Sasquan Special Guest Kjell Lindgren left for Sasquan yesterday aboard a Soyuz capsule which will carry him to the International Space Station, from which he will participate in Sasquan programming. Once Lindgren’s flight had cleared the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Sasquan arranged to cancel a contingency hotel room for Lindgren, apparently being the first time the Spokane Convention Visitor’s Bureau had ever received the reason “He’s in space” for a room cancellation, according to Sasquan Vice Chair Glenn Glazer.
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.
Saturday morning’s SpaceX launch of a Falcon 9 to the International Space Station was successful, but the experimental portion of the launch, in which the first stage of the rocket was meant to have a soft landing on a floating barge, was less than successful. The barge landing, which was to pave the way for future soft landings which would allow for the first stage to be reused, was a hard landing. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stated that the experiment promised more success in the future.
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.