Soyuz MS-03 crew returns to Earth after nearly 200 days in space

Soyuz MS-03 crew returns to Earth after nearly 200 days in space

Landing on the Kazakh Steppe, two members of the International Space Station’s Expedition 51 crew returned to Earth on June 2, 2017, after spending 196 days in orbit. Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet landed in their Soyuz MS-03 capsule about an hour before sunset local time at 8:10 p.m. (10:10 a.m. EDT / 14:10 GMT).

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S.S. John Glenn OA-7 Cygnus berthed to ISS

S.S. John Glenn OA-7 Cygnus berthed to ISS

After a four-day cruise to the International Space Station, Orbital ATK’s OA-7 Cygnus spacecraft, named S.S. John Glenn, was captured and berthed to the outpost.

Capture of the 6.4-meter long spacecraft by the station’s robotic Canadarm2 came at 6:05 a.m. EDT (10:05 GMT) April 22, 2017. Expedition 51 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency as well as Commander Peggy Whitson of NASA were at the Robotics Work Station in the Cupola window controlling the arm.

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Progress MS-05 cargo freighter pulls into port at ISS

Progress MS-05 cargo freighter pulls into port at ISS

On Feb. 24, 2017, the uncrewed Russian Progress MS-05 resupply spacecraft docked with the International Space Station. The automated link-up with the Pirs docking compartment took place at 3:30 a.m. EST (08:30 GMT) while flying over the south Pacific Ocean.

The Progress docking probe then retracted to pull the cargo ship in closer to allow for the hooks between the two spacecraft to latch. That hard mate took place at 3:36 a.m. EST (08:36 GMT).

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10th Dragon captured at ISS

10th Dragon captured at ISS

Twenty-four hours after an aborted rendezvous attempt, SpaceX’s CRS-10 Dragon capsule was captured by the International Space Station’s robotic arm. This second approach to the outpost went by the book.

Capture took place at 5:44 a.m. EST (10:44 GMT) Feb. 23, 2017, while the orbiting laboratory was flying 402 kilometers over the west coast of Australia.

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Dragon rendezvous aborted, next attempt in 24 hours

Dragon rendezvous aborted, next attempt in 24 hours

SpaceX’s CRS-10 Dragon capsule will try again tomorrow as its planed Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, rendezvous and berthing attempt with the International Space Station was called off. An onboard computer triggered the abort when it saw an incorrect value in the data about the location of the outpost.

The abort occurred at 3:25 a.m. EST (08:25 GMT) while the spacecraft was 1,200 meters below the ISS.

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Japan's Kounotori 6 re-enters Earth's atmosphere

Japan's Kounotori 6 re-enters Earth's atmosphere

Japan’s sixth Kounotori spacecraft, also called the H-II Transfer Vehicle or HTV, re-entered Earth’s atmosphere Feb. 5, 2017, after spending nearly two months in space to resupply the International Space Station and test new technologies.

Re-entry, confirmed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, occurred at 10:06 a.m. EST (15:06 GMT) over the Pacific Ocean. It came just over a week after the spacecraft departed the ISS after spending six weeks attached to the outpost.

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Russian Progress MS-03 departs ISS

Russian Progress MS-03 departs ISS

With the undocking of a Russian Progress cargo ship from the International Space Station, only two spacecraft remain at the outpost – a rarity in an era of high visiting vehicle traffic.

Progress MS-03 undocked at 9:25 a.m. EST (14:25 GMT) Jan. 31, 2017, from the Pirs docking compartment on the Earth-facing side of the ISS after spending six months there.

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Japan's Kounotori 6 leaves ISS, readies tether experiment

Japan's Kounotori 6 leaves ISS, readies tether experiment

After six weeks attached to the International Space Station, Japan’s Kounotori 6 spacecraft was unberthed and commanded to leave the vicinity of the outpost. It will now spend a week conducting a few stand-alone experiments for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

A few hours after ground teams commanded the 17.5-meter long robotic Canadarm2 to move the spacecraft, also called the H-II Transfer Vehicle 6, from the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module to about 10 meters below the Destiny laboratory to release it.

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Cargo ships, expandables and spacewalks: ISS in 2016

Cargo ships, expandables and spacewalks: ISS in 2016

Between cargo ships servicing the outpost and spacewalks to maintain it, 2016 was arguably one of the busiest years for the International Space Station since the end of the space shuttle era.

Probably the most visible event for the space station in 2016 was the yearlong crew – NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko – returning to Earth. They had launched to the outpost on March 27, 2015.

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