Thursday, March 29, 2007

Space News: Tether and Orbital Express

The launch of a new tether experiment via a Russian Dnepr launch vehicle has been delayed, and it's not clear what the new date is. Presumably the Russians want to be certain the booster is 100 percent, as the last Dnepr launch failed.

Meanwhile, Boeing has a page tracking the Orbital Express robotic rendezvous-and-docking mission (see title link). One half of the mission, the Ball Aerospace-built NextSat spacecraft, is performing nominally, while the other half, the Boeing-made ASTRO spacecraft, has encountered a series of anomalies since its launch on March 8 and is not yet ready to separate from the "stack" and get into the operational phase of the mission.

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