What's happening in space (that's interesting)

That was awesome.

Meanwhile, the Starliner astronauts have arrived at the ISS after about 2 hours delay. They had some testing and troubleshooting with the thrusters, but were eventually cleared to move in and dock with the station.

It sounds like they may have had 2 thrusters fail and 2 more gave weird readings that they then tested and confirmed were not an issue. My understanding is that Starliner can handle thruster failures in each of a few pods of thrusters.

They’re opening the hatch now.

Man, I really wouldn’t want to be the astronauts doing reentry in that capsule.

Yeah, I’d ask if I could hitch a ride with…who’s up there? Russians?

I believe there is a SpaceX Dragon docked to ISS currently.

William Anders, Apollo 8 astronaut and the man who took one of the most famous photographs in history, Earthrise, died when his small plane crashed off of Orcas Island, Washington, today.

Hate to say it, but you probably shouldn’t pilot a plane alone when you’re 90.

My favorite moments in Kerbal space progams are when, I came too hot for re-entry. First, you frantically try to keep the temperature down, by spinning the ship, but eventually all the batteries, antennas, and other stuff on the outside explodes. They you lose your re-entry engine. Now 75% of the time you end up with a Challenger situation and the Kerbals are literal toast. But the 25% of time when the capsule and lone remaining chute survive and you end up making a hard but survival water landing are memorable

Starship flight 4 was a great KSP moment. I liked Chris Haldwells tweet, purshing the edge of the enevelope.

I don’t know pretty much all the pilots I know want to die in a plane at age 90 or so. Beats drooling at a nursing home and pooping in your Depends.

As long as, as it seems in this case, you plow into the water or a field or something and not, say, someone’s house or a WalMart.

Normally NASA says that people always return in the capsule they arrived in. This is for multiple reasons, including safety (having an assigned lifeboat seat you can quickly jump into) and needing appropriately sized crash seats and flight suits compatible with the right vehicle.

However, when a Soyuz had an overheating problem (as in the upper end of the predicted temperature range might kill you during reentry with all 3 on board) not long ago, they strongly considered moving a NASA astronaut’s Soyuz crash seat and suit to the Crew Dragon as a backup plan. It wasn’t preferred since the seat would not be properly mounted and the suit couldn’t connect up properly, and they ended up getting the overheating in the Soyuz just down to an uncomfortable level and putting the astronaut back in there.

But I imagine if a Crew Dragon or Starliner had a serious issue while they were both overlapping at the ISS, they would in fact consider this again. You’d likely end up having to pick and choose who to move over unless things were certain death though, since I understand there’s only room for 7 seats in each spacecraft and each launches with a crew and seats for 4 these days.

Looks like he was purposely doing a loop and miscalculated as he didn’t start high enough to come out of it before hitting the water.

Hmm. I had never heard of blitzars!

We almost need a Boeing thread in P&R to discuss how messed up that company is.

Earlier this year, two satellites from two adversarial countries nearly collided while orbiting Earth at thousands of miles an hour. The first, an American spacecraft on a NASA mission to study the planet’s upper atmosphere, wasn’t built to maneuver in orbit. The second, a Russian surveillance spacecraft, was defunct, and thus uncontrollable. The only thing people on Earth could do was watch. Darren McKnight, a space-debris expert, stayed up all night on February 28, monitoring the trajectories of the satellites, which, combined, weighed several thousand pounds. “I felt very, very helpless,” McKnight told me.

According to LeoLabs, the U.S. space-tracking firm where McKnight works, the probability of collision that night was somewhere between 3 and 8 percent. That may not seem so terrible, but risk works a bit differently in the realm above Earth. Satellite trackers like McKnight start sounding the alarm when the probability of a crash reaches 0.001 percent; no one wants to see whole-number or, God forbid, double-digit percentages. In the end, the research spacecraft and the spy satellite ended up passing within just 33 feet of each other. At a recent conference, Pam Melroy, NASA’s deputy administrator, said the near miss was “very shocking” and “really scared us.”

It’s not clear if Kessler syndrome would affect GPS. GPS satellites are not in LEO; they’re at like 12,000 miles; halfway to geosynchronous altitude. But it’s possible I suppose that a debris cloud in LEO might make communication to those higher satellites more difficult.

NASA announced today that the Starliner return from ISS has been delayed. Again.

Am I the only one getting bad vibes from this announcement? I think NASA is really worried that the helium-leaking propulsion system won’t work right to allow a controlled re-entry and they might lose a couple astronauts.

Informed speculation on nasaspaceflight.com forums is that they want to run additional tests on the Service Module while they have the chance in space (it will be jettisoned / destroyed immediately prior to reentry - so only the capsule can be retrieved).

Now that anyone with half a brain can see Boeing is a monumental disaster since they switched how they do business getting rid of engineers running the company… any chance they’ll move their HQ back and go back to the old style of management?

So… Anyone here already stumbled across this nugget and done the digging to find something more authoritative than fedi posts to confirm or deny?