Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekend Launches

NPP assembly in the clean room.

On early Friday Morning, NASA launched the NPP, the NPOESS Preparatory Project, into orbit aboard a Delta II rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This satellite will be the first in a new series of Earth-observing probes that will help us monitor what is really happening with the climate.

Progress 45 lifts off to the ISS.

After a delay for investigating the causes of a Progress crash a couple of months ago, Russia has given the green light and launched the next cargo mission to the ISS. Progress 45 blasted off from Kazakhstan on Sunday for a 3 day trip to the station. As usual, the pod contains fuel, oxygen, water, spare parts and supplies for the Expedition 29 crewmembers.

Last Saturday, the crew of Expedition 29 jettisoned the Progress 42 cargo pod, and ground controllers sent it to burn up in the atmosphere, taking a load of station garbage with it. Progress 45 will dock in its place on Wednesday.

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