On December 21, 2017 American astronaut Bruce McCandless II passed away. He was 80. In 1984, during the STS-41-B Space Shuttle flight, he performed the first untethered free flight by using the Manned Maneuvering Unit.
On December 19, 2017 at 08:38 UTC the Russian "Soyuz MS-07” spacecraft docked with the Russian “Rassvet” (MIM-1) module of the International Space Station.
The spacecraft delivered 3 new members of Expedition 54 to the ISS, Anton Shkaplerov, American astronaut Scott Tingle and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai (金井宣茂). The new comers joined current ISS expedition members – Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Misurkin; American astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joseph Acaba.
On December 18, 2017 at 12:54 UTC the US "Cygnus” (CRS OA-8 “Eugene Cernan”) unmanned supply spacecraft was deorbited. The spacecraft re-entered the atmosphere and burned up over the South Pacific Ocean. Packed with trash and other equipment tagged for disposal, an Orbital Sciences Corp. “Cygnus” spacecraft plunged back into the atmosphere over the uninhabited Pacific Ocean. It was the 8th flight of "Cygnus” to the ISS.
On December 17, 2017 at 13:26 UTC, the private U.S. unmanned supply spacecraft, the "Dragon” SpX-13 (CRS-13 flight), was successfully docked to the International Space Station. The linkup operation was carried out with the help of the giant 17-meter Canadarm. The capture with Canadarm-2 was performed by American astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joseph Acaba at 10:57 UTC. The Dragon spacecraft was maneuvered into position and attached to a berthing port on the space station's Harmony module. This docking marked the 13th time a Dragon spaceship has reached the space station, counting a demonstration flight in 2012.
On December 17, 2017 at 07:21 UTC the Russian “Soyuz MS-07” spacecraft was launched from Baykonur Cosmodrome. The space vehicle was orbited by the Russian “Soyuz-FG” rocket-carrier. The spacecraft is piloted by 3 cosmonauts: Commander, Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov (center); American astronaut Scott Tingle (right) and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai (金井宣茂), (left).
On December 15, 2017 at 15:36 UTC the "Falcon 9” rocket-carrier was launched from SLC-40 of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA. The launch was performed by the "SpaceX” private company supported by the 45th Space Wing of US Air Force. US private company SpaceX launched its "Dragon” (CRS-13 flight also known as SpX-13) unmanned spacecraft on a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. CRS means Commercial Resupply Services. It is the 14th successful flight of a “Dragon” spacecraft and the 13th successful flight of a “Dragon” to the ISS. For the first time, at the launch of a “Dragon” cargo ship, the first stage, already in
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On December 14, 2017 at 08:38 UTC the Russian “Soyuz MS-05” landing capsule landed safely in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft delivered to Earth the 3 members of ISS’s Expedition 53 – Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky, American astronaut Randolph Bresnik and Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli. They spent in space 139 days. Three other ISS crew members – Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Misurkin; American astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joseph Acaba remained in orbit aboard the International Space Station as the Expedition 54 crew. The undocking of Soyuz MS-05 marked the end of Expedition 53 and the start of Expedition 54.
On December 14, 2017 at 05:15 UTC the Russian “Soyuz MS-05” spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station to deliver to Earth the 3 members of Expedition 53 – Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky, American astronaut Randolph Bresnik and Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli.
On December 6, 2017, the US "Cygnus” (CRS OA-8 ““Eugene Cernan”) unmanned supply spacecraft was undocked from the International Space Station. The spacecraft, which had been attached to the space station since November 14, 2017, was released by US astronaut Mark Vande Hei aboard the station using the orbiting complex's huge robotic arm at 13:11 UTC. It was the 8th successful flight of "Cygnus” to the ISS. But Cygnus CRS-8 spacecraft’s mission is not over.
In the period from November 20 till November 21, 2017 several micro satellites were launched from the International Space Station. On November 20, 2017 at 08:05 UTC - EcAMSat (E.coli AntiMicrobial Satellite). On November 20, 2017 at 12:25 UTC - ASTERIA (Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research in Astrophysics). On November 20, 2017 at 17:02 UTC - Dellingr (RBLE, Radiation Belt Loss Experiment). On November 21, 2017 at 08:25 UTC - TechEdSat-6 (Technical and Education Satellite-6, TES-6). On November 21, 2017 at 11:40 UTC - OSIRIS-3U (Orbital Satellite for Investigating the Response of the Ionosphere to Stimulation and Space Weather). ASTERIA, Dellingr and OSIRIS-3U were delivered to the ISS by the “Dragon SpX-12” spacecraft. EcAMSat and TechEdSat-6 were delivered to the ISS by the “Cygnus OA-8” spacecraft.