Entertainment Spotlight

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres - on Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’
By Ben Fong-Torres It’s short shrift time. I have a life that’s ripe (and slightly wrinkled) for blogs and tweeting; for facebooking and updating. I’m just no good at it. My last column here on AsianConnections was about the memorial in late July for my sister Shirley. My last posting on the authors’ site, Redroom, was about a radio promo tour I did (20 stops, all on the phone in my home office) for my Eagles book. On my own home page, the last thing was about hanging with...

Arts & Entertainment

The Progress 17 carrying fresh supplies docks to the International Space Station

Posted by AC Team on Wednesday, 02 March 2005

The Progress 17 carrying fresh supplies docks to the International Space Station

The ISS Progress 17 craft automatically docked to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module at 2:10 p.m. CST as the Station flew 225 statute miles over the equator west of Africa. Within minutes, hooks and latches between the two ships engaged, forming a tight seal. The flawless docking completed a two-day journey for the cargo ship since its liftoff Monday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.

As the Progress approached the Station, Expedition 10 Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov was at the controls of a manual docking system in Zvezda, ready to take over the final approach.

The unpiloted Russian cargo ship is loaded with 386 pounds of propellant, 242 pounds of oxygen and air, 1,071 pounds of water and more than 2,900 pounds of spare parts, life support system components and experiment hardware. The manifest includes 86 containers of food, about This also includes 86 containers of food, a six-month supply to supplement theprovisions already in the Stations pantry.

Among the items on the Progress is a new heat exchanger device to replace a faulty component in the U.S. airlock needed for the resumption of spacewalks in U.S. space suits this summer. Also aboard are cameras and lenses to be used by the Expedition 11 crew to capture images of the thermal protection system on the Shuttle Discovery during its approach to the Station during the STS-114 mission in May. The photos are part of the imagery-gathering effort to ensure that the Shuttle has no threatening damage to its heat shielding.

China/Russia Border Beijing A Walk in Space My Russian Orlan Suit Greece Egypt China Launch Complex Argentina Nepal/China Border Region Chi Lien Mountains South Africa Salamat Basin in Chad Mozambique Corrientes, Argentina Dec. 10, 2004 Blog Malaysia Patagonian Glaciers Bolivia

Click here for AsianConnections' exclusive interview with Leroy while in...

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog-China-Russia Border

Posted by AC Team on Friday, 18 February 2005

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog-China-Russia Border: This is a photo from the next orbital pass. It is of the border region between China and Russia, near Mongolia. This mountainous region is very striking and I was able to capture a detailed photo using an 800mm lens.

During my next orbital pass, I photographed the mountainous region that is the border region between China and Russia, near Mongolia. I was able to capture this detailed photo using an 800mm lens. It is very striking.

Beijing A Walk in Space My Russian Orlan Suit Greece Egypt China Launch Complex Argentina Nepal/China Border Region Chi Lien Mountains South Africa Salamat Basin in Chad Mozambique Corrientes, Argentina Dec. 10, 2004 Blog Malaysia Patagonian Glaciers Bolivia

Click here for AsianConnections' exclusive interview with Leroy while in training at Star City, Russia.

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog- Beijing

Posted by AC Team on Wednesday, 16 February 2005

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog-Beijing: I finally shot a decent picture of Beijing. It is surprisingly difficult! There is often dense smog in the Eastern coastal areas of China, and visibility gets even worse with low sun angles. So, everything has to be right for the shot to even be set up correctly. I was also fortunate with this pass, that the weather was clear and there was light snow cover on the ground, enhancing the view of the city. This is a 400mm shot, I wanted to get the whole core of the city inside of the frame.

I finally shot a decent picture of Beijing. It is surprisingly difficult! There is often dense smog in the Eastern coastal areas of China, and visibility gets even worse with low sun angles. So, everything has to be right for the shot to even be set up correctly. I was also fortunate with this pass, that the weather was clear and there was light snow cover on the ground, enhancing the view of the city. This is a 400mm shot, I wanted to get the whole core of the city inside of the frame.

A Walk in Space My Russian Orlan Suit Greece Egypt China Launch Complex Argentina Nepal/China Border Region Chi Lien Mountains South Africa Salamat Basin in Chad Mozambique Corrientes, Argentina Dec. 10, 2004 Blog Malaysia Patagonian Glaciers Bolivia

Click here for AsianConnections' exclusive interview with Leroy while in training at Star City, Russia.

Celebrating the Year of the Rooster in Space

Posted by AC Team on Friday, 11 February 2005

Celebrating the Year of the Rooster in Space with Expedition 10 commander Leroy Chiao and flight engineer Salizhan Sharipov.

Commander and NASA ISS Science Officer Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov delivered a special message in honor of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrated Tuesday. The all-Asian crewmembers of the International Space Station commemorated a New Year as they passed their four-month mark in space. The message included greetings in Russian and Mandarin, which Chiao speaks fluently.

Chiao and Sharipov began the workweek with a checkout of the onboard defibrillator as well as continued preparation and packing of items to be transferred to Space Shuttle Discovery's Multipurpose Logistics Module during the Shuttle Return to Flight mission scheduled for May or June. The preparations included several hours early in the week with stowage and audit activities of spacesuit equipment in the Quest Airlock, including inventory of tool and maintenance kits.

Other technical tasks completed during the week included installation of a Navigation Receiving Module in the Russian segment for Station attitude determination. Chiao continued work in the Quest, regenerating two Metal Oxide or METOX canisters for use in U.S. spacesuits. Those canisters scrub air exhaled into the spacesuit system of carbon dioxide and recharge the oxygen.

The crew also deactivated the Russian Elektron oxygen generation system Wednesday. The planned deactivation allows the use of oxygen from the docked ISS Progress 16 cargo vehicle. It also reduces Progress to the weight necessary for its undocking scheduled for Feb. 27. Two repressurizations are planned. The first repress, of about 10mmHg, is scheduled for Feb. 15, and the second, about 15mmHg, for Feb. 25. The Elektron is scheduled to be reactivated in early March.

Along with their technical tasks and maintenance activities, the crewmembers supported nearly 14 hours of science and...

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Space Blog-A Walk in Space

Posted by AC Team on Thursday, 27 January 2005

Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao and flight engineer Salizhan Sharipov take a walk in space outside of the International Space Station.

Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov ventured outside the International Space Station today for a 5-hour, 28-minute spacewalk to install a work platform, cables and robotic and scientific experiments on the exterior of the Zvezda Service Module.

Dressed in Russian Orlan spacesuits, they left the Pirs Docking Compartment airlock at 1:43 a.m. CST and set up tools and tethers for their excursion. With no one left inside, Station systems were either deactivated or put in autonomous operation for the duration of the spacewalk. Hatches were also closed between the U.S. and Russian segments of the complex in the unlikely event the crew would not have been able to return to the outpost.

The first order of business was the installation of a Universal Work Platform at the forward end of the large conical section of Zvezda. Atop the platform they mounted a German commercial experiment called Rokviss (Robotics Component Verification on ISS).

The Rokviss consists of a small double-jointed manipulator arm, an illumination system and a power supply. An antenna for the robotic device to receive commands was also installed by Chiao and Sharipov along with cabling.

The system, designed to be commanded by operators on the ground in Germany, can also be operated by the crew from a workstation inside Zvezda. Rokviss will test the ability of lightweight robotic joints to operate in the vacuum of space for future assembly work or satellite repair and servicing.

Chiao and Sharipov moved a Japanese commercial experiment from one bracket on the outside of Zvezda to an adjacent bracket. The experiment, first deployed on Station by the Expedition 3 crew in October 2001, resembles an open attach case and is designed to collect data on micrometeoroid impacts and the effect...