Space Stations

The International Space Station photographed by a space shuttle Atlantis crew member on May 23, 2010 (Photo NASA)

On November 2, 2000, the first three crew members reached the International Space Station to begin their work in what was then the new outpost of humanity. With that act, American astronaut Bill Shepherd and Russian cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko established a continuous human presence there. Over the years, the Station has been expanded to take its current configuration developing wider and wider opportunities to do research that have brought and will bring various technological and scientific developments.

The Progress M-29M space cargo ship blasting off atop a Soyuz U rocket (Image NASA TV)

A few hours ago, the Progress M-29M space cargo ship docked with the Zvezda module of the International Space Station. The spacecraft blasted off yesterday atop a Soyuz U rocket from the Baikonur base in Kazakhstan in its resupply mission also referred to as Progress 61. It was a direct berthing because the Russian spacecraft don’t need to be captured by the Station’s robotic arm

Andreas Mogensen, Aidyn Aimbetov and Gennady Padalka assisted after their landing with the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft (Image NASA TV)

A few hours ago, cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Aidyn Aimbetov and Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen came back to Earth on the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft, landed without problems in Kazakhstan. Padalka spent just over five months on the International Space Station, where he arrived on March 28, 2015 as part of Expedition 43. Aimbetov and Mogensen spent only a few days on the Station, where they arrived on September 4, 2015.

The SoyuzTMA-18M spacecraft approaching the International Space Station (Image ESA)

A little while ago the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft docked to the International Space Station. On board there are ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen and cosmonauts Sergei Volkov and Aidyn Aimbetov. The three of then were launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan last Wednesday. In a couple of hours the hatches between the Soyuz TMA-18M and the Station will be opened and the newcomers will be welcomed by the rest of the crew.

The Japanese space cargo ship HTV-5 Kounotori captured by the International Space Station's robotic arm (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago the HTV-5 “Kounotori” spacecraft was captured by the robotic arm Canadarm2 of the International Space Station, operated by Kimiya Yui assisted by Kjell Lindgren. The Japanese space cargo ship, which blasted off last Wednesday, is carrying food, water, scientific experiments, propellant and various hardware. After its capture, it will take a little while before the HTV-5 starts getting moved to its berthing location on the Harmony module.