SpaceX spacecraft docks with International Space Station on historic NASA mission

SpaceX’s Dragon Endeavour spacecraft crewed by NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken has docked with the International Space Station on its historic Demo-2 mission. The spacecraft launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center Saturday. The mission is the first time that astronauts have launched from American soil since the final Space Shuttle flight in 2011. The mission is also the first time a private company, rather than a national government, has sent astronauts into orbit. The spacecraft made its ‘soft capture’ docking with the International Space Station at 10:16 am ET after an almost 19-hour journey to the orbiting space lab. The space station was 262 statute miles above the border of northern China and Mongolia when the docking occurred. “Hard capture” docking was complete at 10:28 am ET with the full docking sequence complete two minutes later. “Happy to be aboard!” said Hurley when the capsule was docked. The hatch is expected to open around 12:45 pm ET, with a welcome ceremony at 1:15 pm ET “Welcome home @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug! America’s two favorite dads in space have docked to the @Space_Station,” tweeted NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. President Donald Trump and Mike Pence, who is chairman of the National Space Council, were at Kennedy Space Center to watch Hurley and Behnken lift off from storied launch pad 39A, which was also used for the Apollo and space shuttle programs. On Saturday evening Hurley announced that the spacecraft, previously known as capsule 206, has been renamed Endeavour, continuing the tradition of astronauts naming their capsules. “We would like to welcome you aboard capsule Endeavour,” he said. “We chose Endeavour for a few reasons – one, because of the incredible Endeavour NASA, SpaceX and the United States has been on since the end of the shuttle program in 2011. The other reason we named it Endeavour is little more personal – Bob and I, we both had our first flight on Shuttle Endeavour and it just meant to much to us to carry on that name.”

Nice!!  To see videos from this morning’s docking, click on the text above.  Great job Bob and Doug!     🙂

Space station supply ship exits, now packing 3,500 pounds of trash

Space station supply ship exits, now packing 3,500 pounds of trash

This is smart…studying how to deal with space trash.  Space trash and space junk are becoming a HUGE problem.  If they can find a cost-effective, efficient way to just burn a big chunk of it up in re-entry, that’d be great. 

NASA says Russia alone can’t end International Space Station work

NASA says Russia alone can’t end International Space Station work

Someone needs to ask Charlie Bolden to clarify his statement, “There is no single partner that can terminate the international space station.”  Does that mean that IF Russia pulls out (which they’ve threatened to do already), will the U.S. continue anyway, regardless? Its critical that we secure a definitive yes or no to that question, for the record.  Our NASA and over all space policy/direction has been without focus or direction from day one.  And, Charlie Bolden has shown himself to be an inept director who makes poor decision after poor decision.  The cancelling of the space shuttle without having a viable backup plan, and leaving our human travel in the hands of the Russians has proven to be disaster.  And that’s just one of many.  NASA is a very bloated and bureaucratic organization.  It needs to be streamlined, given clear direction and focus, and then funded better.  Space has taken on a whole new level of criticality.  And, we can no longer afford to have keystone cops in charge there.

Russia to ban US from using Space Station over Ukraine sanctions

Russia to ban US from using Space Station over Ukraine sanctions

NOT good..  And it falls into the category of “see?  I told you so!”  I’ve been saying for several years how dumb our Obama Administration, and his NASA Administrator (Charlie Bolden) are for NOT having a backup plan for situations just like this.  Each time we send an astronaut up into space, we have to stick our thumb out and hitch a ride; a ride we pay the Russians $60 MILLION dollars per astronaut.  Yeah..  And, that’s when they’re willing to go along with it.  Given our current friction with Vlad, they’re sticking it to us.  For them its not just about money (which yes, they want).  Its about national pride.  And, they’re loving how they have the upper hand on us, and making us look like fools.  Thanks a LOT Obama.  Loser..