Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Station Crew Will Rocket Into Orbit Aboard Upgraded Soyuz

A Russian rocket is being prepped to launch a fresh International Space Station crew in a Soyuz spacecraft that sports new guidance, navigation and digital data processing units.

U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly and two Russian cosmonauts -- Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka -- remain scheduled to blast off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 7:10 p.m. Thursday. Live NASA TV coverage will pick up here in The Flame Trench at 6:15 p.m.

The Soyuz spacecraft that will carry the trio features new guidance, navigation and control devices, an advanced digital data processing device and an upgraded electronics cooling system. The NASA graphic shows where the new hardware is located on the spaceship.

James Oberg, a former NASA flight controller and a journalist who is an expert on the Russian space program, says the new digital data processing unit will speed prelaunch checkout of Soyuz vehicles and more efficiently monitor spacecraft systems in flight. The new units replace analog devices that have been in use for decades.

Kelly and his two crewmates are scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station at 8:01 p.m. Saturday. Live docking coverage will begin here in The Flame Trench at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The trio will join two U.S. astronauts -- Douglas Wheelock and Shannon Walker -- and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin on the outpost.

IMAGE NOTE: Click to enlarge the Associated Press photo of the Russian Soyuz rocket and spacecraft on its launch pad at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The rocket was transported from its assembly hangar to the pad on Tuesday. Photo credit: AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky.


Mark Lopa said...

They get an upgraded Soyuz, and we get the shuttle termminated. Hey, why not? They know they have hundreds of millions of dollars coming their way via their Space Taxi Service for the Stupid Americans, so why not?

Anonymous said...

Empires come and go...;

The Egyptians were once able to built the giant pyramids,
Could they do the same today? Not a chance !

America was once able to put men on the Moon,
Could they do the same today or in the near future?
... . ...... !

Anonymous said...

Empires come and go, but democracies should stay, abd they
should stay strong. In today s world, space programs are
not just prestige, they represent econommic and dyplomatic


Anonymous said...

Question from the photo: is the black cylinder/cone on the left the launch vehicle that we, i.e. the US taxpayers, get for our astronauts after the shuttle is gone? (Yuk, Yuk)