Category Archives: ISS

Progress MS-07 Launch Scrubbed

If you were looking for the Progress Cargo ship launch it has been scrubbed until at least Saturday.

There was a fault of some type in the last minute of the countdown. We do not know what caused the fault as yet.

Next attempt 14 October. Launch window opens at around 07:42 UT / 03:42 ET – I will find out for sure and update.

Space Walk Coverage – REPLAY

Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei spacewalk outside International Space Station. During today’s spacewalk with a goal of replacing one of two Latching End Effectors (LEE) on the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2.


The EVA is scheduled to begin at 12:00 UTC / 08:00 ET. I will take the live feed down after the EVA and possibly replace it with a condensed replay – if all goes as I expect on this end that is.

ISS over Hurricanes

The International Space Station passes over Hurricanes Jose and Irma in the Atlantic.  Irma of course is the huge storm about to hit Florida.

UPDATE:  The hurricane is going up the west side of the state so KSC will be impacted but nothing like the gulf coast.  Be safe everybody and good luck.

The projected path of Irma has put the center of the storm towards the western part of Florida and away from a direct hit on the Cape Canaveral area. That does not mean they are out of danger, far from it.

From a Hurricane Local Statement issued by the US National Weather Service for Cape Canveral:

Irma is a large hurricane and will produce far-reaching effects
regardless of where the exact center of the storm moves. Winds of
strong tropical storm to Category 1 hurricane force are expected to
produce widespread damage well east of Irma`s track, across east
central Florida. Flooding rain is also of considerable concern. Heavy
rain, especially in squalls, will increase in coverage and frequency
across east central Florida especially on Sunday and into early Monday.
Although Irma will be moving steadily forward, it will produce 8 to 12
inches of rain with locally higher amounts of 15 to 20 inches.

A Flood Watch has been issued for all of east central Florida.

Efforts to protect life and property should be rushed to completion!
From around Lake Okeechobee to the Treasure coast counties, every
effort should be taken to bring hurricane preparations to completion
by this afternoon, before weather conditions deteriorate. Areas
farther north from greater Kissimmee-Saint Cloud, Orlando, Sanford, and
Lake County eastward to the Space Coast and the greater Daytona Beach
area should have preparations completed by sunset on Saturday evening.

Wind driven water inundation will be possible in areas adjacent to
larger inland lakes, such as Lakes Okeechobee, Kissimmee, and Lake
George, as well as the Intracoastal Waterway.

Ahead of Irma, surf conditions will become hazardous as large swells
bring high surf and increasingly strong rip currents. Beach erosion
will ensue, and become progressively worse throughout the weekend and
into Monday.

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey seen from the International Space Station.

I’ve been watching coverage and the storm is onshore. It is still along the Texas coast (while I am posting this) so we down have a good look at things on the ground. I am hearing over 200,000 without power so far and this is still in the early stages. Some forecasts, most actually, have rainfall amounts to be over 75 cm / 30 inches!

Stay safe Texas.

I’ll try to post an update later.

Cosmic Ray Detector Heading to ISS

The mystery of cosmic rays will be explored in a new detector to be launched to the International Space Station.

The detector is called CREAM short for the Cosmic Ray Energetics And Mass mission. The CREAM detectors have flown before on balloons as far back as 2004 and 2016 at altitudes of around 35 km (120,000 feet) so the technology is not new. This time around being at the ISS, the detector will be able to measure the highest energy cosmic rays so far.

Cosmic rays are constantly raining down on Earth mostly from outside our solar system. Most any astrophotographer has seen evidence of cosmic rays at white pixel anomalies in their photographs.

The launch date: 14 August 2017
More information on CREAM and cosmic rays.

200 Spacewalks at the ISS

This is video of the 200th spacewalk in support of the International Space Station since 1998!

This was the ninth space walk for Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and the first for Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA. Whitson now has the third most hours on spacewalks, congratulations Peggy.

The pair replaced an avionics box responsible for routing power and data commands to experiments on the orbital outpost. In addition to that work, the two spacewalkers installed a data cable for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and a new high definition camera on the station’s truss.

Looking at Home

Wow, very nice look homeward for Thomas Pesquet aboard the International Space Station.  He called it  “Europe by night, under clear skies is a carpet of lights!”.

ESA:  Thomas’ Proxima mission is the ninth long-duration mission for an ESA astronaut. It is named after the closest star to the Sun, continuing a tradition of naming missions with French astronauts after stars and constellations.

During Proxima, Thomas will have performed around 50 scientific experiments for ESA and France’s space agency CNES as well as take part in many research activities for the other Station partners. The mission is part of ESA’s vision to use Earth-orbiting spacecraft as a place to live and work for the benefit of European society while using the experience to prepare for future voyages of exploration further into the Solar System.


Launch Day 1

If all goes well today will be the first of two launches to the International Space Station  this week, today and Thursday.

Today it is the launch of the Orbital ATK and the S.S John Glenn cargo ship for a resupply mission to the ISS.  This will be Orbital’s seventh mission to the ISS.

Launch time is set for 15:11 UTC / 11:11 EDT and there is a 90 percent chance for favorable weather.  Be sure to come back for the launch which will be live, and could be one of those 360 degree videos where you can move the mouse around.  If it works.  This is the first time this type of video has been tried.

You probably noticed the “S.S John Glenn”, this spacecraft has been named in the late John Glenn’s honor.

The video will post about 15 minutes before launch.



Coming Home – Replay

The replay:

The still image provided by NASA TV is the moment of touchdown. The image (and video) comes from the long range tracking camera.

What a ride that must be. Great video too, quite a parachute. I’ll put up a replay when it becomes available.

Currently I am waiting for reports on the crew.  Crew is doing just fine!  So all is well.

Losing a Blanket

Footage of the blanket that got away from astronauts this week.

After 173 days in space, Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Flight Engineers Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos will depart the space station in a Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft at 0900 UT / 0400 EDT and land in Kazakhstan at 1220 UT / 0720 ET / 19:20 Kazakhstan time.

I will put a link in for the undocking coverage tomorrow morning.