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NASA Space Science

Russia's Unmanned Capsule Misses Space Station 224

mikesd81 writes "Russia's unmanned cargo ship Progress 38 missed docking with the ISS and sailed right on by it instead of docking on autopilot. A telemetry lock between the Russian-made Progress module and the space station was lost and the module flew past at a safe distance. NASA said the crew was never in danger and that the supplies are not critical and will not affect station operations. There will be no other attempts at docking today, and the orbit of the module raises questions of any other attempts again. Packed aboard the spacecraft are 1,918 pounds of propellant for the station, 110 pounds of oxygen, 220 pounds of water and 2,667 pounds of dry cargo — which includes spare parts, science equipment and other supplies."
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Russia's Unmanned Capsule Misses Space Station

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  • Re:Right... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Romancer ( 19668 ) <> on Friday July 02, 2010 @08:12PM (#32781750) Journal

    Pretty much:

    Known in Russia as Progress M-06M, the new Progress 38 spacecraft is packed with nearly 2.5 tons of fresh food, clothes, equipment and other supplies for the space station's six-person crew.

    Packed aboard the spacecraft are 1,918 pounds (nearly 870 kilograms) of propellant for the station, 110 pounds (nearly 50 kilogram) of oxygen, 220 pounds (100 kilograms) of water and 2,667 pounds (1,209 kilograms) pounds of dry cargo including spare parts, science equipment and other supplies.

    About 213 pounds (97 kilograms) of the delivery ship's cargo is earmarked as items for the station crew. Astronauts always look forward to fresh fruit and other foods that arrive on Progress spacecraft, NASA officials have said.

    Some personal treats for the station astronauts are sometimes included, but NASA officials kept mum on anything unique riding on Progress 38. "Anything that would be of interest is probably a surprise," NASA spokesperson Kelly Humphries told from the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

  • by luther349 ( 645380 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @08:12PM (#32781752)
    i believe that the unmanned pod can try again to dock. they just said there not going to try again today.
  • by jdigriz ( 676802 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @08:23PM (#32781868)
    The space tug was one of the first things that was cancelled in the space station program [] We're doing this whole space station thing in such a half-assed manner because approximately half of the people in Congress would dearly like to see the entire thing cancelled (and this is not a vote along party lines). They try at every chance to kill the thing outright but it's always so far been saved at the last moment (with subtantial cuts) in a political compromise. And the thing about a compromise is that it's a solution that no one is happy with, ie, half-assed. That's the main reason. The other reason is that the station is in LEO, and thus is subject to significant atmospheric drag via the attenuated atmostphere. It's not a permanent orbit. Within a few years at most, without periodic reboosts (which cost fuel), the station would reenter the atmosphere and burn up. The primary reason that the station is in such a low orbit relates to the quality of the launchers we had to launch it. Without a Saturn V class, we had no real capability to project more mass than a telecom satellite to a significantly higher orbit. The Clarke orbit is filled with junk from dead comsats, so it's unsuitable for permanent habitation even if we could reach it with so much mass. And the area between LEO and GEO is mostly unreachable by the supply and personnel rockets we had with significant payload. So basically, the reason this station program is so half-assed can be laid at the feet of the people who killed the Saturn V. Skylab was launched in 1 launch. The ISS took dozens to be mostly complete.
  • Re:Right... (Score:4, Informative)

    by blackest_k ( 761565 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @08:24PM (#32781890) Homepage Journal

    you really don't need video's sent into space on any physical medium either.

    Russia Today said after this first ever failure to dock that a second attempt will be made on Sunday.

  • pendantry (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 02, 2010 @08:25PM (#32781900)

    Packed aboard the spacecraft are 1,918 pounds of propellant for the station, 110 pounds of oxygen, 220 pounds of water and 2,667 pounds of dry cargo

    More like 0 pounds. Surely slugs would be a more useful measurement in a weightless environment. Or better yet: kilograms.

  • Re:Even Hollywood... (Score:3, Informative)

    by BZWingZero ( 1119881 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @08:38PM (#32782006)
    They have manual control available for once the Progress gets to the parking orbit. The issue is Progress 38 didn't go to the parking orbit, it just went straight on past.
  • It's not about the story behind the unit. If the definition is arbitrary or not doesn't matter at all. What does matter is the way it works. I can tell you exactly how many grams are in a kilogram, and how many grams in a Ton. And that makes perfect sense. It's 10-base. it's metric. It's logical.

    Now, try that with the ridiculous conversion ratios between ounces, pounds, stones and all that crazy mumbo-jumbo that is the imperial system.

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @09:12PM (#32782284)

    Trey Parker and Matt Stone were both born in the USA.

    Skylab was a lab in space before the space shuttle. Salyut 1 was before that, but it had two missions that both failed. Soyuz 10 that could not board due to fire and Soyuz 11 that crew died on rentry do to a lab. Shuttles are pointless ISS could have been lifted by cheaper and safer rockets.

    You seem to be wrong on all accounts.

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @09:21PM (#32782336)

    It was not an exact copy at all. It looked similar, it performed a similar task and was designed as a response to our shuttle. It was not an exact copy, it was not parts compatible or anything like that. The Tu-4 was about as an exact Russian copy of the B-29 as was possible for them. Even that was not parts compatible in the engines an guns/mounts.

  • Re:I choose option 4 (Score:4, Informative)

    by SilverJets ( 131916 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @10:11PM (#32782664) Homepage

    Well the cash always seems to be there for the US to go to war.

  • by RobVB ( 1566105 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @10:56PM (#32782886)

    Actually, the Metre [] was "Originally intended to be one ten-millionth of the distance from the Earth's equator to the North Pole"

    The gram []: Originally defined as "the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to the cube of the hundredth part of a metre, and at the temperature of melting ice"

    Compare this to some imperial units:

    The foot []:
    The popular belief is that the original standard was the length of a man's foot. [...] Some believe that the original measurement of the English foot was from King Henry I, who had a foot 12 inches long; he wished to standardize the unit of measurement in England.

    The acre [] was approximately the amount of land tillable by one man behind an ox in one day.

    A grain [] is a unit of measurement of mass that is based upon the mass of a single seed of a typical cereal.

    My conclusion: SI units are based on less arbitrary (original) definitions than imperial units. The new definitions using "speed of light, properties of atoms, etc." didn't really change their magnitudes, they just reduced the tiny variations.

  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @11:23PM (#32783004) Homepage

    I can see lots of things around me that would make very poor standards for measurement. :)

  • Re:220 lbs of water? (Score:3, Informative)

    by tommis ( 1328303 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @02:10AM (#32783602) []

    The ISS has two water recovery systems. Zvezda contains a water recovery system that processes waste water from showers, sinks, and other crew systems and water vapor from the atmosphere that could be used for drinking in an emergency but is normally fed to the Elektron system to produce oxygen. The American segment has a Water Recovery System installed during STS-126 in Destiny that can process water vapour collected from the atmosphere, waste water from showers, sinks, and other crew systems, and also urine into water that is intended for drinking.

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