Expedition 37 arrives at the International Space Station last night
Last night a Soyuz rocket carrying three members of the Expedition 37 crew blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan headed for the International Space Station. Instead of dallying in orbit, the crew took the fast lane to the station, docking fewer than 6 hours later.
I thought you’d enjoy the video. The quality’s great and you get to hear the audio too as the craft lines up and docks with the station. Funny how the Soyuz looks like an old propeller plane. Just a happenstance of angle (the wing-like solar arrays are edge-on to the camera) and shapes.
After docking at the Poisk mini-research module, crew members Oleg Kotov, Mike Hopkins and Sergey Ryazanskiy were welcomed aboard shortly before midnight. The crew will study human physiology and health including how the body changes shape in microgravity as well as the effects of weightlessness on the immune system.
Science is happening all the time on the ISS. Last week the crew examined everything from combustion and fire suppression in space to studying how metallic crystals transition from liquid to solid when creating alloys.
Meanwhile back on Earth, Russian divers recovered five more hefty chunks of the Chelyabinsk meteorite from Lake Chebarkul today. Athough the video’s in Russian, it’s easy to see what’s going on. The fragments, measuring from 4 to 12 inches (10-30 cm) were taken back to the beach and weighed and bagged. Enjoy the cute diving mascot.
The mass of the entire Chelyabinsk meteorite as it entered the atmosphere is estimated at 11,000 tons (10,000 metric tons). Most of it broke into small pieces. What’s believed to be the largest fragment, a half-ton hulk at the bottom of the lake, remains buried under an 8-foot (2.5 m) layer of silt. Scientists are pumping out mud from around the meteorite and expect to fish it out by Oct. 4.