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International Space Station

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

Cygnus cargo ship launch scrubbed due to bad weather

Today's launch of Orbital Sciences' Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) has been scrubbed. According to NASA, thick cloud and disturbed weather at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida prohibited the liftoff of the unmanned Orbital Sciences/ATK Cygnus CRS-4 mission and launch control ordered a 24-hr postponement at 6:11 pm EST. Read More

Space

NASA orders first manned Dragon mission

NASA has ordered the first mission by SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft to ferry astronauts from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station. This is the second mission planned with a private company under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts, which guarantees at least four such orders with two companies. The launch is scheduled for late 2017.Read More

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