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 12, 2017 at 11:04 UTC the Chang Zheng-3B/G2 (Long March-3B/G2) rocket-carrier was launched from Xichang Cosmodrome, Sichuan province, southwestern China. The rocket orbited the “ChinaSat-16” telecommunications satellite. The satellite, also known as “Shijian-13” will deliver Internet connectivity to remote parts of China, airline travelers and high-speed trains. The satellite also has an experimental mission to test laser communications technology and electric thrusters to maintain its position in geostationary orbit.
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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On April 10, 2017 at 07:57 UTC the Russian “Soyuz MS-02” spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station to deliver to Earth the 3 members of Expedition 50 – Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko as well as American astronaut Robert Kimbrough.
On April 8, 2017, Georgy Mikhajlovich Grechko, pilot-cosmonaut of USSR, passed away at the age of 85. A retired cosmonaut and twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Georgy Grechko, performed three journeys into space – one of which was a record. The cosmonaut died on Saturday morning “because of age and a vast number of chronic illnesses,” his daughter Olga told TASS. In 1978 Georgy Grechko was the first officially appointed space postmaster.
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his deepest condolences to the family and friends of cosmonaut Georgy Grechko on his passing.
On March 30, 2017 at 22:27 UTC the "Falcon 9” rocket-carrier was launched from LC-39A of the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch was performed by the "SpaceX” private company supported by the 45th Space Wing of US Air Force. The rocket orbited the SES 10 communications satellite. The launch marked the first time SpaceX has reused the first stage of one of its Falcon 9 rockets. The first stage of the Falcon 9 was the star of the show, making a historic relaunch after SpaceX recovered the booster on a Dragon mission in April 2016. The previously-flown booster (the first stage of the Falcon 9) performed its mission successfully and in 9 minutes after the launch it carried out a vertical landing on a platform in the Atlantic Ocean. Touchdown on SpaceX’s sea-based landing platform occurred around 340 miles (550 kilometers) east of Cape Canaveral.... Read more »
On March 30, 2017, American astronauts Robert Kimbrough and Peggy Whitsonperformed the spacewalk to continue work to set up a second docking port for U.S. crew ferry spaceships. They also installed an upgraded computer relay box and protective shielding. It was the 6th spacewalk for Kimbrough and the 9th for Whitson. Peggy Whitson, a veteran of two earlier long-duration station visits, set a new record for cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut, surpassing Sunita Williams’ mark of 50 hours and 40 minutes. When the spacewalk concluded, Whitson’s total EVA time stood at 53 hours and 22 minutes, moving her up to fifth on the list of most experienced spacewalkers.