Russia: May 2008 Archives

ILS Goes Russian

Khrunichev Purchases Majority Interest in International Launch Services

"ILS International Launch Services Inc., a world leader in launch services for commercial satellites, announced today that Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center acquired the shares of ILS owned by majority shareholder, Space Transport Inc. Financial details were not disclosed. The transaction was completed today. Vladimir Nesterov, General Director of Khrunichev, said: "Building on our strong working relationship with the ILS team, this transaction will cement ILS's leadership role in the commercial launch services industry."

Space station crew may face another bumpy re-entry, Reuters

"The space industry source, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters faulty bolts were suspected of causing the last two "ballistic landings" and they are also fitted on the re-entry capsule now docked at the ISS. "There are explosive bolts which keep two modules attached to Soyuz capsules," the source said. "They are supposed to go off right before the entry into the Earth's atmosphere." "For some reason this didn't work (on the previous two re-entries), although the unseparated modules fell off eventually. What is bad is that another Soyuz-TMA is believed to have this faulty device and is docked at the ISS for the return trip," he said."

Mir: The Movie

Mathieu Kassovitz heads into space, after war, Hollyood Reporter

"MNP," the name of both the first space station and Kassovitz's indie shingle with co-producer Benoit Jaubert, will feature two U.S. stars and eight actors from around the world. The technologically heavy "end of the world" project will utilize special planes that are able to simulate a zero gravity environment for 25 seconds. MNP will work closely with space stations and aeronautical organizations to prepare for the complex project that is set to start shooting in 2011. "This is my ultimate movie. Everything we've done until now has been preparing us to be able make this movie," Kassovitz said."

Editor's note: Question for Jim Oberg: what is the mean time between puff news stories about filming a "major motion picture" in weightlessness (space), with some Russian space station as the location of the story, with "major American stars", etc? This strikes me as the 4th attempt that I can recall. They seem to pop up every 3-5 years - and then vanish.

Oh yes - if it is titled "MNP" (I assume they mean "Mir") which definition of the word are they after? "world"? "peace"? or that crashed space station which is now a coral reef? Personally I think the portrayal of Mir was done perfectly in "Armageddon" - leaky hoses and all. Wouldn't this all be a lot easier to do inside of Mir II i.e. the Service Module?

Perilous Landings by Soyuz Worry NASA, Washington Post

"None of the astronauts was injured, including American Peggy A. Whitson, who was returning after six months of weightlessness on the space station. But the spacecraft lost communication during reentry and remained out of radio contact with Russian mission control for an hour, raising the specter of a crash landing."

South Korea's first astronaut hospitalized with back pain, AP

"Yi So-yeon was taken to a hospital Tuesday due to the pain after she canceled a meeting with President Lee Myung-bak, according to the state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute, where she works as a bioengineer.
The Science Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that preliminary tests showed Yi suffered a minor injury to her neck muscles and bruised her spinal column."

Internal NASA Documents Give Clues to Scary Soyuz Return Flight, IEEE Spectrum

"Although the technical investigation will take weeks to resolve, NASA and Russian engineers have come to several credible preliminary conclusions. And internal NASA documents, such as "15S Ballistic Entry Outbrief" by George Kafka, chief of the Safety & Mission Assurance Directorate for the ISS program, reveal a plausible idea of what probably happened."

Editor's note: If "none of the astronauts was injured" why did Yi So-Yeon spend a week in the hospital

Space race over, but some don't want to ask Russians for a ride, The Hill

"With the breakup of the Soviet Union, the concern is less about national security and proving which country's worldview is correct than it is with more terrestrial worries like money and jobs. With some irony, lobbyists note in meetings on Capitol Hill that America's former communist foe would have monopolistic powers to charge what it likes to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), a program led by the United States and Russia that is scheduled to be completed in 2010. ... Meanwhile, the United Space Alliance added the Breaux-Lott Leadership Group to its roster of outside lobbyists, which already included Van Scoyoc Associates."

Internal NASA Documents Give Clues to Scary Soyuz Return Flight, IEEE Spectrum

"Although the technical investigation will take weeks to resolve, NASA and Russian engineers have come to several credible preliminary conclusions. And internal NASA documents, such as "15S Ballistic Entry Outbrief" by George Kafka, chief of the Safety & Mission Assurance Directorate for the ISS program, reveal a plausible idea of what probably happened."


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