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 May 7, 2017 at 11:47 UTC the U.S. Air Force's X-37B unmanned space plane returned back to Earth. The plane touched down on runway 15 the Kennedy Space Center. The X-37B space plane spent 717 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes in space. It was the fourth flight for the unmanned test project, an enigmatic program that has used twin reusable vehicles. OTV means Orbital Test Vehicle. The X-37B space plane was launched like a satellite atop Atlas 5 rockets and then landed like an airplane.
On May 5, 2017 at 11:27 UTC the Indian “GSLV Mk. 2” (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket-carrier was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on Sriharikota Island, India's primary launch site on the country's east coast. The rocket orbited Indian-built GSAT-9 communications satellite.
On May 4, 2017 at 21:50 UTC the "Ariane-5ECA” rocket-carrier was launched from Kourou launch site (the Guiana Space Centre) in French Guiana. The rocket orbited 2 telecommunications satellites. The SGDC-1 (Satélite Geoestacionário de Defesa e Comunicações Estratégicas) satellite was launched on a dual-use mission for the Brazilian military and to help bridge the digital divide for far-flung Brazilian citizens. The “Koreasat-7” satellite, owned by KTsat based in Seoul, will provide a full range of video and data applications such as direct-to-home broadcasting and Internet access for customers in South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Indochina and India.
On May 1, 2017 at 11:15 UTC the “Falcon-9” rocket-carrier was launched from Cape Canaveral launch site of US Air Force. The launch was performed by SpaceX company supported by the 45th Space Wing of US Air Force. The rocket orbited the NROL-76 classified satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office. The NROL (National Reconnaissance Office Launch) abbreviation is used to identify classified satellites operated by the United States National Reconnaissance Office. The nature of the payload is not officially reported. It is said only that the satellite is intended for the timely detection of potential threats to the national interests of the United States. The “Falcon” rocket landed around nine minutes after liftoff, settling on the LZ-1 concrete pad of the Kennedy Space Centre around 15 kilometers south of where the “Falcon-9” took off. SpaceX intends to inspect the
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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.