WASHINGTON — Three new crew members are on their way to the International Space Station. NASA Flight Engineer Sunita Williams, Russian Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:40 p.m. EDT Saturday, July 14 (8:40 a.m. Baikonur time July 15). Williams, Malenchenko and Hoshide are scheduled to dock their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft to the Rassvet module of the station at 12:52 a.m. EDT Tuesday, July 17. They will join Expedition 32 Commander Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Flight Engineers Joe Acaba of NASA and Sergei Revin of Russia, who have been aboard the orbiting laboratory since May 17. [adrotate banner="1"] The six crew members will work together for about two months. Acaba, Padalka and Revin are scheduled to return to Earth Sept. 17. Before they depart, Padalka will hand over command of the station and Expedition 33 to Williams. She, Malenchenko and Hoshide will return home in mid-November. NASA Television will provide live docking coverage beginning [...]
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ISS Progress 46 Departs (19 April 2012) — The trash-filled ISS Progress 46 spacecraft departs from the International Space Station on April 19, 2012. Russian flight controllers will command the Progress 46 for several days of tests, and then send it to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.
The ambitious Russian Mars probe which was supposed to place a lander on Phobos was doomed by a software glitch say Russian officials. “a programming error which led to a simultaneous reboot of two working channels of an onboard computer,” according to RIA Novosti. With both of the main spacecraft computers down the doomed probe basically lost it’s mind. Even with that after the reboot the probe’s design still should have allow communication to be re-established. All satellites are normally designed to survive a computer reboot and will come back in a safe mode waiting for commands from the ground. This admission by Russian officials confirms and editoral published here on KnowledgeOrb which said the root cause of the failure was not the the hardware or software but the state of the Russian space program itself. [adrotate banner="1"] Shortly after the November launch of Phobos Grunt it was supposed to fire its thrusters and start it’s trip to mars. This never happened, the probe lost contact with the ground and it now appears that due [...]