Science and Exploration

This Week at NASA Recap for Friday, May 18, 2012

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
May 20, 2012
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This Week at NASA Recap for Friday, May 18, 2012

In this week at NASA the three newest residents of the International Space Station were greeted by their Expedition 31 crewmates after their Soyuz capsule docked safely with the orbiting laboratory following its two day-plus journey from Kazakhstan. Soyuz commander Gennady Padalka, NASA flight engineer Joe Acaba, and Russian flight engineer Sergei Revin are slated to spend the next five months on the station.
Expedition 31 will conclude, and 32 will begin, when Oleg Kononenko, Andre Kuipers, and Don Pettit return to Earth on July first after spending more than six months aboard the ISS.

The scheduled May 19th launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft on the first commercial venture to the International Space Station was aborted with t-minus zero-point-five seconds left in the countdown. Early data shows that high chamber pressure in Engine #5 caused a cutoff of all nine engines at T- 0.5 seconds. SpaceX will continue to look at the data and inspect the engine before setting a new launch date. The next possible opportunity is May 22 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Also, Extreme Temperature Heat Shield, More Tests for Orion’s Launch System Component, The State of Alabama celebrates NASA and more.

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