Feeds

ISS resupply blasts off today

Vital supplies ahead of Discovery return to flight

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

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

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
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
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
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?
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.