Blogs about astronaut activities

Views of the Starliner Calypso spacecraft approaching the International Space Station in its Boe-CFT mission (Image NASA TV)

A few hours ago, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner Calypso spacecraft docked with the International Space Station’s Harmony module, completing the first leg of its Boe-CFT (Boeing Crewed Flight Test) mission which began with the launch just over 24 hours earlier. After checking that the pressure was correctly balanced, the hatch was opened to allow Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to enter the Station and begin their mission, which will last about a week.

The CST-100 Starliner Calypso spacecraft blasting off atop an Atlas V rocket (Image NASA)

A little while ago, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner Calypso spacecraft blasted off atop a ULA Atlas V rocket from the Cape Canaveral base on its Boe-CFT (Boeing Crew Flight Test) mission. After about fifteen minutes, it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage and soon it will start the maneuvers it needs to enter orbit and begin tracking the International Space Station.

The Shenzhou 17 mission capsule landing (Photo courtesy Xinhua/Lian Zhen)

Yesterday, the three Chinese taikonauts of the Shenzhou 17 mission returned to Earth after spending a little more than six months on the Chinese space station Tiangong. The three taikonauts Jiang Xinlin, Tang Hongbo, and Tang Shengjie had left the station about nine hours earlier to land at a site called Dongfeng in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. It’s a procedure that significantly reduces the time to return to Earth and now has become routine.

The Shenzhou 18 mission blasting off atop a Long March-2F rocket (Photo courtesy Xinhua/Li Gang)

A confirmation has arrived that three Chinese taikonauts from the Shenzhou 18 mission reached the Chinese space station Tiangong with an automated docking maneuver. They blasted off about 6.5 hours earlier atop a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. They form the 7th crew of the Chinese space station and will remain there for about six months, the standard duration for a mission.

The three taikonauts, as the Chinese call their astronauts, of the Shenzhou 18 mission are Ye Guangfu, Li Cong, and Li Guangsu.

The Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft surrounded by the support crew (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago, cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Marina Vasilevskaya and astronaut Loral O’Hara returned to Earth on the Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft, which landed in Kazakhstan. Novitsky completed a one-year mission on the International Space Station, Vasilevskaya was a visitor who stayed on the Station for a few days while O’Hara spent a bit more than 6 months on the Station.