Spacecraft

Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft blasting off atop an Atlas V rocket starting its Orb-4 mission (Image NASA TV)

A few hours ago the Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft blasted off atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral. After about twenty minutes it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage and got in route. This is its fourth official mission, Orbital-4 or simply Orb-4 as well as CRS OA-4, to transport supplies to the International Space Station for NASA.

The Orions spacecraft's service module built by ESA moved in the USA (Photo NASA)

NASA provided some new information about the first flight test for its Space Launch System (SLS) with the Orion spacecraft, called Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1). The agency did it in the occasion of the arrival to the Space Power Facility (SPF) in Sandusky, Ohio, of the test version of the Orion’s service module built by ESA known as European Service Module (ESM). This will allow NASA to begin testing the new spacecraft in its full configuration, a crucial step in the preparation of the EM-1 mission.

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

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.