SpaceX Crew Dragon chalks up picture-perfect docki
SpaceX Crew Dragon chalks up picture-perfect docking at International Space Station - CBS News
The successful docking boosted the lab's crew to five and marked a major milestone for NASA.
Nineteen hours after a spectacular Florida launch, SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule caught up with the International Space Station early Sunday and glided in for a problem-free docking, bringing veteran astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken to the outpost in SpaceX's first piloted space flight. The historic mission marks a major milestone in NASA's push to end the agency's sole reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft for carrying astronauts to and from the lab complex, the first piloted launch to orbit by a privately owned and operated spacecraft since the dawn of the space age. The Crew Dragon capsule on final approach to the International Space Station. NASA TV "Welcome to Bob and Doug," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said to the crew in a call from mission control at the Johnson Space Center. "The whole world saw this mission, and we are so, so proud of everything you've done for our country and, in fact, to inspire the world." "We sure appreciate that, sir," Hurley replied, floating in the space station's Harmony module, flanked by crewmate Behnken, space station commander Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. "It's obviously been our honor to be just a small part of this," he said. "We have to give credit to SpaceX, the Commercial Crew Program and, of course, NASA. It's great to get the United States back in the crewed launch business, and we're just really glad to be on board this magnificent complex." Following a picture-perfect climb to space Saturday atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Hurley and Behnken monitored an automated rendezvous with the station Sunday, approaching the lab complex from behind and below. Executing a precise series of thruster firings, the Crew Dragon looped up to a point directly in front of the station and lined up on the lab's forward docking port, the same one once used by visiting space shuttles. Hurley, a former Marine test pilot, briefly took over manual control, firing thrusters by tapping high-tech touch-screen cockpit displays to verify a crew's ability to fly the spacecraft by hand if needed. The ship's flight computer than resumed the approach and the Crew Dragon's docking mechanism engaged its counterpart on the space station at 10:16 a.m. ET, about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. A few minutes later, the capsule was pulled in and locked in place by 12 motorized latches. The combined Expedition 63 crew, back row, L-R: cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, space station commander Chris Cassidy, cosmonaut Ivan Vagner; front row, L-R: Crew Dragon joint operations commander Robert Behnken and vehicle commander Douglas Hurley. The American flag on the hatch above the astronauts first flew in space on the shuttle Columbia's maiden flight in 1981; it was left aboard the station by Hurley and his Atlantis crewmates during the last shuttle mission in 2011. Hurley and Behnken plan to bring the flag home at the end of their current mission. NASA TV Cassidy, a former Navy SEAL, followed naval tradition and rang the ship's bell aboard the station to announce the Crew Dragon's arrival. "Dragon, arriving," he said. "The crew of Expedition 63 is honored to welcome Dragon and the Commercial Crew Program to ... the International Space Station. Bob and Doug, glad to have you as part of the crew. Well done. Bravo zulu." "We here at SpaceX are honored to have been part of ushering in this new era of human spaceflight," said Anna Menon, the spacecraft communicator at SpaceX's Hawthorne, California, control center. "On behalf of the SpaceX and NASA partnership, congratulations on a phenomenal accomplishment. And welcome to the International Space Station." During the post-docking welcome aboard ceremony, Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas asked the Crew Dragon astronauts "how does she handle?" "It flew just like it was supposed to," Hurley said. "We had a couple of opportunities to take it out for a spin, so to speak (flying manually), and my compliments to the folks back at Hawthorne and SpaceX for how well it flew. It's exactly like the simulator, and we couldn't be happier about the performance of the vehicle." A camera mounted in the Crew Dragon capsule looks over the shoulders of astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken, right, showing the ship's high-tech touchscreen displays in the moments after docking with the International Space Station. NASA TV Representative Brian Babin, a Texas Republican who represents the Johnson Space Center, asked the astronauts to describe their impressions of launching atop a Falcon 9 rocket. Behnken, who flew twice aboard the space shuttle, recalled a fairly rough ride on the orbit while its two solid-fuel boosters were firing, but a smooth ascent after that with the shuttle's three liquid-fueled engines. He and Hurley expected the Falcon 9 ride to smooth out after the rocket's first stage, powered by nine engines and generating 1.7 million pounds of thrust, was jettisoned about two-and-a-half minutes into flight. The Falcon's second stage is powered by a single engine. "We were surprised a little bit by how smooth things were off the pad," Behnken said. "The space shuttle was a pretty rough ride heading into orbit with the solid rocket boosters, and our expectation was as we continued with (our) flight into second stage, that things would basically get a lot smoother than the space shuttle. "But Dragon was huffin' and puffin' all the way into orbit, and we were definitely riding a Dragon all the way up," he said. "So it was not quite the same ride, the smooth ride as the space shuttle was up to MECO [main engine cutoff], a little bit less Gs but a little bit more 'alive' is probably the best way I could describe it." The Crew Dragon is expected to remain docked to the station for six weeks to four months, allowing Behnken and Hurley to help Cassidy with a full slate of NASA and partner agency research and, possibly, with one or more spacewalks to install new solar array batteries and complete installation of a European experiment platform. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken, right, and Doug Hurley give a thumbs-up on their way to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on May 30, 2020. Getty Cassidy said he looked forward to the help. "We've got a few things to take care of tonight, make sure we're all safe and we know the plan in case something bad happens," he said, referring to a standard emergency briefing given to all newly arrived crew members. "And then we're looking forward to some operational stuff later in the month, maybe we'll get outside and do some spacewalks. So we're all super excited to have two more crewmates to the Expedition 63 team." NASA originally planned a short one-week to 10-day test flight for the first piloted Crew Dragon. But delays in the agency's Commercial Crew Program and scaled-back production of Russian Soyuz spacecraft forced NASA to reduce the lab's U.S. and partner agency crew to just one — Cassidy. NASA managers are holding off on making a decision on when the Crew Dragon will return to Earth until they get a better idea of how atomic oxygen in the extreme upper atmosphere might affect the capsule's solar cells. No matter how that works out, engineers want time to thoroughly evaluate the capsule's performance before proceeding with the first operational flight. NASA and SpaceX hope to launch that flight, carrying an international three-man one-woman crew, in the late August timeframe. SpaceX and NASA successfully launch two astronauts into space
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Russia to roll out its first approved COVID-19 drug next week - CNA
MOSCOW: Russia will start giving its first drug approved to treat COVID-19 to patients next week, its state financial backer told Reuters, a move it hopes will ease strains on the health system and speed a return to normal economic life.
MOSCOW: Russia will start giving its first drug approved to treat COVID-19 to patients next week, its state financial backer told Reuters, a move it hopes will ease strains on the health system and speed a return to normal economic life. Russian hospitals can begin giving the antiviral drug, which is registered under the name Avifavir, to patients from Jun 11, the head of Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund told Reuters in an interview. He said the company behind the drug would manufacture enough to treat around 60,000 people a month. Advertisement Advertisement There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and human trials of several existing antiviral drugs have yet to show efficacy. A new antiviral drug from Gilead called remdesivir has shown some promise in small efficacy trials against COVID-19 and is being given to patients by some countries under compassionate or emergency use rules. Avifavir, known generically as favipiravir, was first developed in the late 1990s by a Japanese company later bought by Fujifilm as it moved into healthcare. RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev said Russian scientists had modified the drug to enhance it, and said Moscow would be ready to share the details of those modifications within two weeks. Advertisement Advertisement Japan has been trialling the same drug, known there as Avigan. It has won plaudits from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US$128 million in government funding, but has yet to be approved for use. Avifavir appeared on a Russian government list of approved drugs on Saturday. ACCELERATED PROCESS Dmitriev said clinical trials of the drug had been conducted involving 330 people, and had shown that it successfully treated the virus in most cases within four days. The trials were due to be concluded in around a week, he said, but the health ministry had given its approval for the drug's use under a special accelerated process and manufacturing had begun in March. Clinical trials to test efficacy drugs usually take many months, even when expedited, and involve large numbers of patients randomly assigned who receive either the drug being trialled or a control or placebo. Success in small small-scale, early-stage trials is no guarantee of success in later, more comprehensive trials. A study published this month, for example, tied the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which US President Donald Trump says he has been taking and has urged others to use, to an increased risk of death in hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Dmitriev said Russia was able to cut testing timescales because the Japanese generic drug which Avifavir is based on was first registered in 2014 and had undergone significant testing before Russian specialists modified it. "We believe this is a game changer. It will reduce strain on the healthcare system, we'll have fewer people getting into a critical condition," said Dmitriev. "We believe that the drug is key to resuming full economic activity in Russia." With 414,878 cases, Russia has the third highest number of infections in the world after Brazil and the United States, but has a relatively low official death toll of 4,855 - something that has been the focus of debate. RDIF, which has a 50 per cent share in the drug's manufacturer ChemRar, funded the trials and other work with its partners, to the tune of around 300 million roubles (US$4.3 million), said Dmitriev, who explained that the costs to Russia were much lower because of previous development work conducted in Japan. Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram
Man jailed for molesting 2 teenage boys on buses, said he could not remember how often he had done it before - TODAYonline
SINGAPORE — A 28-year-old man who molested two secondary school students on separate occasions in March was sentenced in a district court to 14 weeks’ jail on Monday (June 1).