Entries in ISS (5)


SpaceX Dragon Heading Back to Earth

NASA(HOUSTON) -- The SpaceX Dragon capsule is making its way back to Earth after becoming the first commercial spacecraft to successfully dock with the International Space Station (ISS).

The Dragon is expected to splash down in the Pacific Ocean off Los Angeles at 11:44 a.m. ET on Thursday.

Early Thursday morning, the capsule was released from the space station's robotic arm.

"Dragon is free from the International Space Station.  The crew backing away the robotic arm," Mission Control said.

The Dragon launched into space last Tuesday and arrived at the ISS on May 25 to deliver a half-ton of food and other supplies.  The capsule was also carrying the ashes of 308 people -- including James Doohan, who played Scotty in the original Star Trek series, and American astronaut Gordon Cooper -- which were in a cannister and jettisoned into space.

The milestone launch was NASA's first attempt to outsource its missions to privately-funded companies, in this case, Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

Up to now, deliveries in manned rockets have been handled by the European Union, Japan, Russia and the U.S.  Last year, NASA retired its shuttle program after 30 years in anticipation of such private and international missions.

SpaceX, a Hawthorne, California-based company, has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to make 12 trips to the ISS.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


International Space Station to Go Unmanned for Months?

NASA(HOUSTON) -- A safety problem with a Russian rocket might force NASA to leave the International Space Station empty for months.

The six-member crew working on the ISS has already been told their return to earth will be delayed and they might not be replaced right away because of safety concerns with the rocket that carries astronauts up to orbit.

Not a problem, says NASA's Michael Suffredini, because the space station can be operated by remote control from earth.

"We're going to do what's safest for the crew and for the space station," Suffredini said.

With the NASA space shuttles retired, Russia's Soyuz spacecraft is the only way to get astronauts up to orbit. A failure in a Russian rocket caused an unmanned supply ship to crash -- and now it could be months before new crew members could be sent up to the space station.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Endeavour Astronauts Conduct First Spacewalk of Mission

NASA TV(HOUSTON) -- Two crew members aboard space shuttle Endeavour on Friday took part in the first spacewalk of the shuttle's 16-day mission.

Astronauts Drew Feustel and Greg Chamitoff floated in space to perform some basic maintenance work on the International Space Station and retrieve some experiments stashed outside the orbiting outpost.

Friday's spacewalk is the fourth for Feustel and the first for Chamitoff.  It's the first of four spacewalks Endeavour's six-man crew has planned during their time in space.

A day before, the astronauts installed a $2 billion alpha magnetic spectrometer on the ISS, which could prove or disprove the Big Bang Theory of how the universe was formed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Space Shuttle Endeavour Docks with International Space Station

NASA TV(HOUSTON) -- After being in orbit for nearly two full days, space shuttle Endeavour docked with the International Space Station Wednesday morning.

Commander Mark Kelly guided the spacecraft into position at 6:14 a.m. EDT.

The six astronauts on board are expected to open the shuttle's hatches at 8:36 a.m., after which the first robotic activity will take place.  A spare parts carrier will be transferred from Endeavour's robotic arm to its counterpart on the ISS.  It will then be installed on the station.

Endeavour took off for its final flight Monday morning from Florida's Kennedy Space Center.  During their 16-day mission, the six-man crew will install a $2 billion alpha magnetic spectrometer, which could prove or disprove the Big Bang Theory of how the universe was formed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Space Shuttle Discovery to Begin Final Mission

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) -- Space shuttle Discovery is set to lift off Thursday on its final mission.

The shuttle will travel to the International Space Station one last time to conclude its 26-year career. Discovery taxied the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit and returned pioneering astronaut John Glenn to space, among its other accomplishments.

The milestone mission is also making news for its passenger, a humanoid named Robonaut 2. This will be the first time NASA has used an anthropomorphic robot for space work. Robonaut 2 will unpack cargo and perform basic tests.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio