Jul 3, 2009

First Local Flight - in space!?


This story is interesting in that it may be the first ever "local hop" flown in a spacecraft.  Earth-bound pilots are familiar with the concept of heading out for a local sight-seeing flight just for the fun of it.  Sometimes we'll stop at a local restaurant for a cup of coffee or a "hundred dollar hamburger."  Or we'll just motor around the local area on a fine evening to enjoy the experience of flight, then wander back home and tie down for the night.


This sounds like the space equivalent.  Albeit there was a purpose - to move the Soyuz lifeboat to another dock.  But I can imagine the conversations in the space station leading up to the "flight."

"So, I'm going for a short trip to the other side of the station.  Anyone want to come along for the ride?"

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This has been done on almost every expedition, to optimise the use of the docking ports on the Russian segment.

Grant said...

Cool! I wonder how they decide who gets to ride in the extra seat(s) - presuming it doesn't take three cosmonauts to maneuver this thing around the corner...

Another point of interest. I notice there are six people currently aboard the space station. The Soyuz holds three. They refer to it sometimes as a "lifeboat." ... hmmm... Do they draw straws each morning to see who gets to use it in case it's suddenly needed?