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viernes, 1 de noviembre de 2013

NASA : Three Space Station Crews Get Ready for Relocation, Launch, Landing

The European Space Agency’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-4) undocks from the aft port of the International Space Station’s Zvezda service module.
Image Credit: NASA TV

Three Space Station Crews Get Ready for Relocation, Launch, Landing
International Space Station crews commuting to and from their orbiting laboratory will be busy this November, and NASA Television will provide live coverage of their launches, landings and relocations.
Traffic starts to pick up Friday, Nov. 1. Expedition 37 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency will climb into their Soyuz spacecraft, back out of one Russian Earth-facing docking spot and fly a short distance to another one at the end of the station. NASA TV coverage starts at 4 a.m. EDT. The 24-minute maneuver begins with undocking at 4:34 a.m.
The Soyuz move opens up the Rassvet docking port for another Soyuz transporting Expedition 38/39 Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA, Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos and Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to the station. Aboard their spacecraft is the Olympic torch, which is taking an out-of-this-world route -- as part of the torch relay -- to Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia. There, the torch will be used to light the Olympic flame at the stadium, marking the start of the 2014 winter games.
The trio is scheduled to launch at 11:14 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 6 (10:14 a.m. Kazakh time on Nov. 7) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA TV launch coverage begins at 10:15 p.m. Docking to Rassvet is scheduled at 5:31 a.m. on Nov. 7, with NASA TV coverage beginning at 4:45 a.m. Hatches are scheduled to open at 7:40 a.m., with NASA TV coverage starting at 7:15 a.m.
Mastracchio, Tyurin and Wakata will join Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano, plus Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Michael Hopkins of NASA. Their arrival will be the first time since October 2009 that nine people have served together aboard the space station without the presence of a space shuttle.
On Sunday, Nov. 10, after Yurchikhin has transferred command of the station to Kotov, the Soyuz carrying Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano will undock for a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 9:50 p.m. (8:50 a.m. Kazakh time on Nov. 11), wrapping up a 166-day mission. Hatch closure coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 10 with a replay of the change of command ceremony. Undocking coverage begins at 6 p.m., and deorbit and landing coverage begins at 8:30 p.m.
Special video feeds of pre-launch activities by the crew will resume on Friday, Nov. 1, and continue through Wednesday, Nov. 6.
All the times of International Space Station programming, key Soyuz event coverage and other NASA Television programming can be found at:
For information about the International Space Station, research and its crews, visit:
“Albert Einstein” Completes Mission at Station
ATV-4 undocking
The European Space Agency’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-4) undocks from the aft port of the International Space Station’s Zvezda service module.
Image Credit: NASA TV
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The European Space Agency’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-4), also known as the “Albert Einstein,” undocked from the aft port of the International Space Station’s Zvezda service module at 4:55 a.m. EDT Monday. Its departure sets the stage for the relocation of a Soyuz spacecraft currently docked at the station and the arrival of three new crew members.

Expedition 37 Flight Engineers Luca Parmitano and Oleg Kotov, who together closed up the hatches to the ATV-4 Friday, monitored the automated departure from a control panel inside Zvezda, ready to take control of the process if needed. Meanwhile Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin photographed the departing space freighter to capture imagery of its docking assembly and a set of sensors at the forward end of the spacecraft.
At the time of undocking, the station was orbiting about 260 miles above Kazakhstan.
ATV-4, now filled with trash and unneeded items, fired its thrusters to back a safe distance away from the orbiting complex. An engine firing Saturday will send it into the Earth’s atmosphere for a planned destructive re-entry over an uninhabited area of the southern Pacific Ocean.
The “Albert Einstein,” named in honor of the famed German-born theoretical physicist and icon of modern science, delivered more than 7 tons of food, fuel and supplies to the orbiting complex when it docked automatically on June 15. During its time at the station, the ATV-4 also provided an additional reboost capability for the complex, as flight controllers periodically commanded its engines to fire to adjust the station’s orbit.
The fifth and final ATV, designated the “Georges Lemaître” after the Belgian astronomer who first proposed the theory of the expansion of the universe, is scheduled to launch in mid-2014 for a six-month mission at the station. More than 32 feet long -- about the size of a traditional London double-decker bus – the ATV is the largest and heaviest vehicle in the station’s resupply fleet.
The departure of ATV-4 clears the way for Parmitano, Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg to relocate their Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft from its docking port on the Rassvet module to the newly vacated Zvezda port on Nov. 1.
On Nov. 7, three new station crew members -- NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata and Soyuz commander Mikhail Tyurin of the Russian Federal Space Agency – will dock their Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft to Rassvet about six hours after their launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Nine astronauts and cosmonauts will live and work together aboard the station before Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano make their final farewells on Nov. 10 and board their Soyuz for the return to Earth after more than five months in space. Their departure will mark the end of Expedition 37 and the beginning of Expedition 38 under the command of Kotov.
Guillermo Gonzalo Sánchez Achutegui

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