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Despite a snowy morning, the Soyuz TMA-22 launches successfully  (Source: msnbc.msn.com)
The Soyuz TMA-22 launch also marks the first flight of a NASA astronaut since the retirement of the 30-year space shuttle program, which ended in July

A Russian Soyuz capsule launched successfully into orbit Monday on a mission to the International Space Station.

The Soyuz TMA-22 is carrying a three-man crew, consisting of Russians Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin as well as NASA astronaut Dan Burbank.

The successful launch from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan was a relief after a recent failure had postponed the launch for two months. On August 24, an unmanned Progress cargo ship crashed on its way to the International Space Station. The failed rocket was the same type used on the Soyuz, and it forced the Russians to take another look at the safety of the Soyuz rocket model used for manned missions.

Russia's space agency determined that the Soyuz rocket failure was an isolated incident and not a major problem with the model. According to the space agency, a fuel pipe blockage caused the crash.

But that isn't the only space-related failure Russia has had to deal with lately. On November 8, the $165 million Phobos-Grunt probe, which launched from Baikonur and was to make its way to the Martian moon Phobos, got stuck in Earth's orbit. It is expected to burn up by November 26 unless it can be reactivated.

Despite these above-mentioned troubles and snowy weather conditions, the Soyuz TMA-22 made a successful launch. It is expected to with the International Space Station on November 16. The three current ISS crewmembers, which include station commander Mike Fossum of NASA, Russia's Sergei Volkov, and Japan's Satoshi Furukawa, will return home on another Soyuz craft on November 22.

The Soyuz TMA-22 launch also marks the first flight of a NASA astronaut since the retirement of the 30-year space shuttle program, which ended in July. This has left Russia in charge of ferrying crews to the International Space Station. But NASA is looking to obtain $850 million to help private companies create new spacecraft before the end of 2016.

While Russia may have a monopoly on the ferrying of astronauts for now, The Guardian has said that the country's space program is "struggling" and that the combination of obsolete technology and equipment purchased from other countries is the source of the problem.

Sources: The Guardian, MSNBC



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RE: It's only temporary...
By rudolphna on 11/14/2011 1:24:18 PM , Rating: 2
And I for one find that quite stupid. I think that NASA should be receiving far more than what it is in terms of funding. NASA and the space program is what this country needs to get back on it's feet in terms of science, and math jobs. Space development can provide almost unheard of numbers of jobs, and here we are kicking the can further down the road.


RE: It's only temporary...
By quiksilvr on 11/14/2011 3:24:38 PM , Rating: 1
Except the main problem with NASA was that their spending was getting out of control. And despite decades of space travel and research, costs for sending mass to space is still $10,000 per kg.

NASA had its chance, it spent way too much with unsatisfactory results, and took too much responsibility for the Space Station.


RE: It's only temporary...
By Bubbacub on 11/14/2011 4:58:00 PM , Rating: 1
nasa has a ridiculous amount of money. if congress could be told to stop messing around using it as way of buying votes in their own states then the money could be used towards an actual goal.

the sls needs urgent cancelling


RE: It's only temporary...
By delphinus100 on 11/14/2011 10:03:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Space development can provide almost unheard of numbers of jobs, and here we are kicking the can further down the road.


And true space development will be commercial.

Basic research and technology R&D is what NASA is for...


"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007














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