Ioannis K. Erripis studies mechanical engineering and works as designer & developer at Velocityfarm. He is passionate about robotics and UAVs, they sum up everything that fascinates him, from aviation and space, to science fiction and industrial design.
Ioannis regularly reports on technology related subjects through his blog Robotpig.net. He joined the ROBOTS association in early 2011 as a news reporter for the ROBOTS podcast and robots.net and now leads all technical aspects of the Robohub project, including website design, implementation and branding. He is also responsible for all social media aspects of both the ROBOTS podcast and Robohub.
Several hours ago, ISS astronauts opened the cargo bay of the Dragon spacecraft that was recently berthed to the space station. It was both the 7th successful Dragon mission and the 5th successful ISS dock (under NASA’s CRS program) — a perfect record, which on its own is exceptional. Dragon missions are becoming so uneventful now that they are starting to look routine. SpaceX is advancing rapidly, however, and despite this weekend’s failed attempt to recover the first stage of the Falcon9 rocket on an unmanned barge mid-ocean, it remains the most impressive feature of the ongoing CRS-5 mission.
UPDATE: ESA’s Rosetta mission has soft-landed its Philae probe on to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The signal confirming the successful touchdown arrived on Earth at 16:03 GMT (17:03 CET), it’s the first time in history that such an extraordinary feat has been achieved and it’s a great milestone for space exploration and Europe.
A very unfortunate incident for NASA and the commercial orbital transportation services program took place yesterday. The Antares rocket that was about to send the Cygnus spacecraft on the ISS exploded a few seconds after its launch from NASA’s Wallops flight facilities. No casualties or even small injuries were reported, although the area is being contained and treated with caution. It is a major incident for US spaceflight that breaks a trouble-free period and could have important implications for the private spaceflight sector.