Russia: April 2008 Archives

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."

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.

Russian space capsule misses landing by, AP

"Later, [Federal Space Agency chief Anatoly] Perminov was asked about the presence of two women on the Soyuz, and referred to a naval superstition that having women aboard a ship was bad luck. "You know in Russia, there are certain bad omens about this sort of thing, but thank God that everything worked out successfully," he said. "Of course in the future, we will work somehow to ensure that the number of women will not surpass" the number of men. Challenged by a reporter, Perminov responded: "This isn't discrimination. I'm just saying that when a majority (of the crew) is female, sometimes certain kinds of unsanctioned behaviour or something else occurs, that's what I'm talking about."

Editor's note: In the U.S. such a comment about would result in an adverse job action - at a minimum. This is more than bad translation: Perminov stepped in this three times. One of the women mentioned is a NASA civil servant. Will NASA respond? We'll see.

Rough landing, Free Space/Discovery News

"Whitson surely could have done without the crash landing of the Soyuz capsule which because of a technical glitch dove through the atmosphere much steeper than planned, subjecting the crew to 10 times the force of Earths gravity -- nearly triple the usual force. But what was really unnecessary were the off-color comments of yet another Russian official regarding women in space. Whitson, you may remember, was given a going-away gift by her Russian hosts of a whip."

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."


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

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