ISS News: December 2004 Archives

29 December 2004: No more free rides for U.S. astronauts on Russian spacecraft, Russian space chief says, AP

"Russia plans to stop giving American astronauts free rides on its spacecraft to the international space station beginning in 2006, the head of Russia's space agency said. Anatoly Perminov said the no-cost agreement between NASA and Russia's space agency Roskosmos could be replaced by a barter arrangement, according to the Interfax news agency on Tuesday."

29 December 2004: Russians ready pay-as-you-go space plan, Reuters

"From 2006, we will put U.S. astronauts into orbit only on a commercial basis," Itar-Tass news agency quoted Perminov as saying."

Progress Docks With ISS

NASA Space Station Status Report 25 December 2004

"The Progress automatically docked to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module at 6:58 p.m. EST as the Station flew 225 statute miles over central Asia. Within minutes, hooks and latches between the two ships engaged, forming a tight seal. The docking occurred about 30 minutes later than planned so that the linkup could occur over Russian ground stations with the benefit of television from the cargo ship and real-time data. This is the 16th Progress to dock with the Station."

Christmas on Orbit

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 December 2004

A Progress spacecraft is due to dock with the ISS on Christmas Day. NASA TV coverage begins at 6 p.m. EST. The Progress will dock at approximately 7:05 p.m. EST.

Poem uplinked to Leroy and Salizhan by Flight Control:

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Station
The crew was still working, this is not a vacation!
Their spirits were high but their pantry was bare.
They had hopes that the Progress soon would be there,

When out of the window there emerged a bright light
It was a good Progress launch, what a beautiful sight!

The ISS crew then went straight to their beds
While visions of kung pao chicken danced in their heads.
They slept with the knowledge that teams here on the ground
Would be watching the Progress while it soared ISS-bound.

They'll awake for the docking and that exciting small bump --
Then shout "Merry Christmas to All, we made it over that hump!"

A Merry Christmas and great Holiday to everyone!

Food is on the way

NASA Space Station Status Report 23 December 2004

"A Russian cargo spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station. The Progress resupply ship launched at 5:19:31 p.m. EST from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, and less than 10 minutes later settled into orbit. Moments after that, automatic commands deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas."

8 Day Food Margin on ISS

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 December 2004

"Update on food and water: As confirmed by the 12/16 onboard audit, the crew is consuming food per the planned rate. Available supply will last through 1/3/05. Both sides also acknowledge that the available water run-out date is around 1/24-25/05."

"Upcoming Key Events: Progress 16P hatch opening -- 12/26 (1:10pm EST)"

NASA Forgets Its Own History

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 20 December 2004, NASA HQ

"Today 27 years ago (1977) the Salyut-6 crew of Yuri Romanenko and Georgi Grechko conducted the first "inspect/repair" EVA in history (and the first Russian spacewalk in nearly nine years), to check out the space station's forward docking port after a failed docking attempt by the Soyuz-25 spacecraft."

Editor's note: Jim Oberg notes: "NASA is overlooking U.S space history - the Skylab repair EVAs (1973)" Oberg is quite right. The EVAs conducted by the Skylab 2 crew were among the most daring and innovative ever conducted. The EVA repairs involved the erection of a solar parasol and the freeing of a large jammed PV array - which required brute strength on the part of the crew. This was done using tools and techniques developed from scratch - and involved things that had never been used before in space - and they were accomplished in 1973 - four years before the Salyut 6 event mentioned in this internal NASA report.

11 December 2004: So who ate all the pies in space?, Times Online

"An emergency Christmas Day delivery is planned by rocket to restock the dwindling larder of Salizhan Sharipov and Leroy Chiao. If the mission is called off the astronauts will have to flee in the escape pod."

Editor's note:Here we go again. The Progress mission to the ISS is not an "emergency mission", rather, it is one of many previously scheduled, routine resupply missions. Moreover, I cannot imagine why they'd "flee" if the food ran out. You have to think that they'd have enough notice to plan ahead and simply "depart". But words such as "routine" and "depart" don't sell newspapers. Words such as "emergency" and "flee" do.

No Snacks in Space

With Food Running Low, Space Crew Must Cut Back, NY Times

"The two astronauts aboard the International Space Station have been asked to curb their calories because of a food shortage, NASA officials said Thursday."

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 December 2004

2 December 2004: NASA, Russians forging a deal for rides, MSNBC

"NASA officials have confirmed Russian reports about an "outer-space swap" worth an estimated $60 million or more. If approved by the U.S. government, the deal could put off a looming crisis over access to the international space station."

RIP ISS 760XD SSC

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 2 December 2004

"Update on U.S. laptops: Yesterday, the CDR reported the death of the OpsLAN laptop SSC2 (station support computer #2) at its location at the SM Central Post (CP) where it was used for accessing procedures, OSTP (Onboard Short-Term Plan), messages, etc.This leaves only one other IBM 760XD SSC in operation, used as SSC1 in Sharipov s sleep station."


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