Search results for: spacewalk

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ISS Astronauts Will Take The Olympic Torch Out For A Spacewalk This Weekend

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iss olympic torchIt’s not as if I spend every minute of my day hating on the Olympic torch for getting to live a life I could only dream of, just most of them. It travels all over the world getting handled by awesome people, and sets fire without having to worry about getting hurt in the process. And now the torch is on board the International Space Station, and will take a trip out into space this weekend. Lucky bastard. I’m green, and it’s either raging envy, or that infection has spread.

The torch was taken up to the ISS aboard a Soyuz rocket, along with the crew for Expedition 38—American Rick Mastracchio, Russian Mikhail Tyurin, and Japan’s Koichi Wakata—the trio that will spend the next six months orbiting the Earth. It’s current ISS cosmonaut inhabitants Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky, however, who will be in the spotlight when they take the torch out for a spacewalk on Saturday. While this isn’t the flaming wand’s first trip into space, it will be the first time it has been taken out of the spacecraft.

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ISS Spacewalk Cancelled Today Due To Helmet Leakage

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issThere’s a big difference between me and astronauts, and it involves the amount of professional training required, not to mention overall space suit photogeneity. That’s an obvious statement, I know, but having familiarity with certain situations is underrated in my book.

Today was supposed to be the second spacewalk of the month for International Space Station (ISS) flight engineers Chris Cassidy of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency, but the repair mission was ended early and postponed until a later date. The reason? Just a little helmet leakage is all.

The spacewalk officially started this morning at 7:57 a.m. EDT, but just an hour into it, Parmitano reported there was water floating inside of his helmet, just behind his head. This is where that training comes in handy; if it had happened to me in my current state of non-astronautness, the question wouldn’t be if anyone could hear screaming in space, but if there was any way to make it stop.

The leakage wasn’t an emergency situation, and Parmitano was never in any danger, but Flight Director David Korth decided to halt the mission at that point. Both men went back to the airlock, which depressurized at 9:39 a.m. It was the 171st spacewalk intended for system assembly and maintenance, and its 1 hour and 32 minute duration made it the second shortest of all. Not the coolest silver medal to get, but at least no one got hurt.

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Europa Report Clip Takes You On A Spacewalk

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In a year heavy with science fiction films — we’ve already seen Oblivion, After Earth, and Star Trek Into Darkness come through theaters, with Pacific Rim, Elysium, Riddick, and more still to come — Europa Report is something of an anomaly. We’re not going to have to buy advance tickets or camp out. This isn’t going to break any opening weekend records. We’re not going to talk about box office results, or any of that superfluous nonsense. Hell, we’ll get to watch Europa Report in our living rooms before we can see it in theaters.

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Ascension Kicks Off Syfy’s Return To Serious Science Fiction: This Week’s TV Picks

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Syfy’s Ascension imagines that, in the year 1963, the United States launched a top-secret space mission — a 100-year voyage aboard a “generation ship” designed to establish mankind’s first colony in a distant star system. Society has evolved aboard the ship into a weird echo of ‘Sixties culture — think Mad Men, not hippies — but has also stratified sharply along class lines. As the ship reaches the halfway point of its trip, the passengers and crew are rocked by a murder, the first ever to occur during the mission, which throws the true nature of the Ascension project into question.

Ascension is the vanguard of Syfy’s attempts to redirect their focus toward serious, ambitious science fiction programming and a stated goal of competing on the same level as HBO, AMC, and Netflix. While we were initially skeptical, Syfy just keeps putting its money where its mouth is, following Ascension up with crazy-exciting projects such as The Expanse, Ghost Brigades, and Childhood’s End. Hell, I’m even looking forward to the 12 Monkeys show, as surprised as I am to find myself admitting that. We’re actually excited about Syfy’s future for the first time in ages, so hopefully Ascension will prove to be a bold step forward for the network, and a promising sing of things to come.

Ascension will air in three parts: Monday – Wednesday at 9/8c on Syfy.

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Russia Bailing On The ISS

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ISSSix weeks after NASA announced that it would be cutting ties with Russia, except for their collaboration on the ISS, Russia has gone a step further, saying that it plans to stop participating in the ISS after 2020.

Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, said that Russia will use its resources to focus on other projects. In the statement, he said, “We are very concerned about continuing to develop high-tech projects with such an unreliable partner as the United States, which politicises everything.” He also mentioned “inappropriate” sanctions, including plans to deny the export of high-tech equipment to Russia. In turn, Russia says that while it is ready to deliver engines used to build widely-used Atlas V rockets, it will only do so on the “condition that they will not be used to launch military satellites.” Um…

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SpaceX Sends Microbes And A Space Farm To The ISS

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UPDATE: A helium leak nixed plans for today’s launch. It has tentatively been rescheduled for 12:25PM PT/3:25 PM ET on Friday, April 18.

dragon capsuleThis afternoon, SpaceX plans to launch an unmanned Dragon capsule on a cargo run to the ISS. The launch is scheduled for 4:58 pm, and you can watch live here. This isn’t the first time SpaceX has made a cargo run for the ISS, and it certainly won’t be the last—the company has a 12-mission contract. It does make me wonder, though, what exactly the payload is. Sure, there are supplies the astronauts on the ISS need, but surely not 5,000 pounds worth. What else is riding in the Dragon?

Aboard the capsule is a mini space farm that will, if successful, allow astronauts to start growing their own veggies in space. The taste and quality of space food has certainly improved over time, but fresh vegetables would I’m sure be a welcome addition.

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