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SpaceX Dragon Arrives at Space Station

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UPDATES


SPACEX CRS-1 UPDATE

October 10, 2012

The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft has been successfully captured at the International Space Station.

At approximately 6:56AM ET / 3:56AM PT, Expedition 33 crew member Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency used the station’s robotic arm to grapple Dragon.

Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams of NASA remarked, “Looks like we’ve tamed the Dragon. We’re happy she’s on board with us.”

Approximately two and a half hours from grapple (exact time variable), Williams will gently install Dragon to Harmony’s Common Berthing Mechanism, enabling it to be bolted in place for its expected two and a half week stay at the International Space Station.

Source: SpaceX Updates

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Station Crew Opens Dragon Hatch

Running well ahead of schedule, Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide opened the hatch to the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship at 1:40 p.m. EDT Wednesday, marking a milestone for the first commercial resupply mission to reach the International Space Station.

Hatch opening had been schedule to occur on Thursday, but the crew sped through its post-berthing procedures, enabling the earlier entrance into the cargo ship.

Earlier, Hoshide, with the assistance of Williams, used the robotic arm from a workstation inside the station’s cupola to capture Dragon at 6:56 a.m. as the spacecraft flew within about 32 feet of the station.

With Dragon securely in the grasp of Canadarm2, ground controllers remotely operated the arm to guide the capsule to the Earth-facing side of the Harmony module. Hoshide and Williams then swapped places at the controls of the robotics workstation, and Williams used the Canadian Space Agency-provided robotic arm to install Dragon to its docking port on Harmony at 9:03 a.m.

Dragon is scheduled to spend 18 days attached to the station. During that time, the crew will unload 882 pounds of crew supplies, science research and hardware from the cargo craft and reload it with 1,673 pounds of cargo for return to Earth. After Dragon’s mission at the station is completed, the crew will use Canadarm2 to detach Dragon from Harmony on October 28 and release it for a splashdown about six hours later in the Pacific Ocean, 250 miles off the coast of southern California.

Dragon launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket at 8:35 p.m. Sunday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, beginning NASA's first contracted cargo delivery flight, designated SpaceX CRS-1, to the station.

› Read more about the launch of Dragon

› View SpaceX Dragon CRS-1 Mission press kit

The third Expedition 33 crew member, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko spent his day working on experiments and maintenance in the Russian segment of the station. The cosmonaut also pre-packed a Freon leak analyzer for return to Earth aboard Dragon.

Meanwhile at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, three additional Expedition 33 flight engineers -- NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin – climbed aboard their Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft Wednesday for the first of two "fit checks" in the vehicle in which they will be launched October 23 for a five-month mission on the station. -0-0-0-0-0-0 Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams used the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to install the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship to its docking port on the Earth-facing side of the Harmony node at 9:03 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

› Read more about Expedition 33

› Follow @Astro_Suni on Twitter

› Visit Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

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Dragon Captured and Berthed to Station

Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams used the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to install the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship to its docking port on the Earth-facing side of the Harmony node at 9:03 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 10. Earlier, working from the robotics workstation inside the cupola, Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide, with the assistance of Williams, captured the commercial cargo ship with the Canadian Space Agency-provided robotic arm at 6:56 a.m. as the spacecraft flew within about 32 feet of the orbiting complex.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Station Crew Opens Dragon Hatch

Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide opened the hatch to the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship at 1:40 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 10, marking a milestone for the first commercial resupply mission to reach the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Awesome!

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This is simply amazing to me. I have long believed that private industry could do so many things for the continuation of space exploration and travel.

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Crew Unloads Dragon, Finds Treats

Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide spent much of Thursday unloading some of the 882 pounds of cargo that arrived to the International Space Station the prior day aboard the SpaceX Dragon. The two astronauts also uncovered a special treat in one of the commercial cargo craft’s freezer compartments along the way.

Williams and Hoshide, who used the station’s robotic arm to grapple and berth Dragon to the Earth-facing side of the Harmony module Wednesday, began an extensive cargo transfer that will continue throughout the 18 days that Dragon remains at the station. In addition to the crew supplies, science research and hardware that Dragon delivered to the station, the crew will reload the craft with 1,673 pounds of cargo for return to Earth when the capsule makes its parachute-assisted splashdown Oct. 28 in the Pacific Ocean, 250 miles off the southern California coast.

› Read about SpaceX Dragon grapple and berthing

While unloading items delivered to the station in one of Dragon’s freezer compartments, Williams discovered a stash of ice cream that had been packed there as a special treat for the crew. Ice cream is a welcome novelty on the station since the crew’s daily menu, healthy and varied though it may be, usually consists of specially packaged food that can be stored safely at room temperature for many months.

Williams also spent some time cleaning bacteria filters and testing samples from the Water Processing Assembly with the Total Organic Carbon Analyzer to check for any microbial contamination.

Williams took a break from her work for an in-flight interview with Lisa Stark of ABC News and Don Lemon of CNN. The commander discussed life aboard the station, her recent triathlon in space and the importance of Dragon and commercial spaceflight.

The third Expedition 33 crew member, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko, conducted another session with the Kulonovskiy Kristall experiment, which gathers data about charged particles in a weightless environment. He also performed routine maintenance on the life support system in the Russian segment of the station and cleaned air vents.

Meanwhile at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, three additional Expedition 33 flight engineers -- NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin – participated in a traditional flag-raising ceremony outside their Cosmonaut Hotel crew quarters. The trio is set to launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft Oct. 23 for a five-month mission on the station.

› Read more about Expedition 33

› Follow @Astro_Suni on Twitter

› Visit Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

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Crew Unloads Dragon, Finds Treats

The International Space Station’s Expedition 33 crew wrapped up the week Friday with science experiments, station maintenance and more cargo transfers from the recently arrived SpaceX Dragon cargo craft.

Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide, who used the station’s robotic arm to grapple and berth Dragon to the Earth-facing side of the Harmony module Wednesday, continued unloading cargo from the commercial cargo craft. In addition to the 882 pounds of crew supplies, science research and hardware that Dragon delivered to the station, the crew will reload the craft with 1,673 pounds of cargo for return to Earth when the capsule makes its parachute-assisted splashdown Oct. 28 in the Pacific Ocean, 250 miles off the southern California coast.

› Read about SpaceX Dragon grapple and berthing

› Read about SpaceX Dragon launch

In addition to her cargo transfers, Williams activated the mixing tubes in the NanoRacks Module 9 payload. NanoRacks provides microgravity research facilities for small standardized payloads aboard the station.

Williams also assisted Hoshide with ultrasound scans as he participated in Sprint, which is an experiment that measures the effectiveness of high-intensity, low-volume exercise training in minimizing the loss of muscle mass and bone density that occurs during long-term exposure to weightlessness.

Williams, who hails from Needham, Mass., took a break from her work to talk with the Boston news media. During the in-flight interviews with WBZ-TV’s David Wade and WCVB-TV’s Jennifer Berryman, Williams discussed life aboard the station, Boston sports and the Dragon spacecraft.

Meanwhile in the Japanese Kibo module, Hoshide collected air samples to test for any microbes. He also repressurized Kibo’s airlock, which was most recently used to pass the Small Satellite Orbital Deployer outside to the Japanese robotic arm for the release of several tiny satellites.

The third Expedition 33 crew member, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko, worked on the Matryoshka experiment. Named after the traditional Russian set of nested dolls, this experiment helps measure the ionizing radiation exposure that Expedition crews are subjected to during long-duration spaceflights. Malenchenko also performed routine maintenance on the life-support systems in the Russian segment of the station.

Over the weekend, the crew will have some off-duty time to relax, talk with friends and family back on Earth and perform routine station maintenance and housekeeping tasks.

Meanwhile at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, three additional Expedition 33 flight engineers -- NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin – reviewed generic ascent procedures at the Cosmonaut Hotel crew quarters. The trio is set to launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft Oct. 23 for a five-month mission on the station.

› Follow @Astro_Suni on Twitter

› Visit Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

› Read more about Expedition 33

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