Monday, October 22, 2007

Oops, I Did It Again


Interior of Soyuz spacecraft at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum

Expedition 6 was the 3-person crew Marooned on ISS in the wake of Columbia's accident. After various options were weighed, they ended up returning on a Russian Soyuz. That became a wild ride when Soyuz inexplicably went "ballistic," turning a 4 G descent into over 8 G's! Their adventure was recently turned into an experimental play at San Francisco's Magic Theatre by actor Bill Pullman.

Over the weekend the Soyuz glitch appeared again. This time it tormented Russians Fyodor Yurchikhin, Oleg Kotov and Malaysian Muszaphar Shukor. Their Soyuz went into an 8 G ballistic descent and ended up 300 kilometres West of their landing site in Kazakhstan. Fortunately all three crewmembers were found unharmed.

At 1138 EDT Shuttle mission STS-120 successfully launched from KSC commanded by Pamela Melroy. Discovery carries the Harmony node, to which the European and Japanese modules will be attached. These modules will allow more real science to be done aboard ISS. The mission will be very busy with at least 5 EVA's. Shuttle Discovery also carries an original lightsaber from STAR WARS.

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