I wonder what astronauts do in space on a holiday. Not like they can fire up the barbeque and go for a swim. Must be quite boring if they aren't working.
The International Space Station crew successfully captured the Progress 38 spacecraft yesterday, after the unmanned Russian supply vessel sailed past the orbiting outpost on Friday. A telemetry failure 25 minutes before docking prompted last week's unscheduled flyby. The cause was a glitch in the TORU teleoperated rendezvous …
As in, not supporting the Ukranians, under any circumstances.
The KURS guidance system is now owned by a company in the Ukraine, and the Ukranians have been upping the prices on the units they sell to the Russian Space Agency. As a result, the Russian Federal Space Agency stopped buying new units, and the ISS crew now take out and dismantle the capsule-part of the KURS from each Progress or Soyuz supply ship that visits them, and store it aboard the station, for return to Earth and reuse on another flight.
Some of these KURS systems are now amongst the longest-serving items of electronics in the history of space exploration (beaten by parts of the US shuttles, themselves, of course). Many of them date from the days of Mir, when RKA still had a routine need for automated docking, and they may be getting a bit ropey.
So, personally, I welcome our valve-and-capacitor-driven Bakelite Overlords: try writing a computer virus for that hardware, Jeff Goldblum.
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