-and-answer discussion, coordinated by NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and the museum, will be broadcast live on NASA Television and include video of Acaba. The students, most of whom are Hispanic, will ask questions about life, work and research on the space station. Several of the questions will be asked and answered in Spanish.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_M12-122_ISS_Educ_Downlink_VA.html

NASA’S Orion Arrives At Kennedy, Work Underway For First Launch


More than 450 guests at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida welcomed the arrival of the agency’s first space-bound Orion spacecraft Monday, marking a major milestone in the construction of the vehicle that will carry astronauts farther into space than ever before.

“Orion’s arrival at Kennedy is an important step in meeting the president’s goal to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and to Mars in the 2030s,” NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said. “As NASA acquires services for delivery of cargo and crew to the International Space Station and other low-Earth destinations from private companies, NASA can concentrate its efforts on building America’s next generation space exploration system to reach destinations for discovery in deep space. Delivery of the first space-bound Orion, coupled with recent successes in commercial spaceflight, is proof this national strategy is working.”

Orion will be the most advanced spacecraft ever designed. It will provide emergency abort capability, sustain astronauts during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-225_Orion_Arrives_KSC.html

Trio From International Space Station Lands Safely In Kazakhstan


Three members of the Expedition 31 crew undocked from the International Space Station and returned safely to Earth Sunday, July 1, wrapping up a mission that lasted six-and-a-half months.

Russian Commander Oleg Kononenko, NASA Flight Engineer Don Pettit and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers landed their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft in Kazakhstan at 3:14 a.m. CDT (2:14 p.m. local time) after undocking from the space station’s Rassvet module at 11:47 p.m. June 30. The trio, which arrived at the station Dec. 23, 2011, spent a total of 193 days in space, 191 of which were aboard the station.

During their expedition, the crew supported more than 200 scientific investigations involving more than 400 researchers around the world. The studies ranged from integrated investigations of the human cardiovascular and immune systems to fluid, flame and robotic research.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-222_Soyuz_Landing.html

Prediction System To Protect Astronauts From Solar Storms

June 30, 2012 1 comment

With the impending solar maximum expected to bring heightened rates of flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs), putting at risk an ever-increasing human presence in space, Oh et al. designed and assessed a prediction system to keep astronauts safe from these solar storms. During a solar flare or CME, particles from the Sun can be accelerated to very high energies-in some cases travelling near the speed of light. Protons with energies surpassing 100 megaelectron volts essentially sandblast everything in their path. Though people on Earth are protected by the planet’s magnetic field and thick atmosphere, astronauts in spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit, or people at high altitudes near the poles, can be exposed to this increased radiation. This can potentially cause radiation sickness, with symptoms such as fever and vomiting.

Full Story: http://www.agu.org/news/press/jhighlight_archives/2012/2012-06-29.shtml#two