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International Space Station

NEWS
October 10, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
British classical soprano Sarah Brightman plans to head for the stars, becoming the latest tourist to visit the International Space Station. Brightman, 52, announced her planned trip during a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday, the same day the cargo-loaded SpaceX mission made history by connecting with the space station. Brightman said she wants to be the first professional musician to sing from space during her 16 spins around the Earth, according to a statement from Russian-based Space Adventures Ltd. She's to be aboard the space station for 10 days, though no flight schedule has been set yet. The UNESCO artist for peace ambassador said in the statement: "I hope that I can encourage others to take inspiration from my journey both to chase down their own dreams and to help fulfill the important UNESCO mandate to promote peace and sustainable development on Earth and from space.
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SCIENCE
May 11, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan, This post has been corrected. See note below.
In a spacewalk, Astronauts Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn replaced a pump component that has been gushing ammonia coolant, NASA reported Saturday. The spacewalk got underway at 5:44 a.m. PDT and was expected to last more than six hours, according to NASA. The astronauts removed and replaced the faulty pump controller box on the far port truss of the International Space Station. No evidence of a continued ammonia leak was evident as NASA restarted the faulty coolant loop. Live footage on NASA TV showed the two working in painstakingly slow motion in alternating darkness and light as the station circled Earth.
BUSINESS
May 24, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan
While orbiting Earth at about 17,000 mph, SpaceX's Dragon capsule Thursday came within 1.5 miles of the International Space Station in preparation for its historic hookup scheduled for later this week. The fly-by, confirmed by NASA in its webcast , is a crucial step for the company, officially known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., and its goal of becoming the world's first private firm to dock a craft with the space station. The Dragon's onboard sensors and flight systems are now undergoing a series of tests to determine whether the vehicle is ready to berth with the space station.
BUSINESS
August 24, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
A 330-pound humanoid robot has been electronically awakened aboard the International Space Station, beginning its life as an astronaut's assistant. The robot named Robonaut 2, or R2, will help with routine tasks such as holding tools and vacuuming air filters. The robot was sent up on the space shuttle Discovery in February, but it wasn't powered up until this week. Clad in a gold helmet with a shiny metallic visor, R2 has a torso, two arms and two five-fingered hands. For now, it sits on a fixed pedestal inside the space station.
SCIENCE
December 11, 2013 | By Amina Khan, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
A cooling system failure aboard the International Space Station may require a spacewalk, NASA officials said Wednesday. One of two ammonia cooling loops on the station's exterior shut down Wednesday morning, NASA spokeswoman Brandi Dean said. “You need the cooling in space because heat doesn't dissipate like it does on the ground,” she said. Authorities think that an excess of ammonia triggered a safeguard to shut the loop down. [Update, 9:05 p.m. Dec. 11: NASA's Johnson Space Center used Twitter to update followers on the situation.
NATIONAL
May 10, 2012 | By Mark K. Matthews, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - After more than 12 years and at least $100 billion in construction costs, NASA leaders say the International Space Station finally is ready to bloom into the robust orbiting laboratory that the agency envisioned more than two decades ago. "The ISS has now entered its intensive research phase," said Bill Gerstenmaier, head of NASA operations and human exploration, in recent testimony to Congress in defense of the roughly $1.5 billion...
NATIONAL
May 3, 2003 | Nick Anderson and David Holley, Times Staff Writers
While its scientific merits remain debatable and its cost busted budgets years ago, the international space station has proven successful in at least one important mission: as a vehicle for diplomacy. Today, at about 3:40 p.m. PDT, U.S. astronauts Ken Bowersox and Don Pettit and Russian cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin will leave the orbiting station aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule filling in for the grounded U.S. shuttle fleet.
BUSINESS
January 7, 1996 | RALPH VARTABEDIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When the $30-billion international space station is completed, it will rank as the most costly single object ever created--surpassing the price tag on any machine, aircraft, computer, weapon, power plant or edifice. It will orbit Earth as a dramatic symbol of human intent to explore the furthest reaches of space, its proponents say. And it will epitomize a new international collaboration between North America, Europe and Asia to jointly conduct big-ticket scientific research.
NATIONAL
July 19, 2009 | Reuters
Spacewalking astronauts secured a "front porch" Saturday to the International Space Station that will expose scientific experiments to the cold vacuum of outer space. Lead spacewalker David Wolf and rookie astronaut Timothy Kopra spent about 5 1/2 hours outside the station preparing the Japanese-built platform to be attached to the front of the station's $2.4-billion Kibo laboratory. Then, using a robotic arm, astronauts gingerly drove the 4-ton platform to "hard dock" with the Kibo lab.
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