Hey Space Placers!
Today is an important day for the future of the International Space Station (ISS) as the Russians are preparing to launch the next trio of few crew members to the ISS at 11:14 today, Sunday Nov. 13, 2011. This is crucial as the Soyuz launch vehicle that lofts the crew to orbit is the same type that failed August 24th and grounded the Russians as they figured out what went wrong.
Since the U.S. retired the Space Shuttle, the Russians are the only ticket to the ISS. If there is another problem with the Soyuz, it can have very dire circumstances for the future of the $100 billion ISS. It is also disconcerting that that the Russians suffered another engine malfunction with their recently launched Mars mission to Phobos. The upper stage engine failed to fire when commanded and has left the spacecraft and mission in doubt.
A Soyuz launched Progress resupply ship successfully docked with the ISS on October 30th but this is the first manned launch since the resumption of Soyuz launches.
I, and I am sure others are wondering if there is a quality control issue on the Russian launcher assembly line.Only time and a successful liftoff will tell.
Read More About It: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/living/index.html
Sky Guy in VA