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As a result of the close-down of the UK by the British Government last night, we have made all the Buy/Sell areas read-only until we open back up again, so please have a look at the announcement linked here.

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GordonD

All Change!

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Almost unnoticed (especially if you rely on the BBC for your space news) there has been a change of personnel aboard the International Space Station. On Thursday 14 December Soyuz MS-05 returned to Earth carrying Sergei Ryazansky of Russia, Randy Bresnik from the USA and Paolo Nespoli from Italy, after 138 days 16 hours 56 minutes in space. The undocking of the spacecraft from the ISS marked the end of Expedition 53 and the beginning of Expedition 54.

 

Just three days later Soyuz MS-07 was launched from Baikonur with their replacements: Anton Shkaplerov from Russia, Norishige Kanai from Japan and Scott Tingle from the USA. The launch was originally scheduled for 27 December but NASA requested that it be brought forward to avoid final preparations taking place over the holiday period. The main result of this change was that the space station was in the wrong place for the fast-track rendezvous that would have brought the Soyuz to the ISS in a few hours, so it had to follow the old two-day approach and did not reach the station until early this morning. Docking took place at 08:39 UK time. As I write this the crew have not yet boarded the station but that is due shortly.

 

The photo is from NASA TV and shows the approach as seen from the Soyuz.

 

Soyuz_MS-07_Approach.jpg

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Mainstream media of any sort is of little use when comes to keeping up to date with space matters. I use Spaceflight Now, Space.com and TMRO as my sources for what's happening in space.

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