ISS News: April 2008 Archives

Texans in Congress try to boost NASA budget, Houston Chronicle

"In the Senate, Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee, said she was asking colleagues to add at least $1 billion to the NASA budget. Hutchison said she wants to add one more shuttle flight in order to ferry the $1.5 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the international space station to study the energy-producing possibilities of cosmic rays. "We're not giving NASA the priority it should have," said Hutchison, a member of the Senate Republican leadership. "It should remain the premier agency for innovation and research."

Students Call The ISS

ARISS Status April 28, 2008, ISS Fan Club

"Upcoming School Contacts: The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in Washington, D.C. has been approved for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact on Saturday, May 3 at 15:52 UTC via the telebridge station NN1SS in Greenbelt. This year Space Day will celebrate the 50th anniversary of NASA and NASA's achievements through space exploration. Youth, ages 12 -18, will participate."

Korea's First Astronaut Hospitalized after Rough Landing, Telecoms Korea

"Korea's first astronaut has been hospitalized due to severe back pains caused by a rough return voyage, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said Tuesday."

SKorea's first astronaut says still feels some pain, AFP

"South Korea's first astronaut Yi So-Yeon returned home Monday, saying she still feels some pain following her unorthodox re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere."

House Science and Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Examines the Status of the International Space Station

"Although NASA talks about providing research opportunities on the ISS, we cannot forget that the funding cuts NASA has made to its microgravity research programs in recent years--whether willingly or not--have largely decimated that research community," stated Udall. "I think the onus has to be on NASA to prove that it means what it says by taking meaningful steps both to make the ISS a productive venue for research and to start to rebuild that research community. Yet, it won't be possible to have a productive ISS unless the facility can be sustained after the Shuttle is retired."

Construction of ISS Progressing, Subcommitee Explores Research Capabilities

Hearing Charter

Statement by Cristina Chaplain
Statement by William Gerstenmaier
Statement by Cheryl Nickerson
Statement by Jeffrey Sutton
Statement by Louis Stodieck
Statement by Edward Knipling
Statement by Thomas B. Pickens, III

Audio file

Editor's note: According to NASA HQ Public Affairs: "this is an audio file of Peggy Whitson's interview with NASA Public Affairs Officer Rob Navias recorded soon after her landing aboard the Soyuz on Saturday. During the interview, Whitson states that some rescuers were there because of a fire. For clarification, the Soyuz capsule landed near an area where Kazak farmers were burning grass off the steppes. The fire was not related to the Soyuz landing."

Despite multiple questions from the media as to what was reported by the crew and others about the Soyuz reentry, no mention was made by NASA personnel of this JSC PAO interview during a media telecon earlier today. Subsequently, NASA HQ PAO promptly released the original JSC audio after multiple media requests were submitted for this audio.

NASA not worried about Soyuz space capsule's bumpy ride home, AP

"Saturday's bone-jarring landing happened after the capsule went into an unplanned ballistic re-entry. The Russians thought they had solved the descent problem after it cropped up last October and NASA agreed with their original analysis that a frayed wire was to blame, Gerstenmaier said."

- NASA Official Plays Down a Troubled Soyuz Landing, NY Times
- Soyuz spacecraft safe despite botched landing: NASA, Reuters
- A Scary Return to Earth, Washington Post
- Did a short circuit cause spacecraft's steep descent?, New Scientist

NASA Offers Only Minor Insight Into Soyuz Off Course Landing, SpaceRef

"Gerstenmaier was rather reluctant to get into any specifics preferring instead to defer, and to "let the Russians get the spacecraft back, dump the data from its computers, and allow the commission that has been established to look at what happened". He would repeat this caveat more than a dozen times during the press teleconference."

Just Send Rubles

Russia will not need space tourism when space program well financed -analysts, Interfax

"There are plans to manufacture four Soyuz spacecraft in 2009 to launch crews to the ISS," [Vitaly Lopota, the president of the Energia space rocket corporation] said. If the Russian space program was financed in full, Russia would not need to make money on space tourism, Krasnov said. "If we lack money, we will have to launch space tourists," he said."

Russia looks at all options to invest its oil billions abroad, Times Online

"Russia could soon follow the Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds and invest billions of dollars in direct overseas investments if, as expected, its national welfare fund is given more freedom to invest."

Editor's note: Interesting how the govenrment-owned Energia is now using a quasi-state controlled news outlet to lobby for increased government funding for Russia's space program. One upon a time Russia's space program was so broke the only way to could continue was with outside financial help - from the U.S. and selling seats on Soyuz flights. Now, I guess, those Russian petro-Rubles are easier to find. Too bad. In retrospect, the commercial space traveler program has given the ISS a more cosmopolitan face since its inception and has injected some actual commercialism into the otherwise (multi) government-controlled ISS.

Station crew OK after Soyuz capsule lands short of target, SpaceflightNow

"At a Russian news conference, Russian officials said the crew was in good health after a "controlled, ballistic decent. The crew feels great, all of them. ... The reasons for the ballistic descent will be investigated after the descent module will be delivered to the Energia Corporation."

NASA Wants All-commercial ISS Resupply

"NASA will not ask Congress for permission to continue buying cargo space on Russian Progress resupply vehicles for the International Space Station (ISS) after 2011, opting instead for an all-commercial approach under its nascent Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. Administrator Michael Griffin has sent a letter to Capitol Hill specifically excluding Progress from a request to continue using Russian Soyuz capsules to deliver crew to the ISS after the shuttle retires in 2010. Griffin had no immediate comment, but William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for space operations, said April 16 that NASA believes one of the commercial vehicles in development under the COTS program will be able to meet its ISS-supply needs."

Putin orders construction of new space launchpad, vows to give boost to space industries, AP

"Perminov said Friday that Russia may stop selling seats on its spacecraft to "tourists" starting in 2010 because of the planned expansion of the international space station's crew. He said the station's permanent crew is expected to grow from the current three to six or even nine in 2010. That will mean that Russia will have fewer extra seats available for tourists on its Soyuz spacecraft, which are used to ferry crews to the station and back to Earth."


NASA rejects non-Shuttle answers to stranded ISS instrument, Flight Global

"To make room for AMS in the orbiter's payload bay the ISS cargo rescheduling idea was to move equipment from the bay's interior into a Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), which is transported by Shuttle, or ESA's ATV."

Editor's note: MPLMs are only carried to/from ISS by Space Shuttles. Portions of the ATV's cargo section structure are based on MPLM designs - but they are not MPLMs.

Jules Verne Joins ISS

ATV Jules Verne Docks with Station

"The Jules Verne, the first European Space Agency Automated Transfer Vehicle, docked to the aft port of the International Space Station's Zvezda Service Module at 10:45 a.m. EDT Thursday. The unpiloted cargo spacecraft carries more than 7,500 pounds of equipment, supplies, water, fuel and gases for the station. It also carries hopes and aspirations of the European Space Agency. The ATV and its advanced rendezvous system could play an important role in future space exploration."



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This page is an archive of entries in the ISS News category from April 2008.

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