New Two-Ham ISS Crew Launched to ISS is the First Since Aborted Flight:
The ARRL Letter
December 6, 2018
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New Two-Ham ISS Crew Launched to ISS is the First Since Aborted October Flight:
Three astronauts -- including two radio amateurs -- have docked at the
International Space Station (ISS) on the first crewed Soyuz vehicle
launch since a dramatic failure in October. The astronauts, from the
US, Canada, and Russia, left Kazakhstan at 1130 UTC on December 3, and
the Russian space agency Roscomos confirmed their successful docking at
the station. On board were David Saint-Jacques, KG5FYI, a Canadian
engineer, astrophysicist, and medical doctor; space veteran Oleg
Kononenko, RN3DX, of Russia, and Anne McClain, of the US. Investigators
have blamed a faulty sensor, said to have been damaged during assembly
in Kazakhstan. Crew commander Kononenko said his crew recognized the
risks of spaceflight as part of their profession and expressed
confidence in the flight preparation.
The three-person crew's mission was originally set for later this
month, but officials moved up the date to avoid leaving the space
station unstaffed, when the current ISS crew of cosmonaut Sergey
Prokopyev and astronauts Serena Auñón-Chancellor, KG5TMT, and Alexander
Gerst, KF5ONO, return to Earth on December 20.
Meanwhile, NASA astronaut Nick Hague, KG5TMV, who was on the aborted
October 11 Soyuz launch, is getting ready for another try. Hague, NASA
astronaut Christina Hammock Koch, and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are
scheduled to launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome on February 28 aboard the
Russian Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft.
The trio will join the ISS Expedition 58 crew that just went up, and
they will return to Earth in October 2019 as members of Expedition 60.
Hague and Koch will serve as flight engineers for Expeditions 59 and
60. Ovchinin will serve as a flight engineer on Expedition 59 and as
the commander of Expedition 60.
This will be Koch's first spaceflight. Hague and Ovchinin were on their
way to join the station's Expedition 57 crew on October 11, when their
Soyuz's rocket booster experienced a malfunction shortly after launch,
aborting the mission. Both returned safely to Earth. The MS-10 flight
abort marked the first Russian human spaceflight booster accident in 35
Investigators looking into the October 11 incident said afterward that
other Soyuz vehicles may have been similarly defective, but pointed out
that additional pre-flight checks had been introduced. NASA offered its
own reassurances about continued cooperation with and confidence in the
Russian space program.
The ARRL Letter
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