Posts Tagged ‘International Space Station’

International Space Station crew forced to evacuate

June 28, 2011 Comments off


The six-member crew of the International Space Station wereforced to evacuate to two Russian Soyuz rescue space vehicles after spotting incoming debris that threatened to flatten the fragile craft
The six-member crew of the International Space Station wereforced to evacuate to two Russian Soyuz rescue space vehicles after spotting incoming debris that threatened to flatten the fragile craft

‘The space junk was detected too late for a ducking manoeuvre,’ the source told Interfax Photo: AFP

The space junk missed the craft by 820ft, a Russian space industry source tolkd the Interfax news agency

“The space junk was detected too late for a ducking manoeuvre,” the source told Interfax.

“The six ISS crew members received instructions to transfer to the Soyuz vehicles,” the Russian source said.

An official at Russian space control outside Moscow said by telephone that such incidents had occurred on past occasions and did not represent an emergency.

“If this is true, they would be following the normal procedure for evacuating the station if necessary,” the mission control spokesman said.

“This is not an emergency operation. They have standing instructions to that effect,” the spokeswoman said.

Three crew members were forced to briefly evacuate the ISS in an incident in March 2009.

It was not immediately clear when the debris was expected to approach the station or what precisely was detected.

The crew is currently manned by three Russians and two Americans as well as a Japanese astronaut.

Chinese space plans cause military jitters

May 17, 2011 Comments off

China has announced plans to put its own space station in orbit by 2020. The 60-tonne construction will be one-seventh the weight of the ISS and will focus on scientific experiments. However, military involvement with the project is causing concern.

Beijing’s Space City research center is opening its doors to the media, as China has announced its intention to build a rival to the International Space Station.

While some see Chinese advances in space travel as a potential threat, the country’s officials are keen to stress the spirit of co-operation, which they say is behind China’s space program.

“We are looking forward to co-operating with other countries in the field of space exploration,” said Yang Liwei, Vice Director of Manned Space Engineering Bureau. “We are also looking forward to having more countries join this club, so we can promote the common goals of mankind.”  

For the moment though, the Chinese space program is doing very well on its own.

Since becoming only the third country in the world to send a person in to space, in 2003, the Chinese also carried out a space walk in 2008 and the Read more…

Highlights of the $3.73 Trillion Budget Request for 2012

February 15, 2011 Comments off

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama released a $3.73 trillion budget for fiscal-year 2012 Monday where he sought to balance two competing and conflicting agendas: dramatic cuts to federal spending while also investing in programs to improve U.S. competitiveness.

A look at what President Barack Obama has requested in his $3.73 trillion budget for the 2012 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

Summary: Homeland Security gets $44 Billion with a priority on naked body scanners.  The Transportation Department gets over a half Trillion dollars for new highway and rail construction, including $53 billion for high-speed trains.  $500 million will go to the new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Enforcement (See my article on LOST.) and NIST, the group that dropped the ball on the Sept. 11th investigation will be getting $764 million, roughly a 17% increase from last year.


Agency: NASA

Spending: $18.7 billion

Percentage Change from 2011: 0.9 percent decrease

Discretionary Spending: $18.7 billion

Highlights: Obama’s space budget is about the same as the previous year, avoiding the major proposed cuts other agencies are facing, partly because of the long planned Read more…

Spacecraft to be controlled by artificial intelligence

February 14, 2011 Comments off

It is a concept that had fatal consequences for the astronauts in the science fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey after their spaceship’s artificially intelligent computer reasoned it had to kill them in order to continue the mission.

Yet despite this warning from Arthur C Clarke and director Stanley Kubrick, The European Space Agency now hopes to use real-life artificial intelligence to control future spacecraft.

British engineers, supported by ESA, are developing control systems that can be used in satellites, robotic exploration vehicles and spacecraft capable of controlling themselves.

The space vehicles will be able to learn, identify problems, adapt during missions, carry out repairs and take their own decisions about how best to carry out a task.

Details of the research have emerged as ESA prepares to launch the second of its Read more…

China’s hostile space capabilities worry US: official

February 9, 2011 Comments off
by Karin Zeitvogel Karin Zeitvogel

WASHINGTON (AFP) – China is developing “counterspace” weapons that could shoot down satellites or jam signals, a Pentagon official said Friday as the United States unveiled a 10-year strategy for security in space.

“The investment China is putting into counterspace capabilities is a matter of concern to us,” deputy secretary of defense for space policy Gregory Schulte told reporters as the defense and intelligence communities released their 10-year National Security Space Strategy (NSSS).

The NSSS marks a huge shift from past practice, charting a 10-year path in space to make the United States “more resilient” and able to defend its assets in a dramatically more crowded, competitive, challenging and sometimes hostile environment, Schulte said.


“Space is no longer the preserve of the US and the Soviet Union, at the time in which we could operate with impunity,” Schulte said.

“There are more competitors, more countries that are launching satellites… and we increasingly have to Read more…