On May 17, 2017, Viktor Gorbatko, pilot-cosmonaut of USSR, passed away at the age of 82. A retired cosmonaut and twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Viktor Gorbatko, performed three journeys into space.
He was among the first group of Soviet cosmonauts. He began training in early 1960. In 1988 – 1991 he was Chairman of the All-Soviet Union Philatelic Society. His philatelic exhibit on Space Mail was demonstrated in the Class of Honor at the “Mosocw-97” World Philatelic Exhibition. In 2001 – 2009 Viktor Gorbatko was President of the Union of Philatelists of Russia.
On May 16, 2017, several mini-satellites were launched from the “Kibo” module of the International Space Station. At 08:24 UTC the following satellites were launched: the German “SOMP-2” (Student's Oxygen Measurement Project-2); the Turkish “HAVELSAT”; the American “QBUS-4”. At 11:54 UTC the following American satellites were launched: CXBN-2 (Cosmic X-Ray Background-2); KySat-3 (SGSat); IceCube (Earth-1). All satellites were delivered to the ISS by the “Cygnus CRS-7 (John Glenn)” unmanned supply spacecraft in April 2017.
On May 12, 2017, American astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fisher performed the spacewalk for several repair and maintenance tasks. Their first job was to remove and replace an ExPRESS Carrier Avionics box located on the starboard-side S3 truss of the space station. After that Fischer repaired the Japanese robotic arm’s thermal insulation, while Whitson installed a terminator cap on the AMS instrument, a massive experiment attached to the station truss designed to study dark matter and antimatter. The spacewalk lasted 4 hours and 13 minutes. This was the ninth spacewalk for Peggy Whitson and the first for Jack Fisher. This EVA was the 200th spacewalk in support of the International Space Station assembly and maintenance since December 1998, and the fifth this year.
On April 22, 2017, the American "Cygnus” (CRS OA--7 “John Glenn”) private unmanned supply spacecraft was docked to the International Space Station (ISS). The Cygnus spacecraft was grappled by a robotic arm operated by astronauts inside the space station at 10:05 UTC. The cargo spacecraft was docked to the station’s "Unity” module at 12:39 UTC. The spacecraft delivered about 3300 kilograms of supplies to the Space Station. It was the 7th docking of a "Cygnus” spacecraft with the ISS.
On April 22, 2017 at 04:16 UTC the Chinese “Tianzhou-1” unmanned supply spacecraft docked to the Chinese “Tiangong-2” space station. The unmanned supply spacecraft will pump propellants into the “Tiangong-2” space station, which launched last year and hosted two astronauts for a month-long stay in October and November. The refueling experiment will validate key technologies China needs to build and maintain a much larger orbital complex starting as soon as next year.
On April 20, 2017 at 13:19 UTC the Russian "Soyuz MS-04” spacecraft docked with the Russian “Poisk” (MIM-2) module of the International Space Station.
The spacecraft delivered 2 new members of Expedition 51 to the ISS, Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and American astronaut Jack Fisher. The new comers joined current ISS expedition members – Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet and American astronaut Peggy Whitson.
On April 20, 2017 at 11:40 UTC the Chang Zheng-7 (Long March-7) rocket-carrier was launched from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center (WSLC), located in Wenchang on Hainan Island off China’s southern coastline.
The rocket orbited the “Tianzhou-1” unmanned supply spacecraft. The “Tianzhou-1” (Chinese: 天舟一号) is the test mission of the Tianzhou-class unmanned cargo spacecraft. It is developed as part of the manned space program of China. Tianzhou means "heavenly vessel" in Chinese. The spacecraft is to dock with the Chinese “Tiangong-2” space station to conduct several months of robot
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On April 20, 2017 at 07:13 UTC the Russian “Soyuz MS-04” spacecraft was launched from Baykonur Cosmodrome. The space vehicle was orbited by the Russian “Soyuz-FG” rocket-carrier. The spacecraft is piloted by 2 cosmonauts: Commander, Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin (left) and American astronaut Jack Fisher (right).
Photo by Russian Cosmonaut training center.
The space vehicle is to dock with the International Space Station at the same day, on April 20. Yurchikhin and Fisher will join current ISS expedition members Novitskiy, Pesquet and Whitson.
On April 18, 2017 at 15:11 UTC the "Cygnus” privately owned U.S. unmanned supply spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral launch site of US Air Force. The launch was performed by United Launch Alliance supported by the 45th Space Wing of US Air Force. The "Cygnus” (CRS OA--7 “John Glenn”) unmanned supply spacecraft, built by U.S. space firm Orbital Sciences Corp., was orbited by the “Atlas-5” rocket-carrier on its cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. CRS means Commercial Resupply Services. The "Cygnus” (CRS OA-7) is the 7th successful flight of the Orbital ATK uncrewed resupply spacecraft Cygnus. The “Cygnus” spacecraft for this mission was named John Glenn in honor of astronaut and senator John Glenn, the first US astronaut to orbit the Eart
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On April 10, 2017 at 11:21 UTC the Russian “Soyuz MS-02” landing capsule landed safely in a distance of about 147 kilometers to south-east from the city of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
photo by NASA
The spacecraft delivered to Earth the 3 members of ISS’s Expedition 50 – Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko as well as American astronaut Robert Kimbrough. They spent in space 173 days. Three other ISS crew members – Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet and American astronaut Peggy Whitson remained in orbit aboard
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