ISS Repair Plan Forces Commercial Launch Delay
An Orbital Science Corporation Antares rocket is raised into position at launch Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in advance of its planned Dec. 17, 2013 launch in Wallops Island, Virginia. The launch has now been delayed.
Col. Chris Hadfield relinquished command of the International Space Station on May 13 and retired from his Canadian Space Agency astronaut career of 21 years. With his boundless passion for sharing his experiences with the world, it seemed that the Ontario native spent a lot more than 5 months in orbit. On Tuesday,Discovery News announced that Hadfield is our DNews Person of the Year
as he was able to communicate what it's like to live in space through a myriad of social media platforms, ultimately inspiring the public by his very unique experiences. Here are just a few of his most memorable moments from his final mission into space: Expedition 35.NEWS: Chris Hadfield: DNews Person Of The Year
Seen here on Dec. 21, 2012, Hadfield arrives at the space station, greeted by Russian cosmonauts Evgeny Tarelkin and Oleg Novitskiy.
Liquid water in microgravity is a lot of fun, a fact that Chris Hadfield took to heart during his residency on the space station. Shown here, Hadfield is pictured in the obligatory space-water-globule-in-front-of-an-astronaut's-face pose.
Speaking of water, Hadfield used the microgravity opportunity to teach the world a little about how common tasks on the ground bear little resemblance to the same tasks performed in space. As part of a student competition, Hadfield tested the winning experiment suggestion: wringing out a wet washcloth in space. Few would have guessed what happened next...VIDEO: What Happens When You Wring a Washcloth in Orbit?
On March 28, the new space station commander took this stunning photo of a launching Russian Soyuz rocket as the station passed over Kazakhstan. Hadfieldtweeted this photo
with the words: "Tonight's Finale: Soyuz Rocket Launch — the moment of ignition, as seen from their target, the Space Station." On board the Soyuz was the remaining Expedition 35 crew: NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin and Pavel Vinogradov.ANALYSIS: Astronauts Get Epic View of Launching Soyuz
Cementing his fame in spaceflight history, Chris Hadfield (with the help of his friends and family on the ground) became the first person to produce a music video in space: a cover of David Bowie's classic "Space Oddity."Space Oddity: Astronaut Ends Mission With Music Video
But it wasn't all about social media, playing music and admiring the sights -- the vast majority of the time Hadfield was working on experiments and managing the complex orbiting laboratory. Seen here, the Canadian astronaut is a lab guinea pig, participating in the Blood Pressure Regulation Experiment (BP Reg) -- one of the many medical experiments that are essential in learning how the human physiology reacts to long-duration spaceflight.
On March 3, Hadfield oversaw the successful berthing of the robotic SpaceX Dragon resupply vehicle, using the space station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to grab onto the second commercial delivery to the orbiting outpost. Coincidentally, Hadfield first rose to fame when, in 2001, he became the first Canadian to carry out a spacewalk, helping to install that same Canadarm2.PHOTOS: Astronaut Guide: How to Train Your Dragon
In May, space station business got serious when the astronauts discovered an ammonia leak from the coolant system. Outside, the crew could see flakes of the coolant floating off into space. As space station commander, Hadfield helped formulate a plan to find a fix, eventually overseeing a dramatic emergency spacewalk by NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn. After the suspected faulty ammonia pump was replaced, Hadfield tweeted: "No leaks! We’re bringing Tom & Chris back inside. In two days Tom, Roman & I return to Earth in our Soyuz. This is an amazing place & time."NEWS: Astronauts Fix Mystery Space Station Leak
Like most astronauts who spend time on the space station, photography becomes more than just a hobby; the views afforded to us on the ground by the astronauts in orbit have given us a very privileged view over our planet. At his estimate, Hadfield took around 45,000 photos while in space, each one a gem. Here is Hadfield in the station's windowed cupola where many of the most breathtaking shots were made possible.
On Feb 7, Hadfieldtweeted this strange feature
: "The Taranaki Volcano looks too perfect to be real. pic.twitter.com/3b5fr4IQ"
On April 14, Chris Hadfield posted this odd view of a Brazilian river, lightheartedly tweeting: "I'm used to rivers that know what they're doing. pic.twitter.com/41iOcuZmth" The meandering form of the river is created through many years, decades and centuries of erosion, creating isolated Oxbow Lakes as each meander gets cut off.
While orbiting Earth, Hadfield developed a feeling of "oneness" -- a sentiment that was underscored when he reflected on a photo he took of Syria. During a videoed interview, Hadfield commented on the Syrian conflict, saying: "If people, I think, could see the perspective more clearly... (they would glean) that understanding of the fact that we're all in this together. Yes, there's important territorial issues and important personal issues but at the same time with increased communication and with increased understanding comes a more global perspective,"
Chris Hadfield also captured some cool geological events from orbit, including an eruption of the Italian Mt. Etna on Feb. 28.PHOTO: Astronaut Snaps Photo of Mount Etna Erupting
NASA on Tuesday postponed a cargo mission to the International Space Station and instead scheduled three spacewalks so that astronauts can fix a broken cooling system at the research outpost.
The decision means that Orbital Sciences' first regular supply-ship mission to the ISS will be put off until next year.
Instead, a pair of US astronauts will embark on three spacewalks that culminate on Christmas Day, in order to fix the week-old equipment breakdown.
"NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins will remove a pump module that has a failed valve," NASA said in a statement.
"They will replace it with an existing spare that is stored on an external stowage platform."
On December 11, a faulty valve caused a breakdown in one of the station's two external cooling loops, which circulate ammonia outside the station to keep both internal and external equipment cool, the US space agency said.
Attempts to fix the problem from the ground were apparently not enough to allow the Orbital mission to berth at the research outpost to unload supplies.
NASA said the three spacewalks are scheduled for December 21, 23 and 25.
The six-man crew was never in danger due to the problem, but NASA has said it would like the system fixed for good, and soon.
That means Orbital Sciences' privately owned cargo ship will have to wait for 2014 to start its journey on its first regular commercial mission to supply the orbiting outpost.
The company did a demonstration launch and berthing at the ISS in September, showing it was capable of the mission and paving the way for more supply trips.
An Orbital Science Corporation Antares rocket is in position at launch Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in advance of its planned Dec. 17, 2013 launch in Wallops Island, Virginia. The launch has now been delayed.Bill Ingalls/NASA/Getty
When NASA lost its capacity to reach space with the retirement of the 30-year shuttle program in 2011, Orbital Sciences and SpaceX stepped in to fill the void with their privately-made supply spacecraft.
Both companies have lucrative contracts with the US space agency to ferry supplies to the ISS.
SpaceX, the California-based company owned by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, became the first private company to reach the ISS in 2012 and has a $1.6 billion contract for 12 missions with its Dragon space capsule.
Orbital has a $1.9 billion contract with NASA for eight cargo missions to the ISS, toting supplies, food, science experiments and spare parts.
The last time astronauts stepped out to replace a faulty ammonia pump was in 2010, and the repair also took three spacewalks to complete.
The December trio of spacewalks will mark the first time astronauts have ventured outside the orbiting outpost since a helmet leak brought an early end to a European astronaut?s outing in July.
Italian Luca Parmitano was wearing a US-made spacesuit when a water leak flooded his helmet and risked drowning him.
Two Russians aboard the station are scheduled to step out on a spacewalk for maintenance work on their own module at the lab on December 27.
Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy are slated for the outing to install cameras and other equipment on a platform outside the Russian segment of the station.