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ISS Space Technology

Russian Progress Cargo Ship Docks With Space Station 47

An anonymous reader writes: An unmanned Russian cargo ship has successfully docked with the International Space Station. The successful launch, rendezvous and docking came after two resupply failures. A Progress launched in April spun out of control and a week ago, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket disintegrated, destroying a supply ship loaded with supplies and equipment. "Crew reports, 'feels like Christmas in July,'" the International Space Station tweeted.
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Russian Progress Cargo Ship Docks With Space Station

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  • Can't they 3D-print anything they need? /joke

  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @10:16AM (#50047721)
    I'm glad the ISS crew won't suffocate now.
  • I'm imagining a zero-grav race for the control panel with the hidden bottle of vodka inside.

    • Just send them a sack of potatoes and they can make their own.

      • A microgravity still sounds like a fun thing to design. I can see a few possibilities - you could try a hydrophilic mesh to keep the liquid place, or a super-fine net relying on surface tension to keep liquids from passing through the holes.

  • Thank you Mr. Putin (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SpaceXXX ( 4164939 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @10:57AM (#50047843)

    Our nation wants to thank you again for saving ISS and July 4th celebration.
    Every year now, during 4th of July week we will salute strong Russia and will be forever grateful for your generosity.

    • by fnj ( 64210 )

      It's hard to tell if you're being serious, or trying (vainly) to be sarcastic. Forgive me for that.

      At any rate, one of the two segments is Russian; the other US and shared with Europe, Japan, and Canada. So it is basically as much a Russian asset as US. It is in the Russian interest to see to it that the thing doesn't come to grief prematurely. As a human of Earth, I'm not against being thankful and grateful to Russia for coming through in a pinch, and rescuing everyone's ass, but basically they are serving

  • by Type44Q ( 1233630 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @10:59AM (#50047849)

    Crew reports, 'feels like Christmas in July'

    They must be orbiting over the southern hemisphere...

    • by Xiaran ( 836924 )
      As a Southern Hemisphere type guy... no... Christmas in winter would be weird.
      • by fnj ( 64210 )

        Not as weird as celebrating Christmas in summer, to a northern type.

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      or as the Rocket Man himself said:
        It's July but it's cold as Christmas In the middle of the year.

  • Oh, good! They were almost out of toilet paper. :P

  • by ClaraBow ( 212734 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @01:55PM (#50048459)
    why NASA is relying on private companies to build the next-generation spacecraft. NASA had a dependable spacecraft. Couldn't they have improved the Space Shuttle? There has to be more going here than just money. Seriously, we can afford a war anytime we feel like fighting one, but when it comes to science and space exploration, we suddenly don't have money.
    • by spiritplumber ( 1944222 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @02:06PM (#50048487) Homepage
      Shuttle: Take 50 ton ship in orbit to carry 5 tons of payload. Rebuild most of it after every flight. Soyuz stack: Take 8 ton ship in orbit to carry 5 tons of payload. Scrap what's left of it after flight, don't worry about reliability of parts. Turns out most of the cost (and the mass) is the fuel.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That was largely the Air Force's doing, not NASA, which wanted a smaller ship, but the Air Force had to have something to carry their bus sized spy satellites into polar orbit or close to it. The thing is despite all that dumbness, we learned a lot about how to and how not to deal with reusable spacecraft from the shuttle program and we've done nothing useful with that knowledge. There should have been a second round of them in development a decade or more ago to replace what we had, and Congress did what

        • We learned a lot about how to and how not to deal with reusable spacecraft from the shuttle program and we've done nothing useful with that knowledge.

          Exactly! It feels like we are starting from scratch. I know NASA is sharing knowledge with SpaceX, but a lot knowledge is also being lost for stupid-ass political reasons. It's sad that we can't even get a rocket to reliably deliver cargo to the International Space Station -- It's upsetting and depressing!

          • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @04:26PM (#50048923)

            It's sad that we can't even get a rocket to reliably deliver cargo to the International Space Station -- It's upsetting and depressing!

            You'd almost think from reading this that the Russians could reliably deliver cargo to ISS...

            Which might suggest that you're aware of the failure of the Dragon at the end of last month and the failure of Cygnus nine months ago, but unaware that in April the Russian resupply mission to ISS failed.

            You also appear to be unaware that this was the second Russian failure to resupply the ISS (the first was in 2011).

            For what it's worth, the EU and Japan haven't failed an ISS resupply mission yet. Of course, between them they've done about 10% of the ISS resupply flights.

            On the other hand, NASA is the only agency that hasn't managed an ISS resupply mission at all. The US resupply missions have all been CRS (SpaceX and Cygnus)....

        • Sorry, but the reason NASA had to build the large shuttle was because they promised cheap access to space if they launched everything. They dropped a load in their shorts when they were told they had to launch Hexagon, but their big mouth got them into that one. Then they gave us the biggest economic disaster space has seen.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      why NASA is relying on private companies to build the next-generation spacecraft

      Politics. Same reason Skylab was thrown away when there were enough working bits of Saturn V to keep it up there. The people who didn't want the ISS in the first place are calling the shots.

    • NASA had a dependable spacecraft. Couldn't they have improved the Space Shuttle?

      The Space Shuttle was far from dependable. Worst of all, when it failed, it failed catastrophically. The issues were due to its very basic design. One example being solid rocket boosters operating along side the crewed spacecraft. Once the boosters are lit, there is no turning back. They can't be turned off, and they can't be jettisoned.

      The issues were much worse prior to Challenger. Structural changes were made to the stack to allow the spacecraft to continue to fly with main engine failures. [wikipedia.org] Fr

    • Go watch Apollo 13. In fact there's a very good BBC documentary on the iplayer right now about how the US "WON" the space race but then promptly lost. Because once they had the moon, there was no public support for the huge amounts of money required for space. Matter of fact, the only reason the shuttle ever got funded was because of D.O.D. money which funded it as a bus for top secret satellites. Then the pressure of D.O.D requirements led to Challenger (bbc horizon has a good hour on the shuttle) and the
  • I guess if the flight fails we do not pay. But we lose the value of the cargo. Well there is insurance. Which must have a pretty hefty premium after the latest failures.. Everything is packed special, any idea how many dollars the food and supplies cost. What is the insurance premium now, 1/2 the value??? Rod

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