Tue, Apr 26, 2011
Says No Hookup Until "Safety" Of The Spacecraft Is Proven
A high-ranking Russian space official says Russia will not
permit SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft to dock with the ISS until its
"safety is fully tested." The remarks were published by the Russian
news agency RIA Novosti, as well as the Roscosmos
SpaceX has requested authorization from NASA for a mission to
dock with ISS in December. "We will not issue docking permission
unless the necessary level of reliability and safety [of the
spacecraft] is proven. So far we have no proof that those
spacecraft duly comply with the accepted norms of spaceflight
safety," said Alexei Krasnov, who heads the manned spaceflight
department of Russia's space agency Roscosmos.
Krasnov said the Russians will have to study data from a
demonstration flight scheduled for later this year before they will
allow the U.S. commercial spacecraft to deliver supplies to ISS.
"We have received no requests from NASA on the issue," the space
official said. "This plan is realistic, and ultimately commercial
spacecraft will be able to dock with the space station," he said.
"But all in good time."
According to the SpaceX 2011's launch schedule, two Dragon
flights are to take place in 2011. During the first flight, the
spacecraft will perform the flyby of the ISS, approaching to within
10 km from the station. During the second mission, it is hoped to
dock with the ISS.
The PIRS docking module is of Russian design and construction.
Some have suggested that the reticence on the part of the Russian
government is due in part to concerns over loss of revenue once the
shuttle is retired.
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