Forced all present at the Space Station to enter their shelters
A Russian Satellite Interceptor Missile – At the center of interest this ninth week here, was a missile which was launched, as part of a rare experiment Moscow carried out, toward one of its antiquated satellites (November 15, 2021). The satellite - Cosmos 1408, which was launched in 1982 and has for years now been a “dead” satellite - orbits at a greater altitude than the Space Station. The missile launched toward it created a cloud of debris, which poses the threat that parts might hit the International Space Station.
We of course closely followed the Station and the crew on board. Due to concern over impacts of bits of space junk with the Station, Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Baron, NASA’s astronauts, and Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency, hid in the SpaceX spacecraft. The Russian cosmonauts, Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov, and Mark Vande Hei of NASA hid in the Soyuz spacecraft. The two spacecraft serve as shelter and are used as lifeboats, which return the crews to Earth in an emergency.
I don’t want to get into the political uproar that erupted following the launch of the Russian missile and the tit-for-tat accusations over the space race that were exchanged between Washington and Moscow. These bring me back to the days of the Cold War. I’ll just quote one sentence the head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Bill Nelson, said, when he noted that the space junk also endangered the Chinese Space Station, which is under construction, and which has three Chinese taikonauts onboard.
And in routine –
· Examinations - winter has arrived in Houston, it’s really pleasant. Even when it rains, it isn’t really cold. And when it does get cold, they still freeze us in their buildings with the air conditioning.
· I devoted my weekend to cramming for the examinations at NASA - exercising emergencies and procedures.
The examination is conducted with me alone and six examiners and a large number of technical support staff. It’s a theoretical and practical examination, inside the Space Station simulator. Three intensive hours, which ended successfully.
· An Axiom bulletin has been issued about the scientific program of the AX1 mission.
· Our team is coming together. I have no doubt the cooperation between us all is going to be good and productive both in the general work and experiments and in the preparations.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned. It’s going to be interesting.