Category Archives: Launch / Landing

Progress Cargo Ship Launch

The Russian cargo ship Progress 63P the second of three supply flights to resupply the International Space Station in just a few weeks is set to launch.

Launch of the spacecraft carrying three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 47 crew is scheduled for 16:23 UTC / 12:23 p.m. EDT (10:23 p.m. Baikonur time) on Thursday, March 31, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The launch can be see here with coverage starting a 16:00 UTC / 12 noon EDT.

Orbital Launch Coverage

Here’s the replay. This from NASA (Kennedy Space Center)

Everything seems to be going fine and on schedule for a Saturday arrival at the ISS.

This is going to a fun delivery, especially “Meteor” and the “Gecko Gripper”:

The station’s Expeditions 47 and 48 crews will employ these science payloads to support experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science – research that improves life on Earth — including:

  • Saffire-I provides a new way to study a large fire on an exploration craft, which has not been possible in the past because the risks for performi ng such studies on spacecraft with astronauts aboard are too high.
  • Meteor will enable the first space-based observations of meteors entering Earth’s atmosphere from space.
  • Strata-I could give us answers about how regolith behaves and moves in microgravity, how easy or difficult it is to anchor a spacecraft in regolith, how it interacts with spacecraft and spacesuit materials, and other important properties.
  • The Gecko Gripper study tests a gecko-inspired adhesive gripping device that can stick on command in the harsh environment of space.
  • The Additive Manufacturing Facility will add an upgraded 3-D printing capability to the station.

NASA astronaut and Expedition 46 Commander Tim Kopra will capture Cygnus at about 6:40 a.m. Saturday, March 26, using the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to take hold of the spacecraft. Astronaut Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) will support Kopra in a backup position. NASA TV coverage of capture will begin at 5:30 a.m.

Another Launch

Update: As of 21:45 UTC the odds of having conditions favorable for launch is 90 percent.

Check back for link for live coverage at 02:00 UTC 23 March 2016.


The window opens tomorrow for another launch. This launch will be the fifth resupply mission to the International Space Station for Orbital’s Cygnus cargo ship. The image shows the Cygnus encapsulated for flight at Launch Complex 41 at the Kennedy Space Center.

The Cygnus will be launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 11:05 p.m. EDT tomorrow – that is 03:05 UTC.

Cygnus will carry almost 7,500 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory to support dozens of science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 47 and 48.

The new experiments will inspire future scientists and explorers, with experiments such as an investigation that looks at the properties and behavior of regolith, or “soil” found on asteroids, comets, the moon, and other airless worlds; an instrument for the first-ever, space-based observations of the chemical composition of meteors entering Earth’s atmosphere; a technology demonstration of an adhesive device that can stick on-command in the harsh environment of space; and, the second generation of a portable onboard 3-D printer, among others.

In the event the launch does not take place as scheduled for whatever reason, the next window is 23 March at 09:45 EDT (01:45 UTC on 24 March).

Image: NASA/Dimitrios Gerondidakis

Launch Day to the ISS

Launch time: 17:26 EDT / 21:26 UTC 18 March 2016

Coverage starts at 16:30 EDT / 20:30 UTC

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin are preparing for launch to the International Space Station.

Their six-month journey will begin with a lift off in a Soyuz spacecraft launched from the  Baikonur Cosmodrome.


Rolling Out


The Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is a busy place. This time the Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft was rolled out to the launch pad by train Wednesday morning, 16 March 2016.

On 19 March the Expedition 47 Soyuz Commander Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, Flight Engineer Jeff Williams of NASA, and Flight Engineer Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos into orbit to begin their five and a half month mission on the International Space Station.

Image Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

Space X Launch


UPDATE: Scrubbed for 24 hours

Space X (hopefully) will be launching the SES-9 communications satellite into orbit at 23:46 UTC / 18:46 EST tonight (24  Feb 2016) with an opening of a 90-minute launch window.

The SES-9 SES-9 will provide expansion and replacement capacity to serve the video, enterprise, mobility and government sectors in fast-growing markets across Northeast Asia, South Asia and Indonesia. The additional capacity on SES-9 will enable direct-to-home operators to broadcast more local content and increase their SD and HDTV channel line-up to 22 million households across Asia-Pacific, in markets such as India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Here is a link to the Space X webcast page.

Image: The Falcon sits on the pad ready to launch the SES-9 satellite into orbit from Space X