MSA - update 2


The One and Only (AFAIK)
Oct 11, 2009
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Hello, and welcome to a new blog full of updates about activities that are going on around MSA.

MSS receives third crew. Second cargo mission to launch end of the month
The MSS is now home to 4 new crewmembers of the Italian space agency. Antares, launched on March the 3th, docked with the station on March the 5th to begin a 4 week mission. The crew will perform at least 1 EVA to prepare the station for an upcoming Russian module to the station, named Mirny. This module will boost the maximum amount of crew in the station from 4 to 7, and it allows spacecrafts with the Russian drogue-and-cone docking system to visit the station. Later in this year a Pirs docking node will be launched to the station to add a permanent airlock to the station. EVA are now being performed through visiting vehicles.

MSA to select launch vehicle for MicroSats and CubeSats
MSA is in the final process of selecting a launch vehicle for their MicroSat and CubeSat launches. The 2 finalists are the Black Arrow from Australia (which already made a test launch last summer) and the B-58 hustler with a Minuteman ICBM as launch vehicle. At this time, MSA only provides launch services for external satellites, but it is expected that they soon will announce their own Micro- and CubeSats.

Mission to Venus enters final stage
The robotic mission to Venus enters the final stage in assembly. The joint MSA/Roscosmos mission will utilize the Vega design, with upgraded components and new materials. The lander, together with the balloon will investigate the atmospheric properties. The spacecraft will be launched atop of a Proton rocket.

The NEOScan satellite, designed to survey the heaves for Near Earth Objects, is undergoing assembly at ESTEC in The Netherlands. Once completed, the spacecraft will be transported to Cape Canaveral for launch atop of a new launcher, designed and operated by HASSESA.
Photos will be added later as the assembly progresses.

Selection of Martian mission
The selection MSA's first mission to mars is in full swing. Different spacecrafts and projects are being studied and MSA expects to make a final decision at the end of this month.