On September 8, 2016 at 11:20 UTC the GSLV Mk.II F05 rocket-carrier was launched from Sriharikota spaceport, 80 km from Chennai, India. The rocket (GSLV - Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) orbited the “INSAT-3DR” meteorological satellite. The Insat 3DR satellite is equipped with color and infrared cameras to image storms day and night, and a sounder to collect temperature, humidity and ozone data in different layers of the atmosphere. The satellite will also relay observations from remote weather station and ocean buoys to forecast centers, and monitor for distress signals from ships, airplanes and others in need of rescue. The spacecraft is designed for a 10-year lifetime.
On September 7, 2016 at 01:14 UTC the Russian “Soyuz TMA-20M” landing capsule landed safely in a distance of 148 kilometers from the city of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
photo by NASA
The spacecraft delivered to Earth the 3 members of ISS’s Expedition 48 – Russian cosmonauts Aleksey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka as well as American astronaut Jeffrey Williams. They spent in space 172 days, 3 hours and 47 minutes. Three other ISS crew members – Russian cosmonaut Anatoliy Ivanishin, Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi (大西 卓哉) and American astronaut Kathleen Rubins remained in orbit aboard the International Space Station as the Expedition 49 crew. The undo... Read more »
On September 6, 2016 at 21:51 UTC (on September 7 at 00:51 Moscow time) the Russian “Soyuz TMA-20M” spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station to deliver to Earth the 3 members of Expedition 48 – Russian cosmonauts Aleksey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka as well as American astronaut Jeffrey Williams.
On September 1, 2016 American astronauts Jeffrey Williams and Kathleen Rubins performed the spacewalk for retracting a spare cooling radiator, installing two high-definition TV cameras and inspecting a massive solar array rotation mechanism that has experience subtle vibrations in recent months. The EVA lasted 6 hours and 48 minutes. It was the 5th spacewalk for Jeffrey Williams and the 2nd spacewalk for Kathleen Rubins.
On September 1, 2016 at 13:07 UTC the “Falcon-9” rocket exploded in the final minutes of a simulated countdown at Cape Canaveral launch site of US Air Force, destroying the booster and an Israeli communications satellite valued at nearly $200 million. The “Falcon-9” was scheduled to blast off on September 3 with the “Amos-6” satellite, a nearly 6-ton commercial television and Internet broadcast platform owned by Spacecom Ltd. of Israel. Falcon 9 is a family of two-stage launch vehicles designed and manufactured by SpaceX.
On August 31, 2016 at 18:55 UTC (on September 1, 2016 at 02:55 Beijing time) the “Long March – 4C” (“Changzheng-4C”) rocket-carrier was launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province. The rocket was to orbit the “Gaofen-10” Earth observation satellite. A U.S. Air Force spokesperson said Friday that the military has not detected any objects deployed in orbit by a Chinese Long March rocket launch Wednesday, but China’s official media outlets still have not acknowledged the apparent failure. Western experts suggest something went wrong with the upper stage of the “Long March 4C” rocket, and the “Gaofen-10” satellite did not attain enough speed to enter orbit.
On August 26, 2016 at 15:47 UTC the "Dragon” capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at several hundred kilometers from Long Beach, California, USA. The Dragon delivered to Earth 1547 kilograms of cargo. It was the "SpaceX CRS-9” mission. CRS means Commercial Resupply Services. It was the 9th flight of Dragon to the ISS with docking.
On August 26, 2016 the station's robotic arm removed the “Dragon” SpX-9 (CRS-9 flight) unmanned supply spacecraft from a berthing port on the Harmony module of the International Space Station. Controlled by ground controllers and then American astronaut Kathleen Rubins and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi, the robotic arm let go of the "Dragon” resupply vehicle at 10:11 UTC.
On August 24, 2016 at 22:18 UTC the “Ariane-5ECA” rocket-carrier was launched from Kourou Cosmodrome in French Guiana. The rocket orbited the “Intelsat IS-33e” and the “Intelsat IS-36” telecommunications satellites. Intelsat is one of the world’s largest commercial satellite operators. Both spacecraft will fire on-board thrusters in the coming weeks to reach their final operating positions in geostationary orbit. At an altitude of nearly 35 800 kilometers, the satellites will fly around Earth’s equator at the same speed the planet rotates, allowing the platforms to see the same part of the world at all times.
On August 19, 2016 American astronauts Jeffrey Williams and Kathleen Rubins performed the spacewalk to attach docking adapter to space station for commercial vehicles. Attached to the station’s no-longer-needed shuttle port at the front of the station, the Boeing-built International Docking Adapter will allow spacecraft from Boeing and SpaceX companies to bring crews to the ISS, ending NASA’s sole reliance on Russian Soyuz ferry spaceships. The new docking mechanism was carried up to the station aboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship in June. The EVA lasted 5 hours and 58 minutes. It was the fourth spacewalk for Jeffrey Williams and the first one for Kathleen Rubins.