|“Progress MS-01” mission completed.
On July 3, 2016 at 03:48 UTC the “Progress MS-01” unmanned supply spacecraft was undocked from the Russian “Pirs” module of the International Space Station. At the same day the spacecraft was deorbited. Its engine was started for deorbiting at 07:00 UTC. Non-burnt fragments of the spacecraft drowned in the remote area of the Pacific.
|Russian “Progress MS-01” redocking test.
On July 1, 2016 at 05:35 UTC the Russian “Progress MS-01” unmanned supply spacecraft was undocked from the “Pirs” module of the ISS to carry out a test of the system improved remote manual spacecraft control – TORU (teleoperator control mode). After backing away to a distance of about 200 meters, Russian cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka took manual control of the spacecraft, using a workstation in the “Zvezda” Service Module. Progress redocked under TORU control at 06:05 UTC.
|China launched intelligence-gathering satellite.
On June 29, 2016, at 03:21 the “Long March –4BD” (“Changzheng-4B”) rocket-carrier was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Gansu Province, the northwest of China. The rocket orbited the “Shijian-16” satellite. Xinhua reported the “Shijian-16” will conduct “special environment detection and technological experiments” during its mission. Western analysts believe the Shijian-16 satellites probably intercept electronic communications for analysis by Chinese intelligence agencies.
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|Prototype for a new Chinese manned spacecraft landed.
On June 26, 2016 at 07:41 UTC the sub-scale re-entry capsule for China’s next-generation human-rated spacecraft landed in the Inner Mongolia region, one day after rocketing into orbit aboard the country’s new “Long March-7” launcher. The demonstrator craft spent nearly 20 hours in space. It is about half the size of a future spacecraft still on China’s drawing board to replace the Shenzhou spaceship currently used to ferry Chinese crews to orbit and back. Flying for the first time, the testbed capsule “was designed to collect aerodynamic and heat data for a re-entry capsule, to verify key technologies such as detachable thermal protection structure and lightweight metal materials manufacturing, and to carry out blackout telecommunication tests,” the China Manned Space Engineering Office said. While the Shenzhou spacecraft can accommodate three astronauts, the new spacecraft could car
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