Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Space Station News; Progress 32 Launches

Supplies, food and water are currently en route to the crew of the international space station this morning, following a beautiful launch from Russia of the Progress 32 supply vessel.

The cargo craft lifted off this morning at 12:49 am EST, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Russia. Nine minutes later, the craft was in earth orbit, and moments later deplyed its solar arrays.

Station port-of-call for the Progress is set to occur at 2.19 am EST, on Friday the 13th. Progress will arrive and then dock automatically to the Russian Piers docking port. Once docked, the station's crew will spend the next next week unloading 4,900 pounds of supplies, including 1,900 lbs. of propellant, aboard the station. It will later become a trash bin during March and then later undocked for a firery return to earth.

++ SLN: Up to the Minute will carry the docking LIVE via our link at top, right column.++

Meanwhile, the three person crew of the orbital outpost are busy with daily experiment runs, exercise, and cleaning chores. With Discovery's launch now delayed until NET Feb. 22, they are reworking mission time lines as they prepare to support the orbiter's docking. Discovery will bring to the station the final huge set of solar arrays. You can view the station most nights from your home, either after sunset or prior to sunrise, on a clear day.

For example, we picked Atlanta, GA and found that the city will have two great five minute viewing opportunities upcoming as the space station travels overhead at 223 miles up.

1) Monday 16th: 6:20a ET, station travels from S to NE (and)
2) Tuesday 17th: 6:48a ET, station travels W-SW to NE

Stay tune right here for future Discovery launch assessments as the Cape works to ready the orbiter for the first shuttle flight of 2009.

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