Soyuz launch to resupply ISS aborted seconds before liftoff
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Feb 11, 2018
The Soyuz-2.1A rocket with Progress MS-08 cargo spacecraft has failed to blast off from Baikonur at appointed time, the Sputnik correspondent reported from the Cosmodrome.
A source told Sputnik that the spacecraft launch was postponed to the reserve date, February 13.
The Progress MS-08 freighter was set for the launch atop the Soyuz-2.1a rocket to reach the International Space Station (ISS) under a new scheme in around three hours after circling the Earth only twice.
For decades, spaceships with crew and cargo typically flew for about 50 hours before reaching the ISS. In 2013, Russia introduced a six-hour route to the ISS, involving four orbits.
According to a press release by the Roskosmos State Corporation, the launch will take place at 11:58:45 Moscow time. According to preliminary calculations, the MS-08 will reach the ISS just three hours and 27 minutes after launch.
The spacecraft's flight will test a new, ultrashort two-rotation scheme which is later expected to be applied to the manned Soyuz-class spacecraft which supply the ISS with cosmonauts and astronauts.
The two-rotation scheme was first expected to be tested last October on an MS-07 spacecraft, but ballistic conditions at the time did not allow testing to be carried out, and the vessel reached the station according to its standard, two-day scheme.
Today, the fastest speed at which crew and cargo can reach the ISS is via a four-rotation scheme, which takes roughly six hours. Effectively, Sunday's MS-08 launch will cut flight time by almost half.
The Progress MS-08 will deliver some 1,390 kg of dry cargo, 890 kg of fuel, 420 kg of water for the ISS's Rodnik water supply system, and 46 kg of cylinder-based compressed air and oxygen.
Scientific equipment, including the Ikarus, a kit for monitoring the migration of wild animals, will also be sent up, and installed outside the station by Russian cosmonauts during their next excursion into open space. Life support system components, containers with food, clothing, medicines and personal hygiene products will also be delivered.
The Soyuz 2.1a's launch with the MS-08 spacecraft aboard will be broadcast live on Roskosmos' website.
All-in-one service for the Space Station
Paris (ESA) Feb 09, 2018 - Quick access to space, high-speed data feed and a unique vantage point are the selling points of a new commercial venture on the International Space Station. Its name is Bartolomeo, and its versatile design allows for many mission types at competitive prices from next year.
The Space Station has been growing in size during the past 20 years, and so have the number of platforms dedicated to science in orbit. However, researchers and engineers are finding it harder to acquire slots for their experiments.
A decade after its launch, Europe's Columbus laboratory makes room on the outside to a new platform that offers an affordable, quick and easy access to space.
Earth observation and telecommunications, exobiology and space weather research are areas of great demand that will benefit.
The Bartolomeo All-in-one Mission Service will provide end-to-end access for external payloads on the Station. It provides unobstructed view of Earth, direct control of the experiments from the ground and the possibility of retrieving samples.
Today, ESA and Airbus Defence and Space signed a commercial partnership that will make Bartolomeo a reality next year. While the European company funds the development and promotes commercialisation, ESA will support the launch, installation and operations.
This is the first time that a European commercial partnership is offering the opportunity to carry out science and demonstrate technology outside the Station.
Out of the box
The formula for payload size is flexible. Users can squeeze in as little as 5 kg by sharing the ride with other experiments, or have an entire slot of up to 450 kg at their disposal.
Bartolomeo offers 11 slots, and the waiting time from the moment a contract is signed and the 'go for flight' is one to two years - much shorter than the standard timeframe for experiments. The rental agreement in space is for a minimum of one year.
Bartolomeo is set for launch in 2019 on a SpaceX Dragon cargo ferry.
Source: Sputnik News
Final request for proposal released for Air Force launch services contract
Los Angeles AFB CA (SPX) Feb 07, 2018
The Air Force released a final Request for Proposal for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Launch Services for the following payloads: National Reconnaissance Office Launch (NROL)-85, NROL-87, SILENTBARKER, Space-Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS GEO)-5, and Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)-44. The final RFP was released on Jan. 31 with proposals due back to the Air Force on April 16 in accordance with the solicitation instructions. The contracts for these launch service ... read more
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