Risk
9/24/2010
02:33 PM
50%
50%

Malfunction Delays Space Station Astronauts' Return to Earth

A malfunction with the Soyuz TMA-18's docking mechanism has been repaired and undocking of the spacecraft rescheduled for Friday night.




Image Gallery: Who's Who In U.S. Intelligence
(click for larger image and for full photo gallery)
A malfunction with a spacecraft docking mechanism delayed the return of three astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) to Earth late Thursday.

Astronauts on Friday were able to successfully repair the problem that prevented two Russians, Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko, and American Tracy Caldwell Dyson from undocking the Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft from the ISS on Thursday, according to NASA. They were scheduled land in Kazakhstan early Friday local time.

Soyuz TMA-18 is now scheduled to undock at 10:02 pm EDT Friday and make the trip back to Earth, landing Saturday in Kazakhstan if all goes according to schedule. Their departure will leave three astronauts aboard the ISS.

The docking problem is the second notable system failure astronauts aboard the ISS have encountered in as many months. Last month NASA sent astronauts on an emergency spacewalk to repair a failed cooling system.

Astronauts on the ISS noticed the problem when they tried to unlock the spacecraft Thursday and hooks attaching its Poisk module to the ISS failed to open. Mission controllers in Moscow also did not receive the "hatch locked" signal from the module letting them know the operation had completed successfully, according to NASA.

While troubleshooting the problem, Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin found a small star-shaped gear with two broken teeth, but it's unclear whether this prevented the hooks from unlocking. Experts are currently evaluating whether the part is related to the problem, according to NASA.

Overnight, Yurchikhin and crew members installed a series of jumper cables to open the Poisk module hooks and latches. They were left open overnight in preparation for Friday's second attempt at undocking.

Skvortsov, Dyson and Kornienko arrived at the ISS in April when the Soyuz TMA-18 first docked with the ISS. They are crew members of Expedition 24, which began in June and conducted a variety experiments in human research; biology and biotechnology; physical and materials sciences' technology development; and Earth and space sciences.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-0732
Published: 2015-07-28
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Cisco AsyncOS on the Web Security Appliance (WSA) 9.0.0-193; Email Security Appliance (ESA) 8.5.6-113, 9.1.0-032, 9.1.1-000, and 9.6.0-000; and Content Security Management Appliance (SMA) 9.1.0-033 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or ...

CVE-2015-2974
Published: 2015-07-28
LEMON-S PHP Gazou BBS plus before 2.36 allows remote attackers to upload arbitrary HTML documents via vectors involving a crafted image file.

CVE-2015-4287
Published: 2015-07-28
Cisco Firepower Extensible Operating System 1.1(1.86) on Firepower 9000 devices allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions and obtain sensitive device information by visiting an unspecified web page, aka Bug ID CSCuu82230.

CVE-2015-4288
Published: 2015-07-28
The LDAP implementation on the Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA) 8.5.0-000, Email Security Appliance (ESA) 8.5.7-042, and Content Security Management Appliance (SMA) 8.3.6-048 does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain s...

CVE-2015-4692
Published: 2015-07-27
The kvm_apic_has_events function in arch/x86/kvm/lapic.h in the Linux kernel through 4.1.3 allows local users to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and system crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact by leveraging /dev/kvm access for an ioctl call.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
What’s the future of the venerable firewall? We’ve invited two security industry leaders to make their case: Join us and bring your questions and opinions!