back to article Busy week for ISS as Russia resumes flights and vies for parking spaces with NASA

Russia, China and India all flung rockets into space this week and SpaceX managed to get a secondhand Falcon 9 off the historic pad 39A at Cape Canaveral. Used Falcon 9. One careful owner SpaceX continued demonstrating the reusability of the first stage of its Falcon 9 with the launch of Qatar's Es'hail 2 communications …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Goto:Sleep

    [Tips hat]

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    One for the fish!

    > The spent first stage subsequently descended to the ever-crowdpleasing landing on a drone-ship stationed in the Atlantic

    I am sure that all the marine life in the area was suitably impressed.

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    The ISS is getting short of parking spots

    The ISS is getting short of parking spots

    You missed the reason. One of the partners, namely Russia is late by about a year to two years in delivering its remaining modules one of which is supposed to house extra parking spots.

    That one is interesting in another way - once delivered, it will put them into a position to do what in across the Balkans is known as "На си ти куклите, дай си ми парцалките(*)". They will have all the necessary elements to separate and have a viable station of their own +/- whoever decides to tag along on their platform.

    (*) This is the Bulgaria version, afaik it exists in Serbian, Macedonian, Croatian and Bosniak. It literally means "Here are your dolls, give me back the dresses" or in less colloquial language: "It's over, we part our ways".

    1. Vulch

      Re: The ISS is getting short of parking spots

      Although the new Russian docking ports will only be used by Soyuz and Progress. Dragon, Cygnus and HTV currently are berthed at CBM ports. The new crew capsules from SpaceX and Boeing will use the IDA ports.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: The ISS is getting short of parking spots

        Although the new Russian docking ports will only be used by Soyuz and Progress. Dragon, Cygnus and HTV currently are berthed at CBM ports. The new crew capsules from SpaceX and Boeing will use the IDA ports.

        Now, have a look at that paragraph. Again. A few more times. And again.

        Is it me, or everyone else reading this paragraph has the same thought: "This has the distinct smell of prepping for a divorce". At the rate things are going I am giving USA one more set of CAATSA sanctions before Roskosmos is ordered for this to happen.

        1. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: The ISS is getting short of parking spots

          https://space.stackexchange.com/a/28250/6241

          I could have sworn I saw something there about the Russian side being prepared to split their sections off in the event the US decided to stop supporting it. It might have been this post: https://space.stackexchange.com/a/266/6241 but there isn't much detail there.

        2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Re: The ISS is getting short of parking spots

          I was thinking about what ports I need to look for on my next USB hub or, God forbid, memory card adapter. The one I have now for my laptop has to lie on the keyboard, which isn't practical - even though I'm only using that box as a video player.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RD-181

    You forgot to mention the new Antares motors are not true-blue American either.

  5. Crisp Silver badge

    Kessler syndrome draws ever closer

    Earth is going to start running out of parking orbits at this rate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kessler syndrome draws ever closer

      Kessler really refers to low earth orbit. Given Kepler is in a heliocentric orbit around the sun (same orbital path as the earth), then I think it'll be a while before it runs out... The length of the orbital path is over half a billion miles. You could "fit" 73,000 earths into the orbit before it was full (orbital mechanics aside..)

  6. D@v3

    On the subject of spacecraft

    https://xkcd.com/2074/

    1. Pedigree-Pete Bronze badge
      WTF?

      Re: On the subject of spacecraft

      Depressingly slow progress, accepting the challenges are rather different. PP

  7. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

    A pedant would be wrong.

    The launch of the geostationary satellite is the 18th of the year for SpaceX, equalling its 2017 record. Of course, a pedant might point out that the figure is higher, since the Falcon Heavy used three of the things in one go.

    Falcon heavy was one launch, the 2017 has not (yet) been beaten. If the same pedant wished to count landings + splashdowns + RUDs then yes the 2017 record has been beaten.

  8. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Pint

    making appear commonplace

    when people start yawning about the tail-landing re-usable 1st stage boosters for Falcon rockets, that's when "the disaster" happens, like a Murphy's Law. Just sayin'...

    I hope things NEVER become "that complacent" again, or at least not until it becomes like everyday scheduled taking off and landing at an airport with your favorite airline.

    Until then, anyway, GREAT news about re-usability and tail-landing rockets. Another beer for SpaceX!

    1. Spherical Cow

      Re: making appear commonplace

      Landing first stages in the mid- Atlantic is unlikely to be a "disaster" even if it goes completely tits-up: the Atlantic is a very empty place.

      The chances of hitting a ship are nowhere near a million to one (because odds like those happen nine times out of ten, and it hasn't happened yet).

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: making appear commonplace

        They check and confirm, tell and broadcast, enforce and apply "safe zones" for the landings. Yes, some people may go into those areas, but generally it's like a road, people know not to go there when cars are passing by.

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