"Explanation: This remarkable image of the space shuttle orbiter Atlantis docked with the International Space Station (ISS) was taken at a range of 190 nautical miles. To record the fast moving pair, last week astronomers at Clay Center Observatory, near Boston, Massachusetts, planet Earth, used a satellite tracking system and 25-inch diameter telescope in combination with a digital video camera."
ISS News: June 2007 Archives
Editor's note: I was just listening to an interview between CNN's Miles O'Brien and the crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis. He mentioned something about "tie fighters" being seen with the space station.
Sure enough, I checked NASA TV and there they were.
Editor's note: Some of the pictures coming back from space today have a special significance for me, and, as I correctly anticipated, a number of my friends who have also worked on the space station program over the years - regardless of which name it is/was called. As far back as the late 1980s, the image we were working toward in all of our minds, was a large, symmetrical stucture - like a giant gossamer dragonfly, swooping through space. Until today, the station's wings always seemed to be wrong - stunted or folded - with everything taking on a tentative look and feel. With this shuttle flight the space station now looks the way many of us have always envisioned it - a thing of beauty - and potential.
"STS-117's constructive stay at the International Space Station came to a close today when space shuttle Atlantis undocked. The two spacecraft parted ways at 10:42 a.m. EDT as they flew over the Coral Sea northeast of Australia. After Pilot Lee Archambault backs the orbiter 450 feet from the station, he will perform a full fly-around to allow crew members to collect video and imagery of the station and its newly expanded solar wings. He will perform the final separation engine burn at 12:25 p.m."
"In a continuing improvement of the onboard Russian computer system, all six channels are now operating in the two Russian command-and-control and the guidance-and-navigation computers that stopped operating three days ago. During a news briefing from the Johnson Space Center Saturday afternoon, International Space Station Program Manager Michael Suffredini said, "We're having a great day on orbit today." Yesterday, station Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov were able to reenable four of the six channels in the computer systems after bypassing what appears to be a faulty power switch with external cabling."
Progress Seen at Space Station, Washinton Post
"Russian cosmonauts made progress yesterday in restoring service on their essential computers on the international space station, using a jumper cable to bypass a malfunctioning power switch. Four of the six computer "channels" were restored yesterday afternoon, according to NASA spokeswoman Brandi Dean. She said that it remains unclear whether they will continue to operate but that officials are optimistic."
Computers shut down again for more troubleshooting, Spaceflightnow.com
"The problem is not serious as long as the shuttle Atlantis remains docked because the orbiter's thrusters can be used, when needed, to make adjustments that are beyond the ability of the gyros or when the gyro system needs to be reset. But the shuttle will undock and return to Earth next week and the Russians have been working around the clock to get the computer glitches resolved before the orbiter departs."
"There are bad ideas, and then there are true historic stinkers. Put the International Space Station in that second category. Today, the most underachieving machine NASA ever dreamed up got into trouble again, when computers that control the stations oxygen, water supply and orientation failed."
Editor's note: I suppose NASA's new Strategic Communications Framework (MIA once again) will just let this sit out there like a lump of coal - or someone will eventually have Mike Griffin write another empty (and obligatory) response that will appear where no one sees it in a week or two ...
Editor's note: NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Operations, Bill Gerstenmaier, will hold a 30-minute mission status briefing today at 2:30 p.m. EDT/1:30 p.m. CDT from NASA's Johnson Space Center.This will air on NASA TV.
Station teams scramble to resolve computer glitch, Spaceflightnow.com
"A major computer failure in the Russian segment of the international space station, possibly triggered by the addition of new U.S. solar arrays earlier this week, has shut down critical systems and left the outpost dependent on the shuttle Atlantis for any major changes in orientation. The space station has plenty of supplies on board and the combined 10-member crew is in no immediate danger. But the space station cannot safely operate without the Russian computers and the problem must be resolved before Atlantis departs next week."
"U.S. and Russian flight controllers partially restored critical computers aboard the International Space Station on Thursday after a system crash that could have forced the $100 billion orbital outpost's crew back to Earth. NASA also made plans to keep the visiting space shuttle Atlantis attached to the station for an additional day to help steer the massive complex if the computers, which control navigation, remain a problem."
"Space Shuttle Atlantis and the STS-117 crew arrived at the International Space Station at 3:36 p.m. EDT, delivering a new truss segment and crew member to the orbital outpost. The STS-117 astronauts and the station's Expedition 15 crew conducted pressure and leak checks before the hatches between the spacecraft were opened. After the crews greeted each other, they quickly began joint operations."
Editor's note: These two documents should give you a good idea as to what will be happening aboard the International Space Station for the next six months or so.
"U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), ranking member of the Science and Space Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee, released the following statement today regarding a NASA report outlining the steps toward implementing the congressionally-mandated designation of the U.S. portion of the International Space Station (ISS) as a National Laboratory: "I am very pleased with the work NASA has completed in preparing this report and implementation plan for operating the International Space Station as a National Laboratory," Sen. Hutchison said. "We now have a firm foundation on which to plan for the full and complete use of the space station as it was always intended."
"NASA prepared this report outlining a plan for the International Space Station National Laboratory in response to direction in Section 507 of the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-155). The specific requirements of this plan are outlined below."
Editor's Note: What a fascinating concept: Congress designates the ISS as a National Laboratory - while, at the same time, NASA cuts virtually all funding for all ISS science research. What good is a National Laboratory with no research to do? Or are we making this designation for the benefit of the other nations who still fund their ISS research?
2004 Statement prepared by NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research regarding postponement of NASA's acquisition to establish this Institute.