On November 20, 2009 two astronauts from U.S. shuttle Atlantis crew performed the first spacewalk of their current mission to the International Space Station. Spacewalkers Michael Foreman and Robert Satcher completed a 6-hour and 37-minute spacewalk at 04:01 p.m. EST (21.01 UTC). The astronauts installed a spare communications antenna on the exterior of the orbital station, hooked up some cables and greased a robotic arm on the Kibo module. They also managed to do some extra maintenance work scheduled for the second spacewalk of the current STS-129 mission.
On November 20, 2009 at 10:44 UTC Russia's Space Forces launched a Soyuz-U carrier rocket with a Kosmos-series military satellite. The rocket was launched from the Plesetsk space center in north Russia and successfully orbited a satellite that was assigned the serial number Kosmos-2455.
On November 18, 2009 the American Space Shuttle "Atlantis” (STS-129) docked with the International Space Station at 16:51 UTC. It has delivered over 13 tons of supplies and equipment to the orbital station. Atlantis mission will return ISS crew member Nicole Stott to Earth and is planned to be the final space shuttle crew rotation flight. Stott spent two and a half month on board the ISS. Only five U.S. space shuttle missions remain before the shuttle fleet is retired next year.
On November 12, 2009 at 02.45 UTC the Chinese "Shijian XI-01" satellite was orbited by the China-developed Long March 2C rocket-carrier. The launch was performed from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern Gansu Province. According to a white paper published in 2006, China's Shijian, or Practice, series of satellites are designed for scientific research and technological experiments.
On November 12, 2009 at 18:41 Moscow time the "Progress M-MIM 2” spacecraft successfully docked to the ISS Zvezda`s transfer compartment zenith docking port. The rendezvous and docking were carried out automatically. The space vehicle delivered the "Poisk” module to the station. Aboard the spacecraft there were about 750 kg of cargo needed for maintaining station functioning and crew support. The "Poisk” will serve as an additional docking port for Soyuz and Progress spacecraft and as an airlock for spacewalks. The module will also provide extra space for scientific experiments, and power-supply outlets and data-transmission interfaces for two external
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On November 10, 2009 a "Soyuz-U” rocket-carrier blasted off from Baykonur Cosmodrome at 14:22 UTC.
The rocket orbited the "MIM 2” research module also named as "Poisk”.
The "Poisk”, which means "search" or "explore" in Russian, was attached to the service module of a Russian Progress unmanned supply spacecraft, providing electrical power and propulsion for the module during its two-day journey to the space station.
The new module is the first major Russian addition to the ISS since the nearly identical "Pirs” module was launched in 2001. The "Pirs” is located on Zvezda's Earth-facing port, directly across from the future home of the "Poisk”
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In October 2009 during the changing of Expeditions 20 and 21, the cosmonauts postmarked several dozens covers aboard the station. A number of covers were cancelled on October 05, 2009. These covers were delivered from the ISS to Earth by the Russian SoyuzTMA-14 spacecraft.
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In according to the agreement between Russian Space Agency and ESA (European Space Agency), the Russian members of Expedition 17, cosmonauts Sergey Volkov and Oleg Kononenko marked 25 ATV covers with the ISS octagonal board seal and autographed them. There were the covers numbered from 0001 till 0025. More information about the ATV flown covers see at http://www.astrophil.ucoz.ru/news/atv_flown_covers/2009-09-24-52
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