Feeds

ISS resupply blasts off today

Vital supplies ahead of Discovery return to flight

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Current International Space Station residents Leroy Chiao and Salizhan Sharipov should soon be receiving some welcome supplies if the launch of an unmanned Soyuz resupply mission goes ahead as planned this evening.

Lift-off is scheduled for 1909 GMT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The payload includes "160 days' worth of food, 494 kilograms of water, and 175 kg of fuel for the station's Russian thrusters" as well as "109 kg of air and oxygen, equipment for the primary oxygen-generating and carbon dioxide-removal systems, and 32 oxygen-generating canisters" the New Scientist reports.

Also aboard are are a replacement temperature-controlling heat exchanger for the airlock and new valves, filters and fungicide for the ISS's currently non-functioning toilet.

The mission will also pre-supply the ISS as part of a shuttle emergency contingency plan. Shuttle Discovery is due to launch on 15 May. In the event of any incident similar to that which resulted in the destruction of Columbia (in that case a hole in the wing), the shuttle crew will take refuge in the ISS and await a rescue mission.

However, even with the latest delivery, the ISS could not sustain an extra seven people for a month, so Discovery will itself carry further emergency supplies - just in case.

In Florida, meanwhile, NASA will today attach Discovery's main fuel tank to the two solid rocket boosters in preparation for a 60-hour "final long simulation" on Wednesday. ®

Related stories

NASA bumps return to flight
ISS plumbing plays up again
Reg chats with ISS veteran

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.