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21

Yes, the ISS was a busy place recently. As you probably remember Cygnus had to wait for a week to proceed with its rendezvous to let Soyuz dock first. We can consider that a traffic jam in orbit. :-) The current Russian plans include docking MLM Nauka after deorbiting Pirs. And a bit later to add a spherical Uzlovoy Module (i.e. Hub Module or Nodal Module). ...


18

Horsh answered for the Russian side of the station very. But the question was more about the US side of the station. The US side of the station does need more ports. It looks like a fair bit of reconfiguration will be performed of the current modules to free up spots. (Edit: Early 2016 this reconfiguration was complete. CRS-7 with IDA-1 was lost on launch. ...


16

While I don't have a complete answer I thought I'd share what I've found in the hope that someone can come up with something better. I can find nothing online about exactly how and why the visiting vehicle schedule is constructed (Although this could simply be my poor google-fu skills). One thing that is clear is just how tightly packed the schedule is. ...


14

You forgot HTV, the Japanese vehicle that has a fairly large payload. It has a planned flight Aug 15, 2015. There are several more HTV flights planned on the manifest. Progress is due to fly again with cargo in early July 2015. Assuming the Russian space agency is able to resolve its issues that will help with the supply situation. Cygnus flying on Atlas ...


9

A solid rocket can stop early, and typically in a situation where they rely on it, they will have extra fuel, and just cut off the rocket early. This is very commonly done for missile systems, which have to be very flexible, and be able to fire with little time, and near other people. In addition, they can correct for other wrongness by moving the thrust ...


4

Cygnus is an interesting choice as a competitor to Dragon. There is something of an apples to oranges in the comparison. Cygnus cannot return cargo. Cygnus is using a booster (Antares) that uses engines built in the 1960/1970s (NK-33) of which there are a limited number left, and once they are gone, there is currently no way to produce more. Cygnus and ...


3

Cygnus has two main components. The Pressurized cargo compartment is built by Alenia-Thales in Italy. The same folk who built the pressure vehicles for most of the ISS modules and the ATV. The bus or service module is based on a satellite design Orbital had on the shelf. It is based on GEOStar Satellite Bus and the Dawn spacecraft. Thus the interface ...


2

The Chinese might come to help with their Long-March launcher and Shenzhou spacecraft, which is very similar to the Soyuz spacecraft so it should be compatible. Only Russia and China launch humans to orbit these days, so that is the obvious short-term option I think.


1

From what I understand, the fundamental idea behind the Spaceborne Computer is to forego most of the expensive, time-consuming, one-off, bespoke hardware modifications commonly used for radiation hardening and other "space resilience", and instead recover resilience and reliability using software. The stereotypical "space computer" uses ...


1

It seems to me that they realized that the spacecraft had far more delta-v then was required, and that they did have enough power to do station change missions. Source. “We actually started engaging NASA on this topic in the fall of last year,” said Mr. DeMauro. “We have a large engine on the back of the spacecraft that puts out a lot more thrust [than ...


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