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Russian Cargo Ship Docks At ISS On Second Try 86

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-free-after-thirty-minutes dept.
FleaPlus writes "Following up on a story from a few days ago about an unmanned Russian cargo ship's initial aborted attempt at docking with the International Space Station, Space.com reports that the vehicle made a second pass on July 4, which succeeded. Russian engineers believe the initial abort was triggered when the (normally reliable) Progress spacecraft detected interference between a remote control system on the ISS and Progress's camera. It successfully docked on the second try by using the autonomous system instead."
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Russian Cargo Ship Docks At ISS On Second Try

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  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:05PM (#32803208) Journal

    It successfully docked on the second try by using the autonomous system instead.

    Why didn't they use the automated system in the first place? As a programmer I'd be a little pissed if I spent a lot of time working on a system as complicated as docking a shuttle, only to find out its second string to human piloting. Maybe it should be if the automated system fails, THEN try it with human interaction.

  • by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:11PM (#32803258) Journal

    Why didn't they use the automated system in the first place? As a programmer I'd be a little pissed if I spent a lot of time working on a system as complicated as docking a shuttle, only to find out its second string to human piloting. Maybe it should be if the automated system fails, THEN try it with human interaction.

    Why should they use the automated system in the first place? As an astronaut I'd be a little pissed if I spent my entire life working toward living on the space station and learning the intricacies of operating these sorts of crafts, only to find that my life's work is second string to a fucking computer. Maybe if human piloting fails, THEN try it with the automated systems.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:29PM (#32803338)

    Explain to me why we need people in space again.

    Seriously? Maybe we don't need people in space, but there are people who want to go.

    What are you going to say? Sure you can parachute out of planes, dive to the bottom of the ocean, climb Mt. Everest, but you can't go into space because it's too dangerous?

  • by ceejayoz (567949) <cj@ceejayoz.com> on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:33PM (#32803358) Homepage Journal

    Explain to me why we need people in space again.

    It amazes me that people ask this during the current oil spill, where remotely controlled robots have done fuck-all. Sometimes, if you can get a human's hands on the problem, it's dramatically useful.

  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:39PM (#32803396) Journal

    As an astronaught I'd be a little grateful I made it into space in the first place, spending my entire life working towards living on the space station perhaps doing the stuff that a human is NEEDED for rather than the stuff technology is designed for. I mean the astronaughts themselves didn't do the calculations for the launch pattern, someone else did and trained them.

    When it comes to math, computers have consistently shown to be faster and more accurate.

    And this was just a perfect example on how the automated system worked. So, sorry if I put more trust in a computer to be more precise than a human, and I expect the best option to be undertaken. There isn't even a whole lot of glory with docking with the ISS, like there was with landing on the moon.

  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Monday July 05, 2010 @06:16PM (#32803722) Homepage Journal

    wow.. shame no-one actually answered your question..

    Short answer:

    http://quantumg.blogspot.com/2010/07/jeff-greason-answers-why-humans-in.html [blogspot.com]

    Longer answer:

    http://quantumg.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-space.html [blogspot.com]

  • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmai l . c om> on Monday July 05, 2010 @06:29PM (#32803820) Homepage

    These things have been supplying stations in LEO since 1978, but to hear the media tell it this is a flaky, experimental piece of equipment just waiting to go wrong, and the failure of just a single docking attempt might put the whole ISS program in danger.

    The Space Shuttle has been flying since 1982 - but according to the media it's a flaky experimental piece of equipment just waiting to go wrong.
     
    And you might ask the crew of Mir what a single docking attempt [nasa.gov] can result in.
     

    Progress, like any spacecraft, is a complex system. Things won't always go to plan - that said it has, like a lot of the old Russian hardware, a decent track record.

    It has pretty much the same track record as Soyuz and the Shuttle at about 98-99% reliable.

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