Posts tagged Russia

9 reasons why Yuri Gagarin may be the most mantastic man ever

50 years ago, on April 12th, a human went into space for the first time. Let’s say that again, for emphasis: a human went into space. In a rocket. To space. His name was Yuri Gagarin and he is an undeniable legend.

Sure, his fame might be overshadowed somewhat by those showoff Americans Buzz Adrin and Neil Armstrong (though we still love you guys, big time), and his tragic death in a plane crash at the age of 31 also limited his potential awesomeness, but there’s no man alive who could deny that Yuri was an absolute boss.

A hero in Russia — more than a hero, in fact, more like a god — he’s celebrated to this day, year after year, for his amazing feat of being the first man in space, and for showing those Yanks the Russkies had the power to send a ruddy bloody man into ruddy bloody space.

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2 Russian cosmonauts on International Space Station conduct spacewalk

Two Russian cosmonauts conducted a spacewalk on Thursday intended to activate a new segment on the International Space Station so it can dock Russian spacecraft.

The effort was expected to last nearly six hours, and Americans Jeff Williams and Timothy J. Creamer and Soichi Noguchi of Japan were supporting the mission from inside the space station.

Cosmonauts Maxim Suraev and Oleg Kotov ventured into open space at 1:05 p.m. Moscow time (1005 GMT, 5:05 a.m. EST) to activate the new module and make it ready for docking, said Mission Control spokesman Valery Lyndin.

They will work on the Russian Poisk module to link it to the station’s communications and power systems, and prepare it for future dockings with the Russian spacecraft, Lyndin said. The research module was launched in November.

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Russia plans space project to prevent asteroid collision — now that’s a serious diversion

Russia is considering a project to launch a spaceship to try to divert a large asteroid from hitting Earth after 2030, the head of the country’s space program said today.

Anatoly Perminov, head of Roscosmos, tells Voice of Russia radio that Moscow may invite experts from Europe, the United States and China to join the project aimed at thwarting the menacing asteroid Apophis.

“People’s lives are at stake. We should pay several hundred million dollars and design a system that would prevent a collision, rather than sit and wait for it to happen and kill hundreds of thousands of people,” Perminov says, according to RIA Novosti news agency.

He says it is his understanding that the 850-foot asteroid “will surely collide with the Earth in the 2030s.”

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North Magnetic Pole Moving East Due to Core Flux

Magnetic pole on planet earth

Blue lines show Earth’s northern magnetic field and the magnetic north pole in an artist’s rendering. Credit: Stefan Maus, NOAA NGDC

Earth’s north magnetic pole is racing toward Russia at almost 40 miles (64 kilometers) a year due to magnetic changes in the planet’s core, new research says.

The core is too deep for scientists to directly detect its magnetic field. But researchers can infer the field’s movements by tracking how Earth’s magnetic field has been changing at the surface and in space.

Now, newly analyzed data suggest that there’s a region of rapidly changing magnetism on the core’s surface, possibly being created by a mysterious “plume” of magnetism arising from deeper in the core.

And it’s this region that could be pulling the magnetic pole away from its long-time location in northern Canada, said Arnaud Chulliat, a geophysicist at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in France.

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Astronauts geared for yuletide space adventure

Astronauts from the United States, Russia and Japan are poised for their holiday season space mission Monday, when they are to blast off to the International Space Station from Russia’s remote space complex in southern Kazakhstan.

Their Soyuz TMA-17 rocket is primed at the Baikonur launch pad — where Yuri Gagarin made the first human trip into orbit in 1961 — for a mission that will boost the number of crew at the orbital laboratory to five members.

American Timothy J. Creamer of NASA, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and Soichi Noguchi of Japan are to blast off Monday at 3:52 a.m. local time (4:52 p.m. EST Sunday, 2152 GMT) in the first-ever launch of a Soyuz spaceship on a winter night.

After the liftoff in central Asia, the Soyuz will travel for about two days before docking with the space station 350 kilometers (220 miles) above Earth.

Striking a festive mood, the space station this week beamed a video Christmas greeting to Earth.

On its Web site, NASA has created a series of virtual postcards for members of the public to send to the space station with their holiday greetings.

The three astronauts will be joining Jeff Williams, another American NASA astronaut, and Russia’s Maxim Surayev, who have been alone on the space station since the start of the month.

The first space station crew arrived in 2000, two years after the first part was launched. Until the May launch, no more than three people lived up there at a time. Prior to that, there were as many as six people aboard for several periods when a space tourist would go up with one crew, spend a week or so aboard and come back with another crew.

With the U.S. shuttle fleet set to be grounded soon, NASA and other international partners will have to rely on Russian Soyuz spacecraft alone to ferry their astronauts to the space station and back.

Credit: The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Space junk came less than a mile of the outpost at closest point

A tiny piece of a defunct Russian satellite zipped by the International Space Station Tuesday, but was far enough away that outpost’s two-man crew did not have to strap into their lifeboat to wait out the close shave, NASA officials said.

The debris — a small piece of a Cosmos satellite less than four inches (10 cm) wide — zoomed by the station at 1:19 p.m. EST (1819 GMT) and came less than a mile (1 km) of the outpost at its closest point.

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Cosmonaut says Russia falling behind in space race

Russia lacks a viable program for developing a new spacecraft and risks losing its place as a leader in space travel, a veteran Russian cosmonaut said in an interview published Friday.

Efforts to build a successor to the 40-year old Soyuz spacecraft have dragged on with no end in sight, Mikhail Tyurin told the Novaya Gazeta newspaper.

Tyurin, a veteran of two missions to the International Space Station in 2001 and 2007, blamed the slow progress on a lack of clear goals and poor coordination.

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