While this week has been devoid of launches, it was far from an uneventful week in space news. We’ve had spacewalks occurring at the ISS, the arrival of ULA’s Atlas V booster for CFT, and brand new exclusive updates on SpaceX’s newest droneship.
ASOG droneship gains Starlink
Earlier today, Space Explored photographer Daryl Sausse visited Port Fourchon, Louisiana to take a look at the latest changes to SpaceX’s new droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas. Notably, ASOG’s Starlink terminal has been mounted. Along with the Starlink terminal, the tug boat that will bring the droneship to Cape Canaveral, Finn Falgout, is docked near ASOG. We expect to see ASOG undergo some sea trials near Port Fourchon before the journey to Florida begins.
SpaceX droneship crosses Panama Canal
The SpaceX droneship Of Course I Still Love You has been a workhorse for the SpaceX fleet on the East Coast. After leaving Cape Canaveral earlier this month, on Friday, OCISLY passed through the Panama Canal on its journey to begin supporting launches from Vandenberg.
CFT Booster arrives in Florida
On Monday, the Atlas V booster that will launch Boeing’s Crew Flight Test of Starliner was offloaded from Rocketship. The Atlas V booster was joined by a Centaur and Interstage on its journey from Decatur, Alabama to Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Two of the CFT Astronauts, Butch Wilmore and Mike Fincke, were there for the arrival of the booster that will launch them to the ISS.
Solar panels installed on International Space Station
Throughout this week, the solar panels which launched on Dragon during CRS-22 have been installed. These new solar panels will make up for the decreased power production capabilities of the original solar panels due to their age. These are the first two of the six iROSA solar panels that will be a part of this upgrade to the ISS. Once completed, the ISS power production will be ~215Kw, the same power production that the ISS had originally.
European Space Agency recruiting Parastronaut
The ESA’s parastronaut project is designed to open up space to physically disabled individuals who would not otherwise reach the standard physical requirements. This isn’t a lowering of requirements as all parastronauts are required to meet the same psychological and education requirements as standard ESA astronauts. This change will currently allow those with leg length difference, lower limb deficiency, or less than 130cm tall to apply.
A few other notable stories this week
- Rocket Lab installs strong back for third launchpad
- Space Perspective to start flights to the edge of space
- Sierra Space to provide integration for nuclear propulsion system
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