NASA’s plans to develop a crewed facility in lunar orbit to support exploration of the moon got boosts both in the White House’s budget request for the agency as well as from the partners in the International Space Station.
Ten days after NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine effectively canceled a visit to the United States by the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, the two spoke by phone Jan. 14 to smooth over differences between the two.
Three space station crewmembers returned to Earth Dec. 20 after a remarkably eventful stay aboard the orbiting laboratory.
With the cause of the Oct. 11 failure identified, crewed launches of Soyuz-FG launch vehicles are set to resume. The next launch is scheduled for Dec. 3
An Arianespace Soyuz mission will launch Nov. 7 without any delays resulting from the failure of a crewed, Russian-operated Soyuz launch earlier this month, Arianespace said Oct. 30.
Despite concerns about quality control in Russia’s human spaceflight program in the wake of two incidents, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said he was confident the Soyuz would return to flight safely by the end of this year.
Roscosmos now says one of the Soyuz rocket’s four strap-on boosters failed to properly separate and nicked the core stage.
Thursday’s dramatic launch abort was the first time a crewed spacecraft bound for the ISS has suffered a mission critical failure. But it was not the first time that a manned Soyuz rocket has been forced to activate its launch abort system.
A Russian space official said Oct. 1 that while his country is interested in lunar exploration, it’s not satisfied with participating in NASA’s lunar Gateway program as currently structured.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will meet with his Russian counterpart next month as an investigation into an air leak in a Soyuz spacecraft docked to the International Space Station continues.
Russia has suspended development of the Proton Medium rocket that U.S.-based International Launch Services (ILS) began marketing two years ago as its answer to SpaceX’s Falcon 9.