Japan Preps Next Cargo Mission

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Japan's fifth HII-Transfer Vehicle

Japan’s fifth H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5) was pictured Sept. 23, 2015 during Expedition 45.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is getting the last cargo mission of 2016 ready for launch next week. It’s sixth H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-6) nick-named “Kounotori” has been in processing for months and will lift off Dec. 9 from Tanegashima, Japan for a three-day trip to the station. The payload aboard HTV-6 will include potable water, fresh food, seven Cubesats, a second small satellite deployer, hardware for new experiments, high-definition video cameras and lithium-ion batteries that will replace older nickel-hydrogen batteries.

Onboard the station, the crew collected blood samples and stowed them in a science freezer for later analysis. The blood draws were for a set of experiments exploring how microgravity affects crew health and the long-term risk of plaque build-up in artery walls, or atherosclerosis, in astronauts.

The crew also checked out science hardware aimed at studying the effects of fire and heat in space. A gear replacement task in the Combustion Integrated Rack was put on hold due to an obstruction in the device and is currently being investigated. Samples were also removed from the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace that were heated and observed to understand the thermophysical properties of materials heated to high temperatures.

Anomaly During Third Stage Operation in Russian Cargo Craft

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Progress Rocket at Launch Pad

The Progress 65 spacecraft is pictured at its launch pad Nov. 29 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: RSC Energia

Launch of the ISS Progress 65 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan occurred at 9:51 a.m. EST (8:51 p.m. Baikonur time). An anomaly occurred sometime during the third stage operation. As we get updates from Roscosmos, we will provide them.

The Expedition 50 crew is safe aboard the station. Consumables aboard the station are at good levels.

An H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)-6 from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is scheduled to launch to the space station on Friday, Dec. 9.

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Progress 65 on Twitter, follow @Space_Station. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/connect.

Russian Cargo Craft Launches, Controllers Wait for Status

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Progress Spaceship Launches

The Progress 65 cargo spaceship launched on time Thursday morning from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA TV

Launch of the ISS Progress 65 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan occurred at 9:51 a.m. EST (8:51 p.m. Baikonur time). Flight controllers are monitoring the spacecraft at this time and we are standing by for additional updates on Progress 65.

The Russian Progress spacecraft is carrying more than 2.6 tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the Expedition 50 crew aboard the International Space Station.

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Progress 65 on Twitter, follow @Space_Station. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/connect.

Year-End Cargo Shipments Prepped Amidst Space Research

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International Space Station Configuration

As of Nov. 21, 2016, there are three spacecraft are docked at the station including the Soyuz MS-02 and MS-03 crew vehicles and the Progress 64 resupply ship. Two more spaceships will arrive in December. Credit: NASA

The Expedition 50 crew is getting ready to receive a shipment of space supplies Saturday after Russia launches the Progress 65 cargo craft Thursday morning. The final space delivery of the year will be Dec. 13 when the Kounotori HTV-6 resupply ship arrives four days after its launch from Tanegashima, Japan.

Inside the International Space Station, Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson installed aerosol samplers to collect airborne particles for analysis on Earth. Scientists will study the samples using specialized techniques with powerful microscopes.

Commander Shane Kimbrough is setting up science gear inside Japan’s Kibo lab module to study the fundamental physics of surface tension where liquid and gas meet. The experiment known as Marangoni Ultrasonic Velocity Profiler-2 may improve industrial processes and products on Earth and in space.

New astronaut Thomas Pesquet, from the European Space Agency, strapped himself into the Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System chair for a study of his calf muscle and Achilles tendon. On Earth, that area carries loads from the entire human body. He conducted a series of ankle exercises while attached to sensors to monitor any changes in that area caused by living in space.


Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Crew Heads Into Thanksgiving With Human Research

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Astronauts Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough

Astronauts Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough pause for a portrait inside the space station.

Six International Space Station crew members are heading in to the Thanksgiving holiday with human research activities and orbital lab maintenance.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson is the most experienced crew member in space right now getting ready to spend her third holiday season on orbit. Today, she stowed the tools used for space plumbing work done on Tuesday putting the Waste and Hygiene Compartment, the station’s toilet, back in service after a leak was discovered.

She and her new crewmates, Oleg Novitskiy from Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency, are in their first week aboard the space station. They are getting used to their new home in space and familiarizing themselves with station emergency gear and procedures today. Whitson is beginning her third mission aboard the orbital complex while Novitskiy is starting his second mission. Pesquet is on his first mission and is France’s fourth astronaut to visit the space station.

The rest of the crew members, including Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineers Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, are beginning their second month in space.

Today’s science work included collecting breath samples to help doctors understand how living in space affects bone marrow and blood cells. A new device that indirectly measures an astronaut’s intracranial pressure is being checked out today while the crew is also conducting eye exams.

New Crew Begins First Week Aboard Station

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The Soyuz MS-03 Spacecraft

The newly-docked Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft is next to one of the Cygnus’ round Ultraflex solar arrays in the left foreground. The Cygnus cargo craft departed the station two days after the Soyuz arrived.

Three new crew members are in their first week aboard the International Space Station. They joined the Expedition 50 crew Saturday bringing the occupancy of the orbital lab to six humans.

The two U.S. astronauts, three cosmonauts and one French astronaut are getting ready for Thanksgiving in space. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson is beginning her third station mission and will spend the traditional U.S. holiday orbiting above the Earth for the third time.

Meanwhile, new crew members Whitson, veteran cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and first time space-flyer Thomas Pesquet and are familiarizing themselves with their home on orbit where they will live for the next six months. Whitson was last onboard the station during Expedition 16 in 2008 before Japan’s Kibo lab module had been delivered and the final solar arrays had been installed.

Whitson spent several hours repairing the Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) today, one of two functional toilets aboard the station. She replaced several components after a leak was detected in the WHC on Monday.

Novitskiy’s previous mission was Expedition 34 which ended in 2013. Pesquet is on his first spaceflight and is the fourth astronaut from France to visit the space station.


Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Astronauts Release Cygnus Space Freighter From Station

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The Orbital ATK Cygnus space freighter

The Orbital ATK Cygnus space freighter is seen moments after being released from the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 50 robotic arm operators Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) commanded the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the Cygnus spacecraft at 8:22 a.m. EST while the space station was flying 251 miles over the Pacific Ocean, off the west coast of Colombia. Earlier, ground controllers detached Cygnus from the station and maneuvered it into place for its departure.

Once Cygnus is a safe distance away from the station, ground controllers at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio and at Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia, will activate the Saffire-II experiment.

Cygnus also will release four LEMUR CubeSats from an external deployer on Friday, Nov. 25, sending them to join a remote sensing satellite constellation that provides global ship tracking and weather monitoring.

The spacecraft will remain in orbit until Sunday, Nov. 27, when its engines will fire twice, pushing it into Earth’s atmosphere, where it will burn up over the Pacific Ocean.

The Cygnus resupply craft launched Oct. 17 on an Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, for the company’s sixth NASA-contracted commercial resupply mission. The company’s seventh contracted resupply mission is targeted for spring 2017 on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station.

Welcome Aboard! New Arrivals Make Six Expedition 50 Crew Members

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The Six-Member Expedition 50 Crew

The six-member Expedition 50 crew is comprised of (front row, from left) Peggy Whitson, Oleg Novitskiy and Thomas Pesquet. In the back, from left, are Shane Kimbrough, Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko. Credit: NASA TV

Three new crew members are aboard the International Space Station. The hatches on the space station and Soyuz MS-03 opened at 7:40 p.m. EST, marking the arrival to the orbiting laboratory for NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Oleg Novitskiy of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency).

Along with Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, the arriving crew members will contribute to more than 250 research experiments ongoing aboard the space station, in diverse fields such as biology, Earth Science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.

To learn more about the International Space Station, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station. For launch coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/.

To follow activities on orbit, visit the space station Facebook page at:

http://www.facebook.com/ISS

Follow the crew members and the station on Twitter at:

http://www.twitter.com/nasa_astronauts

and

http://www.twitter.com/Space_Station

Follow the station on Instagram at:

https://instagram.com/iss/

New Trio Arrives to Join Expedition 50 Crew

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Soyuz Approaches Station

A camera on the space station observes the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft moments before docking to the Rassvet module. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Oleg Novitskiy of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) have docked to the International Space Station. After orbiting the Earth for approximately two days, their Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft docked with the space station’s Rassvet module at 4:58 p.m. EST.

When hatches between the Soyuz and space station open at 7:35 p.m., the three crew members will join Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, who have been aboard the complex since October. NASA TV coverage for hatch opening will begin at 6:45 p.m.

To learn more about the International Space Station, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station. For launch coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. To join the online conversation about the International Space Station, follow @Space_Station.

Watch New Expedition 50 Trio Dock Today

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Expedition 50 Crew Members

From left are Expedition 50 crew members Peggy Whitson of NASA, Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA. Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Three new crew members are set to dock to the International Space Station Saturday at 5:01 p.m. EST. Live coverage of the docking and arrival will begin at 4:15 p.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) launched in their Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft at 3:20 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17 (2:20 a.m. Baikonur time, Nov. 18).

To learn more about the International Space Station, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station. For launch coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram at: http://instagram.com/iss and on Twitter @Space_Station.

Below is the docking timeline in EST:

Saturday, Nov. 19

4:15 p.m.         NASA TV: Docking coverage begins
5:01 p.m.         Scheduled time for docking to the Rassvet module
7:35 p.m.         Hatches scheduled to open

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