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ISS Space Science

Soyuz Breaks Speed Record To ISS 58

Zothecula writes "A manned Soyuz spacecraft set a record for traveling to the International Space Station (ISS), arriving six hours after launch instead of the usual two days. Soyuz 34 lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, March 28 at 4:43 p.m. EDT (08:43 GMT) and docked with the ISS at 10: 28 PM EDT (03:28 GMT). It was able to catch up and match trajectories with the ISS in only four orbits using new techniques previously tested in ISS rendezvouses with Russian unmanned Progress cargo ships."
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Soyuz Breaks Speed Record To ISS

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  • By David Szondy
    March 29, 2013

    Well at least you guys are as timely as ever...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That run beats the previous record by quite a bit!

    U-S-A! U-S-A!

  • Number of orbits: the assembly instruction count of spacecraft docking optimization.

  • Using new techniques the time for news event to slashdot front page has been decreased to four days.
    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      Oh relax... the Slashdot admins are probably too busy finding the next bitcoin story to publish. They haven't met their bitcoin story quota for the day, and the clock is ticking...

  • Fapur dsm sdfh osdf ods. Sfeif sadf ase wlkwe. Jzik fiik saddfp ased asdff.
    Guzik asda wep cml seoø dsapo åsdfø åøæd ådæs åwæåød æåøæå seåfæ
    Øds,Ååsdfsa adfæø dfwf dflå æø sdi

    • HOE. LEE. SHIT. Slash accepts unicode now?
      • HOE. LEE. SHIT. Slash accepts unicode now?

        Not really, only some unicode characters with numbers smaller than 255. See this list [wikipedia.org]. A small test: :34 :38 :39 :60 :62 :160 :161 :162 :163 :164 :165 ¦:166 :167 :168 ©:169 :170 :171 :172 :173 ®:174 :175 :176 ±:177 :178 :179 :180 :181 :182 :183 :184 :185 :186 :187 ¼:188 ½:189 ¾:190 :191 À:192 Á:193 Â:194 Ã:195 Ä:196 Å:197 Æ:198 Ç:199 È:200 É:201 Ê:202 Ë:203 Ì:204 Í:205 Î:206 Ï:207 Ð:208

      • No, they're too incompetent to add full Unicode support. They tried it before and they failed at it horribly.

  • So is this a case of a new rendezvous record strictly for Soyuz?

    I know launch trajectories are typically very closely tied to the capabilities of the launch vehicle; so is this just a new record for Soyuz, or were all launch vehicles (with the slightly different launch trajectories they are capable of) limited to the previous two days to rendezvous?

    • The launch window is like half a second long for this kind of approach, so if anything at all goes wrong during the countdown the launch is off until the next window, typically several orbits later.
      • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

        Meeting a launch window that small is a real achievement; that's awesome.

        However, the Launch Window is highly dependent on the abilities of the launch vehicle; and the Soyuz is ancient and rather limited compared to its younger siblings.

        I'm wondering if it's a limitation of orbital mechanics, a limitation of a surviving crew, or a limitation of the Soyuz launch vehicle that makes the launch window so small.

        For example, many modern EELV's are capable of putting a similar mass into orbit in less time (widenin

        • by cyclone96 ( 129449 ) on Monday April 01, 2013 @07:56PM (#43334125)

          The launch window is small because ISS has to be essentially lined up in orbit in a tight tolerance (called the phase angle) to rendezvous this quickly. Usually the Soyuz plays "catch up" over 2 days by flying lower (and faster) than ISS. You can control the closing rate between the vehicles by altering the altitude difference between them, which allows you to make up differences in the orbits between the vehicles. Those differences are usually just fallouts of other things, like having uncertainty in launch dates, getting the altitude just right for other vehicles (there is about a rendezvous a month at ISS), etc. It's not because Soyuz is slow, it's because spreading the rendezvous over 2 days gives you some targeting flexibility.

          You have less margin to work with when you are trying to get there in 4 orbits instead of 34 orbits. Hitting that target with both ISS and Soyuz is hard but it's more about ground targeting than performance of the launch vehicle. The launch vehicle didn't give any extra oomph to get there faster, the ground essentially had the vehicle phasing in a tight tolerance at launch. They also sped up some of the tracking that was being done and turning that around into updated burns for the next orbit instead of coasting to a set of burns the next day, which was a bunch of work for the ground in a short period of time.

          The Russians that devised this actually published it - it's an interesting read if you have access to the journal or want to spend $32:

          http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094576510001633 [sciencedirect.com]

  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Monday April 01, 2013 @07:11PM (#43333915) Journal

    I went to see what's ArsTechnica been up to lately, and holy cow has that site grown in the last couple of years! They have all the topics I'm interested in, and apparently, not days late. Also, they don't have contempt for their members.

    So, I'm going to type in a random password for my Slashdot account and log out.

    G'bye Slashdot editors, go fuck yirselves!

    • by six025 ( 714064 ) on Monday April 01, 2013 @07:35PM (#43334043)

      You'll be back, just like the rest of us: slaves to some long distant memory of a once great site ;-)

      • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

        Wait... Slashdot was great once?

        Funny... it seems more or less the same as it has been since 1999. Was there a golden age of Slashdot in 1998?

        1998, you are our only hope!

        Eh, screw it. I like /. the way I've always known it: An RSS precursor that picks out a single, vaguely interesting story from news sources I otherwise find useless and never visit.

        • by six025 ( 714064 )

          Wait... Slashdot was great once?

          Yes, once. Shortly after lunch, on the 27th of June 1996.

        • Well, here this place used to get at least daily posts from Carmack or Bruce Perens, or people from the Antartica missions, for example. Also, always good posts from the usual users from that time like jafac, Millenium, BoredAtWork and others. What ruined this place lately are the ridiculous and stupid flame wars between Android/Google fans and Apple/iOS fans that drop comment quality to Yahoo or Youtube levels, with some Microsoft or Samsung fans or shills for good measure.

          But then you stumble with posts l

    • by snoig ( 535665 )
      And the best part of Ars Technica is that I don't see all this April 1st bull$#!+.
    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      Also, they don't have contempt for their members.

      This is the funniest thing I've read for the whole of April Fool's. The contempt level is the same: You aren't a "member" - you're a product that is sold to the site's advertisers. In both cases, you've got the same status as a sheet of toilet paper: Your fate is to be covered in some ad executive's excrement and disposed of.

      • You aren't a "member" - you're a product that is sold to the site's advertisers.

        Adverts? This site has adverts? I never realized.

    • G'bye Slashdot editors

      And nothing of value was lost.

      Actually this is a great day for slashdot. We've finally weeded out those lame bastards who are too stuckup to take a joke. Blind Biker, you will not be missed.

      *smooch* ciao.

  • Irel shaal. V gubhtug Fynfuqbg pbhyq gb orggre guna guvf ba Ncevy svefg.

  • by rchh ( 658159 )
    Don't want Slashdot to change into Reddit. Large audience do not equate to quality. Go to Reddit if you want to see all the cute cat pictures- please don't change Slashdot into Reddit. Slashdot has its downsides- but it still (even after Dice bought it) remains the one website that I need to browse once a day. Also happy April's Fool day.
  • Jryy, bx - 6 ubhefu nsgre gnxr-bss? Guvf vf abg rira ncevy sbbyf qnl. Gung'f evqvphybhf.
  • by conspirator23 ( 207097 ) on Monday April 01, 2013 @07:32PM (#43334017)

    Subtle. In the rythym of the overall broadcast. A few years ago they did a piece on Weekend Edition about how Bloomberg was pushing for a limited set of "authorized" ringtones in NYC to combat noise polution. I was having a not-sure-if-serious moment until the article ended and the promotional bumper indicated that the show received support from "Soylent" corporation. Hearing that ubiquitous NPR voice cheerily exclaim that "Soylent Green is People" had me out of my chair.

    If we're going to dredge up old, irritating Usenet crap because it's 4/1, you could at least pretend that B1FF [wikipedia.org] had been made into a Slashdot moderator. Then we could have two pages of ASCII art at the end of each slashpost, and make all the mobile RSS users cry.

    • My favorite one from them was the suburb in California that tried to pretend its homes weren't completely empty and the neighborhood devoid of life by renting stuff like a Little League team to play on the nearby softball field, renting cars to park in driveways, etc. Then home buyers would close on the mortgage and move in only to find that the entire place is actually abandoned.
  • by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <fairwaterNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday April 01, 2013 @09:04PM (#43334377) Homepage

    The fastest to ISS, but not the fastest docking ever... I believe that record belongs to Gemini 11 [wikipedia.org] which docked on it's first orbit - 96 minutes after launch. Gemini 8 [wikipedia.org] managed the first ever docking between spacecraft in orbit a mere six hours and thirty three minutes after launch.

    In the past they've taken four days in order to allow the crew time to get used to weightlessness, and to check out the spacecraft - doubly important for Soyuz since it'll be there for months and doubles as the crew's escape pod. That being said, the 'express' profile has been chosen for no other reason than to save money on mission control personnel... (Though they're trying to spin it otherwise.) In reality, I suspect those controllers are employed year 'round, but the money is only debited from the ISS program when a Soyuz is in [active] flight - making any real savings illusory.

  • Why is this funny?

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!