Monthly Archives: May 2012

Dragon departs from ISS

UPDATE 17:42 CEST (15:42 UT): Dragon splashdown confirmed! UPDATE 17:37 CEST (15:37 UT): Three main parachutes are deployed. 17:35 CEST (15:35 UT): Dragon’s drogue parachutes have deployed. 17:25 CEST (15:25 UT): Dragon has performed reentry burn and is on course for splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at 17:44 CEST (15:44 UT) 11:49 CEST (09:49 UT): Dragon released from the ISS & starts journey to return to Earth. 11:45 CEST (09:45 UT): Go given to release Dragon. 10:07 CEST (08:07 UT): Bolts attaching Dragon to the Harmony module are now released – the spacecraft is officially demated from the ISS. Joe Acaba will now take the controls of the Canadarm2 to manoeuvre the...

Image: Dragon ready for release

ESA astronaut André Kuipers posted this photograph of the Dragon spacecraft as it was seen earlier today shortly before being released from the end of the Station’s robotic arm to start its return journey to Earth. More photos on André’s Flickr photostream

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Video replay: Dragon departs the ISS

A replay of this morning’s departure of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. Dragon was unberthed from the Harmony module shortly after 10am and released from the Station’s robotic arm at 11:49 CEST (09:49 UT). Watch the replay from NASA TV:

Photos: AndreTweetup at ESTEC, 29 May

Eighty tweeps came to ESA’s technical centre in the Netherlands yesterday to talk to ESA astronaut André Kuipers in a live video call to the International Space Station. Here are a selection of photographs from the event.

Twitter followers talk to @astro_andre during #AndreTwe...

Eighty of ESA astronaut André Kuiper’s Twitter followers came to ESA’s technical centre in the Netherlands yesterday to talk to him in a live video call to the International Space Station. People were invited to send a question they would like to ask André. The lucky group was chosen from more than 500 applicants to attend the SpaceTweetup in ESTEC, the Netherlands. 10 of them then had the chance to ask their question directly to André, during the live call. Before the call, hosted in ESTEC’s Erasmus Centre, the Twitter followers were treated to an interactive 3D tour of the Space Station, saw a zero-gravity drop tower in action and visited ESTEC’s...

New blog from André: ‘Dragon attached to ISS, a m...

In his latest blog entry André Kuipers describes how he and his Expedition 31 crewmate Don Pettit operated the Station’s robotic arm to first capture and then berth the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. A highlight of André’s PromISSe mission and an important milestone for spaceflight. André writes: “Last Friday was a special day on my mission. Don and I docked the SpaceX’s cargoship Dragon to the Space Station. Dragon brings new equipment for the crew. On the 31st of May it will return to Earth with supplies from the others and myself. The Dragon mission is the operational highlight of my mission. But it is also a milestone...

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Video replay: ISS crew talks to media about Dragon spac...

ISS Expedition 31 Flight Engineers Don Pettit, André Kuipers and Joe Acaba discuss Dragon’s mission with reporters during a crew news conference. The crew opened the hatch to the newly arrived Dragon spacecraft earlier in the day. Dragon is scheduled to spend six days berthed to the ISS before being detached and released on May 31.

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Video replay: ISS crew opens Dragon’s hatch

The ISS Expedition 31 crew opened the hatch to the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft today at 11.53 CEST (09:53 UT). Wearing protective masks and goggles, as is customary for the opening of a hatch to any newly arrived vehicle at the station, NASA astronaut Don Pettit entered the Dragon with Station Commander Oleg Kononenko. Watch the replay:

ISS crew prepares to open Dragon hatch

The ISS Expedition 31 crew are preparing to open the hatch to the newly arrived SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. Dragon was berthed to the Station’s Harmony module yesterday at 18:02 CEST (16:02 UT). Once the hatch is open they will set up ventilation to allow the air inside the vehicle mix with the Station air. After about 20 minutes they will enter Dragon for the first time on orbit.

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Photos: Dragon approach, capture and berthing

ESA astronaut André Kuipers shared these photographs of the SpaceX Dragon approach and berthing that took place yesterday. Dragon was captured when the ISS was over Western Australia using the Station’s robotic arm Canadarm2, operated by NASA astronaut Don Pettit and assisted by André. Taking over the controls of the robotic arm, André then manouevred Dragon into position to berth the spacecraft with the Earth-facing port on the Harmony module.

Dragon spacecraft set for arrival at ISS

UPDATE 18:02 CEST (16:02 UT): Second stage capture complete. Dragon is now berthed to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module! 17:43 CEST (15:43 UT): Station crew given the go to manoeuvre Dragon to the install position… 17:33 CEST (15:33 UT): ESA astronaut André Kuipers will be at the controls of the Station’s robotic arm to manoeuvre Dragon into position for berthing with the Earth-facing port on the Harmony module. 16:00 CEST (14:00 UT): The Expedition 31 crew will now work to manoeuvre the Dragon into position for berthing to the Harmony module, Node 2. 15:56 CEST (13:56 UT): Dragon is captured. Don Pettit: “Looks like we got ourselves a Dragon by...

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Video replay: SpaceX Dragon captured

The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft was captured at 15:56 CEST (13:56 UT) today. Operating the Station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, NASA astronaut Don Pettit grappled the Dragon, commenting: “Looks like we got ourselves a Dragon by the tail!”. After Dragon is berthed to the Harmony module’s Earth-facing port the hatches will open Saturday morning and the crew will ingress to begin several days of docked operations. Launched from Florida on Tuesday, the Dragon spacecraft is carrying food and supplies for the Station crew. Dragon is the first privately built spacecraft to visit the ISS. Watch the replay of the Dragon capture.