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International Space Station

Space

Fire, meteor and gecko-gripper experiments en route to Space Station

At this moment, a spacecraft containing the means for astronauts to set fire outside the International Space Station is rocketing into outer space. The craft is an Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft, and it was launched courtesy of an Atlas V rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on March 22 at 11:05 p.m. EDT. In addition to the materials for the fire-starting experiment, the resupply craft also has 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) of additional supplies aboard including the gear for a total of 250 experiments to be conducted aboard the ISS in the coming months. Here's a look at a few of the highlights.Read More

Space

Cygnus Orbital ATK CRS-6 cargo mission on its way to the ISS

The Orbital ATK CRS-6 mission is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). The unmanned Cygnus cargo ship lifted off today atop an Atlas V booster in a spectacular nighttime launch at 11:05 pm EDT from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a three-month mission to deliver about 7,500 lb (3.400 kg) of supplies and experiments to the space station.Read More

Space

NASA to light fire on orbiting space craft

In what might sound like a rather frightening first, NASA plans to set fire in a spacecraft in orbit. Scheduled for May, the Spacecraft Fire Experiment-I (Saffire-I) will take place aboard an unmanned Cygnus cargo ship after it completes its resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The purpose of this controlled pyrotechnic experiment is a better understanding of large-scale fires in zero gravity and improving spacecraft design safety.Read More

Cygnus spacecraft takes out the trash

The Orbital Sciences/ATK Cygnus CRS-4 mission came to an end today as NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra used one of the International Space Station's (ISS) robotic arms to release the spacecraft from its docking port. Filled with rubbish, the unmanned cargo ship left the station at 7:26 am EST. After a controlled re-entry maneuver monitored by mission control in Houston, it is scheduled to burn up over the Pacific Ocean on Saturday morning.Read More

Space

Fungi survive on the ISS under Mars-like conditions

Results are back from one of the latest experiments hosted on the International Space Station (ISS), with researchers from Spain's National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) using the facility to study how hardy fungi species, collected from the Antarctic, cope under simulated Martian conditions. The results are helping scientists gain insights relevant to the search for life on the Red Planet.Read More

Robotics

NASA crowdsources design ideas for its new ISS-bound robot

Since arriving in 2006, NASA's SPHERES robots have roamed the International Space Station assisting in microgravity research by serving as engineering and robotic testbeds. Now it is time for an upgrade. As NASA prepares to launch SPHERES' successor, a free-flying cube-shaped robot known as Astrobee, it is crowdsourcing design concepts for one of new machine's more noteworthy features, a robotic arm to be used for perching and interacting with objects.Read More

Boeing awarded second human spaceflight mission

After being awarded its first mission in May, Boeing has been given a second mission to transport crew to the International Space Station (ISS) from 2017. The crew rotation mission is the second of between two and six missions for the company as part of NASA's US$4.2 billion Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap).

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Cygnus spacecraft finally docks with ISS

As of 9:26 am EST, the Orbital ATK Cygnus supply vessel has finally succeeded in docking with the International Space Station following a series of weather-related delays. The Cygnus launched to the ISS last week boasted a 53 percent increase in cargo capacity over previous versions, allowing the spacecraft to replenish the station with roughly 7,000 lb (3,175 kg) worth of consumables, scientific experiments and station hardware.Read More

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