Sasquan, this year’s Worldcon, has announced the participation of astronaut Kjell Lindgren as a special guest. Dr. Lindgren will be serving on ISS missions 44 and 45 this summer and taking part in Sasquan while on board the International Space Station. While other astronauts have participating in Worldcons (and been Guests of Honor), this is the first time an astronaut has participated remotely from orbit.
A possible ammonia leak on the International Space Station caused astronauts to evacuate the American section of the space station. All station personnel successfully made it to the Russian section and the American section was sealed off while a plan to deal with the leak from a cooling system was formulated. Currently there are three Russians, two Americans, and one Italian aboard the station.
Cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov, who was slated to serve as Commander of the International Space Station beginnning in March 2015, has announced his resignation. According to Lonchakov, he found a better job than working in space and will be officially discharged on September 14. Lonchakov oined the cosmonaut corps in 1997 and flew three spaceflights to the International Space Station. In 2001, he flew on STS-100 aboard Endeavour and in 2008, he flew on the 100th manned Soyuz mission. He has spent 200 days, 19 hours in space.
NASA has announced that SpaceX has been given permission to dock the Dragon capsule with the International Space Station. The Dragon will be carried aloft by the Falcon 9 Rocket on February 7, contingent on final safety reviews, testing and verification of the craft.