ISS News: July 2010 Archives

Signing From Orbit

NASA Astronaut Sends First Signed Message from Orbit

"The number of languages used on the International Space Station has recently increased. In addition to those spoken in the 15 countries that have had representatives aboard the space station, American Sign Language, or ASL, is now included. NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson has sent a message in ASL from the station to the deaf community."

Keith's note: As a former professional Sign Language interpreter myself (mid-70s to early 80s), stories like this certainly get my attention. As such, I do not mean to detract from this but, this is not the first time that an astronaut has signed a message in space for use back on Earth. It may well be the first video downlinked live with signing, however. According to former astronaut Bill Readdy, he signed a short message on STS-42 back in 1992 (see YouTube video from CollectSpace below). The was not downlinked live but It was recorded and later appeared on a Gallaudet University's TV show "Deaf Mosaic". Bill still remembers some of the signs to this day. That said, this recent video is cool and is exactly the sort of thing NASA should be encouraged to do in the future so as to broaden its ability to interact with all citizens.

More Details on Space Discussions during the International Economical Forum in St. Petersburg, Roscosmos

"International Space Station partners have not received any response from China on a proposal to join the ISS program, Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov stated during the International Economical Forum in St. Petersburg. Speaking about Russian role in the program, Perminov reminded that US shuttles are to be retired soon, leaving Soyuz to maintain crew transportation services solely for the ISS, Interfax informs. "This is rather dangerous, any expert recognizes that. There must a backup for the Soyuz. We wish some country would have it, and we contacted China with its human spaceflight program mature enough to maintain crew transportation in the program, asking to join the ISS partnership. However there was no response", Perminov said."

Keith's note: The Roscosmos website is designed a little weird - you can't directly link to some things. To see the original source for this article, go to this page and then go to "all news" and click on "More Details on Space Discussions during the International Economical Forum in St. Petersburg"

Keith's 25 Jun update: According to NASA PAO, NASA issued the following statement this morning: "NASA has confirmed with the director of the Russian Federal Space Agency's human space flight program that Russia has not issued an invitation to China to join the International Space Station program."

Roscosmos: Chinese Space Vehicles Could Fly to the ISS, Roscosmos

"09.07.2010: Chinese space vehicles meet all safety requirements to provide redundancy for Soyuzes and Progresses during missions to the International Space Station, Anatoly Perminov, Roscosmos Head told RIA Novosti. According to him, the Chinese can support the program after shuttle retirement in 2011, when Russia remains the only country to maintain ISS crew rotation. "This is rather tough, so Russia is interested in backup Chinese vehicles", Perminov said. Five ISS partners have not received any answer from China for the proposal to join the program. "Administrator of the Chinese Space Administration has quit, and the new one has not been appointed yet. So, the issue is still open", Perminov concluded."

Keith's 8 Jul update: This story appeared on the Roscosmos website (again it is hard to link directly to their translated articles) dated 9 July 2010. Is this just more bad translation, a game the Russians like to play, or is there actually some truth to this?

Primary shuttle contractor sees layoffs by Oct. 1, Houston Chronicle

"The Houston-based company employs approximately 8,100 employees at its Florida, Texas and Alabama sites, including nearly 3,000 in the Houston area. The cuts will reduce as many as 400 positions from the Houston office."

United Space Alliance Announces Sweeping Layoffs, WESH

"The Houston-based company said in a news release that 800 to 1000 jobs could be lost in Florida."

USA to lay off up to 1,000 Florida shuttle workers, Orlando Sentinel

"USA said it employs approximately 8,100 employees at its Florida, Texas and Alabama sites. The layoffs will hit about 800-1000 employees in Florida, about 300-400 employees in Texas and about 10 in Alabama, the company said."

United Space Alliance to reduce workforce by 15%; about 10 jobs in Huntsville, Huntsville Times

"Our workforce has known for several years that the space shuttle program has been scheduled to end, but layoffs are always difficult for everyone involved," said company President/CEO Virginia Barnes. "The accomplishments of this team are unmatched in human spaceflight. We acknowledge the tremendous talent and commitment of our teammates and congratulate them on their achievements."

Nasa space shuttle firm to cut 1,000 jobs, BBC

"People being laid off now is just the beginning. Many more thousands will be laid of as the shuttle programme is wound down," Keith Cowing, the editor of space specialist website Nasa Watch, told the BBC World Service."

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 4 July 2010

"At 12:17pm EDT, Progress M-06M(38P) docked successfully to the SM (Service Module) aft port under KURS autopilot control, followed by a final DPO post-contact thrusting burn, docking probe retraction and hook closure ("sborka") after motion damp-out while the ISS was in free drift for ~20 min (12:17pm-12:37pm). At "hooks closed" signal, the SM returned to active attitude control, maneuvering the ISS to LVLH TEA (local vertical/local horizontal Torque Equilibrium Attitude) at ~12:37pm."

Progress 38 Docking With Space Station Delayed Due to Loss of Telemetry

"Docking for the ISS Progress 38 has been delayed due to a loss of telemetry. Flight controllers have reported the resupply craft flew past the International Space Station. Managers are working to determine the next course of action before resuming docking activities."

From Astro_Wheels: "Best Caption Contest - I am floating through the transfer hatch to my position in the Soyuz capsule, all suited and ready to take 'Olympus' for a spin around the block for re-docking. Would love to hear your ideas for a caption, maybe "Did you guys see the keys"?..."

Submit your suggestion here

NASA Updates Shuttle Target Launch Dates For Final Two Flights

"NASA is targeting approximately 4:33 p.m. EDT on Nov. 1 for the launch of space shuttle Discovery's STS-133 mission and 4:19 p.m. EST on Feb. 26, 2011, for the liftoff of shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 flight from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The target dates were adjusted because critical payload hardware for STS-133 will not be ready in time to support the previously planned Sept. 16 launch. With STS-133 moving to November, STS-134 cannot fly as planned, so the next available launch window is in February 2011."

Hutchison Pleased with Short-Term Shuttle Extension to 2011 - Calls Move "An Important First Step"

"Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Ranking Member on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today said she was pleased to see NASA delay the launch of the space shuttle Discovery to November 1, 2010, and push back the scheduled launch of space shuttle Endeavour to February 26, 2011. Senator Hutchison has consistently stated that the President's NASA proposal should include a short-term stretch out of the shuttle program's remaining flights in order to protect the nation's $100 billion investment in the International Space Station."

Kosmas Statement on the Extension of Shuttle Program into 2011

"Today, following NASA's decision to extend the Space Shuttle program until at least February 2011, Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24) issued the following statement: "Today's news that the Shuttle program has been officially extended until at least February of next year is a welcome development that will help preserve jobs and ease the transition for the Space Coast. The extension shows the importance of our successful efforts to eliminate the hard deadline for Shuttle retirement, which would have ended the Shuttle program in September of this year."



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This page is an archive of entries in the ISS News category from July 2010.

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