February 2008

 

Nik and I had one examination this week about the Soyuz’s communications systems, something for which we both crammed late Thursday and early Friday morning before the test at 9 a.m. For such a critical component of space travel, there’s obviously a lot to learn…

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This week was a short one, with Monday being a public holiday for “Defense of the Homeland Day”, also referred to as “Men’s Day” (to be followed on March 8 by “Women’s Day”). I also took the afternoon off on Friday to do a press…

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We covered stabilization planes in our class on Wednesday. As you might expect, distributing weight and positioning thrusters is a big deal, but I won’t go into all the boring engineering and mechanical details. That night we had chicken curry over at the NASA cottages…

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On Wednesday, we discussed the structure of the Soyuz launch vehicle and the process of launch and landing. The three-stage rocket is 51 meters high, weighs 310 tons, and lifts seven tons of payload into orbit. The way up will be filled with “events”, and…

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