The future of the International Space Station

After the Soyuz spacecraft failed to get into orbit on 11 October 2018, it looked like Soyuz flights to the ISS might be on hold for a period of time and that the ISS would even need to be temporarily abandoned. Fortunately this has proved not to be the case and the next Soyuz will… Continue reading The future of the International Space Station

Soyuz – What next?

Many of my readers will be aware the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft failed to get into orbit on Thursday 11 October. It was on a mission to take fresh crew to the International Space Station (ISS). Mission patch for Soyuz MS-10 A major fault occurred at an altitude of about 50 km when the booster rocket… Continue reading Soyuz – What next?

Space stations past and present

The International Space Station (ISS) is now 20 years old. In this post I’ll talk about the history of the ISS and other space stations, and I’ll also touch on some of the politics involved. Image from NASA   Early space stations   Although America was the first country to put a man on the… Continue reading Space stations past and present

The International Space Station updated

Since the publication of the original post on 2 August 2018, NASA have delayed the planned launch dates for the American spacecraft to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. In my original post I referred to the Boeing and SpaceX spacecraft taking astronauts this year, which was an ambitious target, bearing in mind that it… Continue reading The International Space Station updated

The International Space Station

Note 10 September 2018.  The information in the section 'Getting to and from the ISS' has been superseded by information in the updated version of this post. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the International Space Station (ISS). Image from NASA. The first module of the ISS, called Zarya, was launched by a Russian… Continue reading The International Space Station

Soyuz 50 years on

On 23 April 1967, six years after Yuri Gagarin had became the first man to go into space, a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft was launched carrying cosmonaut Vladimir Komorov. It completed 18 orbits and then returned to Earth. Mission patch for the first Soyuz mission Sadly, during its reentry the parachute failed to open properly and the… Continue reading Soyuz 50 years on

Chinese manned space programme

On 18 November two Chinese astronauts, Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, landed back on Earth after spending 33 days in space, an event which was hardly reported in the western media. During their mission they spent 30 days aboard the Tiangong-2 space station. Image from the Chinese National Space Administration Tiangong-2, shown in the mission patch above, is the second… Continue reading Chinese manned space programme