Spacewalking astronauts finish Canadarm2 work at breakneck speed

Spacewalking astronauts finish Canadarm2 work at breakneck speed

Two astronauts—one American, the other Japanese—suited up to venture outside the International Space Station to finish work upgrading the outpost’s robotic Canadarm2, a process that has now involved five extravehicular activities over some four months.

The six-hour U.S. EVA-48 began when NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Norishige Kanai put on their suits and exited the Quest airlock.

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Progress MS-8 arrives at ISS with food, fuel, and supplies

Progress MS-8 arrives at ISS with food, fuel, and supplies

After spending two days catching up with the International Space Station, the Progress MS-08 Russian cargo freighter docked with the orbiting outpost, bringing several metric tons of supplies for Expedition 54 and future crews.

The autonomous docking of the 7.2-meter long spacecraft took place at 5:38 a.m. EST (10:38 GMT) Feb. 15, 2018, at the aft-end of the Zvezda service module while the duo were flying 406 kilometers above Earth just East of the Philippines, according to NASA.

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Progress MS-08 cargo ship launches on 2-day trek to ISS

Progress MS-08 cargo ship launches on 2-day trek to ISS

After a two-day launch delay, Progress MS-08, an autonomous Russian cargo spacecraft, is on its way to the International Space Station.

Liftoff took place atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket occurred at 3:13 a.m. EST (08:13 GMT) Feb. 13, 2018, from launch pad 31 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft is carrying some 1,390 kilograms of dry cargo, 890 kilograms fuel, and 420 kilograms of water, as well as 46 kilograms of oxygen to the outpost.

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Launch of Progress MS-08 cargo spacecraft scrubbed

Launch of Progress MS-08 cargo spacecraft scrubbed

It was deja vu for the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos. Less than a minute before its planned launch to the International Space Station, the Progress MS-08 cargo mission was scrubbed. The issue appeared similar in nature to one that occurred in October 2017.

Launch atop a Soyuz 2.1a booster was to have taken place at 3:58 a.m. EST (08:58 GMT) Feb. 11, 2018, from launch pad 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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OPINION: Ending ISS too soon would be an Apollo-sized mistake

OPINION: Ending ISS too soon would be an Apollo-sized mistake

It appears the Trump administration may look to end support for the International Space Station by 2025. This proposal, if approved by Congress, would be a huge mistake similar to that of ending the Apollo program in 1972.

First reported by The Verge’s Loren Grush, a draft budget proposal calls for ending U.S. funding for the ISS by 2025 to free up some $3 billion to $4 billion in the budget for the Trump administration’s plan to return U.S. astronauts to the Moon.

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Cosmonauts perform longest Russian spacewalk to upgrade high-gain antenna

Cosmonauts perform longest Russian spacewalk to upgrade high-gain antenna

In the second planned spacewalk of 2018, two Russian cosmonauts went outside the International Space Station to upgrade an electronics box on the Lira high-gain antenna at the aft end of the outpost.

The goal for Russian EVA-44 was to install an upgraded electronics box—a high-frequency receiver unit—on the Lira antenna located at the aft-end of the 17-year-old Zvezda service module. It was never designed for on-orbit servicing.

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Software patch fixes Canadarm2 anomaly, US EVA-48 postponed

Software patch fixes Canadarm2 anomaly, US EVA-48 postponed

NASA has postponed its planned Jan. 29, 2018, spacewalk to swap a latching end effector on the International Space Station’s robotic Canadarm2 after robotics specialists devised a software patch to fix a communications anomaly with the recently-installed mechanism.

While an exact date has not been set, the agency said it is targeting mid-February for the rescheduled outing.

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NASA reports problem with newly installed Robotic arm 'hand'

NASA reports problem with newly installed Robotic arm 'hand'

Just days after installing a new grapple fixture on the International Space Station’s robotic Canadarm2, NASA is working on a plan to re-install the old latching end effector on an upcoming spacewalk after a problem was found with the new mechanism.

U.S. EVA-28 was already planned for Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, less than a week after the previous spacewalk installed the new LEE.

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Astronauts replace Canadarm2 ‘hand’ on ISS in first spacewalk of 2018

Astronauts replace Canadarm2 ‘hand’ on ISS in first spacewalk of 2018

The first spacewalk of 2018, U.S. EVA-47, is now in the history books after two NASA astronauts completed a nearly 7.5 hour extravehicular activity to replace an aging latching end effector on the International Space Station’s robotic Canadarm2.

Canadarm2 has a latching end effector, also called a LEE, on either side of the 17-meter robotic arm to either grab onto the exterior of the station, move objects around the outpost, or grab visiting spacecraft.

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SpaceX’s CRS-13 Dragon capsule departs ISS after 4-week stay

SpaceX’s CRS-13 Dragon capsule departs ISS after 4-week stay

The first visiting vehicle activity at the International Space Station in 2018 concluded Jan. 13 with the unberthing, departure and splashdown of SpaceX’s CRS-13 Dragon cargo ship after spending nearly a month at the orbiting outpost.

This was the second time the Hawthorne, California-based company utilized a refurbished Dragon capsule. The pressure vessel first flew as part of the CRS-6 mission in April 2015.

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