19

I've tried to write it down, but then I've changed it into the following scheme. That way it is much cleaner. Note that the scheme doesn't include the recent Soyuz-2.1v vehicle. It seems like it is not "based" on R7 anymore. The conic boosters and core stage of R7 are no longer present.


17

They are essentially the same. The Progress resupply spacecraft is a direct derivative of the Soyuz, where the reentry module was replaced by a fuel tank. Hence the similar shape. Both are launched with the same Soyuz rockets.


16

Progress-M 27M was (on date of writing this answer, see updates below) expected to decay around Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 23:01:00 ±8 hours UTC. This predicted reentry time will get more precise as it experiences atmospheric decay, additional radar tracking measurements are taken and object's TLE are updated. Eventually, it should be possible to predict ...


14

It's on one of the Russian modules of the ISS, that's why it's a ginormous Russian porthole. Since the porthole is facing Earth, I'd say yes, it's also facing the same general direction as the cupola, but not necessarily the same exact direction. @Steve the first cover is part of the pressure containment vessel of the station, note the mating seals around ...


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 ...


7

The reason for swapping the Progress and Soyuz flights is to ensure that the third stage (which is suspect at this time in the Progress failure) is working properly before launching a manned crew on the same basic booster. By doing that, it means the manned launch is delayed and if TMA-15M crew returned, the station would be down to a crew of three. The ...


7

Update: After quite a lot of searching I believe I've found the culprits! As suggested in the comments, they appear to be a series of very large power lines around the city of Zalantun in Northwest China. The lines are very difficult to discern from aerial imagery, but I have marked them on this map - if you zoom right in on the red lines you can make out ...


6

I think I found the answer. No. Because the Lyappa arm, was not attached to the Mir node, rather the docking node had a connection point, that the modules launched with a Lyappa arm, could latch onto to rotate themeselves. Thus since Soyuz did not launch with such an arm attached it could not be moved to a side port. This is because I am interested in ...


5

Most rockets are painted white (some have black stripes). White paint reflects more heat than other colors, so this reduces propellant boiloff. The first N-1 was dark gray, later launchers were painted in increasingly light colors because temperatures rose too high to work inside the rocket when it was sitting on the launch pad (from the book N-1: for the ...


4

There has been a book on the topic I can not seem to find from my memory. However in searching I found a good resource, in the PDF at NASA called Mir Heritage. https://www.hq.nasa.gov/pao/History/SP-4225/documentation/mhh/mirheritage.pdf Looks like someone Wiki-ized the PDF into web pages: Wiki'ed version What is interesting is how they depict the state ...


3

The two photographs you have posted show that the Soyuz middle section is longer than the corresponding re-entry module of Soyuz. You can also see the differences between the Soyuz and Progress here Wiki. They are significantly different in that for Progress the re-entry capsule has been replaced and the ISS crew has no access other than to the orbital ...


3

Progress is built around the same basic design as the Soyuz, three modules. Propulsion is much the same. The Orbital module at the other end, docks to the station and has cargo the crew removes. The middle module on Progress (where the crew would normally be during launch/landing) is redone to carry fluids. Water, fuel for the station, whatever. Thus ...


3

You can read detailed accounts of the event e.g. on RussianSpaceWeb.com and NASASpaceFlight.com. During a manual docking exercise, the spacecraft pitched while already in contact with the docking port, due to apparently unexpected thruster firings. However, Roskosmos nevertheless considered the exercise as success. The SSVP docking system is designed to ...


2

After doing some further research in the NASA photo archives I discovered the hatch actuator is actually a round socket containing a square peg mounted near the collar of the docking mechanism. This correlates with the location of the interior hatch actuator handle being on the body of the spacecraft and not built into the hatch itself. It can be seen in ...


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.


2

I think looks are a serious matter to consider, as Andrew Thompson pointed out in the comments. Satellite operators have to decide which launch provider to use, and for many missions, there are no definitive criteria to pick one over the other. Looking modern and "high-tech-y" may secure some contracts. In any event, because the payload fraction is low on ...


1

As someone pointed out, specially on the TMA vehicle the white parts are the LOX's tank skin. That color on those tank may reduce heat absortion (from solar light), reducing LOX boil off and thus, increasing laundpad residence time. It could be very important to deal with some launch delays/scrubs. The grey parts are the RP-1 tank's skin. I can't guess now a ...


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