The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft with NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev inside undocked from the forward-facing port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 7:05 a.m. EDT to complete a six-month science mission.
NASA coverage of Crew-6’s return will continue with audio only, and full coverage will resume at the start of the splashdown broadcast. Real-time audio between Crew-6 and flight controllers at NASA’s Mission Audio stream will remain available and includes conversations with astronauts aboard the space station and a live video feed from the orbiting laboratory.
NASA TV coverage will resume at 11 p.m. Sunday until Endeavour splashes down at approximately 12:17 a.m. EDT Monday, Sept. 4, near Jacksonville off the coast of Florida and Crew-6 members are recovered.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission launched March 2, 2023, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and docked to the space station the next day.
The eleven orbital residents aboard the International Space Station spent Thursday gearing up for a crew split as the four newest members continue to settle into their daily routines in weightlessness and four other Expedition 69 crew members prepare for their ride home to Earth.
Two crews are in the process of swapping places as NASA astronauts Woody Hoburg and Stephen Bowen, UAE (United Arab Emirates) Flight Engineer Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev spent most of their day handing over responsibilities, including training new crew members on station procedures and the use of station exercise equipment.
Sunday saw the arrival of NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov to the station as the SpaceX Dragon Endurance Spacecraft docked to the Harmony module. The international quartet is quickly adjusting to orbital tasks and spent some of Thursday on the firsts of many science and maintenance activities they’ll perform in microgravity during their six-month stay.
After breakfast, Moghbeli completed a round of eye exams with NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin of Roscosmos. Later in the evening, the first-time orbital resident continued to unpack Dragon, which will remain docked to the station for six months until Crew-7 returns to Earth. Meanwhile, Mogensen deployed dosimeters in the Columbus Laboratory Module that will detect levels of radiation doses inside the station, while Furukawa carried out some maintenance on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device or ARED.
The four Crew-6 members—Hoburg, Bowen, Alneyadi and Fedyaev—are nearing the end of their six-month research mission and spent the afternoon prepping and packing SpaceX’s Dragon Endeavour spacecraft for departure no earlier than Sept. 2. This will bring the space station’s population down to seven before further crew swaps take place in September.
After lunchtime, Alneyadi scheduled some time for maintenance activities, installing and examining the station’s new Potable Water Dispenser. Hoburg collected biological samples for the ongoing Standard Measures investigation, while Bowen completed cargo tasks in the Cygnus spacecraft which has been docked to the station since Aug. 4.
Rubio, Prokopyev, and Petelin will soon reach a year in space after arriving to the station on Sept. 21, 2022, and are gearing up for their trek home in late September. The three long-time station residents continued to help with crew handover activities on Thursday and completed some station maintenance tasks of their own.
Aboard the International Space Station on Wednesday, four new crew members are adjusting to their first week orbiting Earth. Meanwhile, another quartet of Expedition 69 flight engineers is preparing to end their six-month stay in space.
Eleven crew members from five countries are living and working together on the orbital outpost as two of its crews are in the middle of swapping places. New station flight engineers Jasmin Moghbeli and Andreas Mogensen, of NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) respectively, continued unpacking the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft throughout the day. In the afternoon, the duo joined NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio, who has been aboard the station for nearly a year, and reviewed station operations, systems, and procedures.
The other two new flight engineers, Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos, also continued familiarizing themselves with life in weightlessness. The pair is learning how to make meals, exercise on the workout facilities, sleep in the crew quarters, and use the station’s bathroom, also known as the waste and hygiene compartment.
The station crew will fall back to seven members no earlier than Sept. 2 when the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour is due to return four flight engineers, who have been in space since March, back to Earth. NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen will command Endeavour leading NASA Pilot Woody Hoburg and Mission Specialists Sultan Alneyadi of UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Andrey Fedyaev of Roscosmos to a splashdown off the coast of Florida.
The Earth-bound foursome has been handing over its responsibilities to the newly arrived crew while preparing for the return to Earth’s gravity environment. The four crew mates this week have been packing Endeavour, reviewing deorbit and splashdown procedures, and talking to NASA and SpaceX ground support personnel.
Bowen and Hoburg still had time on Wednesday for ongoing research activities. Bowen rounded up science hardware for an upcoming space biology experiment. Hoburg inspected and activated an Astrobee free-flying robotic helper as engineers on the ground monitored its performance.
The longest-serving crew aboard the station has been orbiting Earth since Sept. 21, 2022. Rubio along with Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin are assisting with the crew swap activities. The trio from NASA and Roscosmos has also worked on cargo activities, space science, and standard health checks this week.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 crew members are settling into their new orbital home aboard the International Space Station while Crew-6 make their own preparations for a safe return to Earth in the coming days.
Crew-7 NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov moved into the space station on Aug. 27. The crew launched on Aug. 26 from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Meanwhile, NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev are wrapping up crew handover activities with Crew-7 which involves concluding science experiments, and transferring return cargo to their Dragon spacecraft. Their spacecraft has been docked with the space station since arriving in March 2023.
NASA and SpaceX are targeting Saturday, Sept. 2, for Crew-6 and SpaceX’s Dragon to undock from the space station and safely splashdown off the coast of Florida on Sunday, Sept. 3. Joint teams are monitoring weather forecasts across seven potential splashdown sites off the coast of Florida and any impacts Hurricane Idalia may have on recovery operations.
The agency will share more information on Crew-6 return as it becomes available.
NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev arrived at the International Space Station on Friday, as the SpaceX Dragon, named Endeavour, docked to the complex at 1:40 a.m. EST while the station was 260 statute miles over the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Somalia.
Docking was delayed slightly as mission teams completed troubleshooting of a faulty docking hook sensor on Dragon. The NASA and SpaceX teams verified that all of the docking hooks were in the proper configuration, and SpaceX developed a software override for the faulty sensor that allowed the docking process to successfully continue.
Following Dragon’s link up to the Harmony module, the astronauts aboard the Dragon and the space station will begin conducting standard leak checks and pressurization between the spacecraft in preparation for hatch opening scheduled for 3:18 a.m.
NASA Television and the agency’s website are providing live continuous coverage of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission carrying NASA astronauts, Mission Commander Stephen Bowen and Pilot Woody Hoburg, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev on their way to the International Space Station.
The Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, began the final phase of its approach to the station at 12:15 a.m. EST on Friday, March 3, and is scheduled to dock at 12:43 a.m. Dragon is designed to dock autonomously, but the crew aboard the spacecraft and the space station will monitor the performance of the spacecraft as it approaches and docks to the forward port of the station’s Harmony module.
Four Expedition 68 astronauts took the afternoon off on Tuesday at the International Space Station while three cosmonauts focused on cargo transfers and lab maintenance. Meanwhile, the SpaceX Crew-6 mission is counting down to its launch at 12:34 a.m. EST on Thursday.
NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio handled the orbital plumbing duties inside the Tranquility module. Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) spent the day preparing urine samples to be stored in cold stowage for later use in research.
Wakata also assisted Nicole Mann in successfully removing and replacing the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue, or SAFER, battery adapter in preparation for spacewalk activities. The SAFER is essentially a “life jacket” for spacewalks. The self-contained maneuvering unit is worn like a backpack and relies on small jet thrusters to let an astronaut move around in space.
NASA Flight engineers Josh Cassada and Mann are busy preparing with cosmonaut Anna Kikina to return to Earth for the upcoming crew swap. The trio, along with Wakata, are due to return to Earth several days after the SpaceX Crew-6 mission arrives at the end of the week.
The Crew-6 members scheduled for arrival to the space station are mission commander Stephen Bowen and Pilot Warren “Woody” Hoburg, both from NASA, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, who will join as mission specialists. The quartet is targeted to automatically dock to the space-facing port of the Harmony module at 1:17 a.m. on Friday. The four Crew-6 members will conduct advanced space research aboard the orbital outpost for the next six months.
The space station’s four astronauts and three cosmonauts will soon welcome four SpaceX Crew-6 members who are counting down to a launch at 12:34 a.m. EST on Thursday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The quartet was due to lift off on Monday at 1:45 a.m. aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour before launch controllers detected an issue preventing data from confirming a full load of the ignition source for the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage Merlin engines.
Back aboard the orbital outpost, Flight Engineers Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) spent about an hour readying food and sleeping bags for the visiting crew. Mann also relocated computers to the cupola to prepare for the upcoming rendezvous and docking monitoring operations. Wakata configured research hardware that will house a new space biology investigation being delivered aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour.
Mann began her day with NASA Flight Engineer Josh Cassada performing blood draws, spinning the samples in a centrifuge, then stowing the samples in a science freezer for later analysis. Cassada would later gather cargo to be stowed aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour after its arrival. NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio started his day on orbital plumbing work before finally watering tomato plants growing for the Veg-05 space botany study.
Roscosmos Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin spent Monday unpacking cargo recently delivered aboard the ISS Progress 83 resupply ship. Petelin then joined Flight Engineer Anna Kikina and tested a specialized suit that offsets the affects of microgravity potentially helping crew members adjust quicker to gravity after returning to Earth.
Four Expedition 68 crew members are preparing for their return to Earth next month while also working on space physics and household maintenance tasks. Meanwhile, a two crew ships, one from Roscosmos and one from SpaceX, are nearing their launch to the International Space Station.
NASA Flight Engineers Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada reviewed their upcoming departure procedures today ahead of next month’s planned return to Earth inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance. The duo were joined by Flight Engineers Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Anna Kikina of Roscosmos as they looked over the steps they will take during their homebound flight.
The quartet trained on a computer to undock Endurance from the Harmony module, reenter Earth’s atmosphere, and parachute to a safe splashdown in the waters off the coast of Florida. Mann will command Crew Dragon Endurance with Cassada piloting the vehicle as Wakata and Kikina remain seated to either side of the astronauts. The quartet launched to the station on the SpaceX Crew-5 mission on Oct. 5, 2022.
Their replacements will arrive as the Crew-6 mission after it launches on Monday at 1:45 a.m. EST from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg will be the respective commander and pilot of Crew Dragon Endeavour. They will be flanked inside the vehicle by astronaut Sultan Alneyadi of the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev of Roscosmos. The foursome will dock to the space-facing port of Harmony module at 2:29 a.m. on Tuesday and live and work aboard the orbital outpost for six months conducting critical space research.
NASA TV, on the agency’s app and website, will begin its live Crew-6 launch broadcast on Sunday at 9 p.m. Once the launch broadcast is over, live mission audio will stream until NASA TV resumes with its docking coverage set to begin at 12:45 a.m. on Tuesday.
A passengerless Soyuz MS-23 crew ship is also being readied for lift off at 7:24 p.m. on Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a two-day trek to the space station. Besides delivering provisions for the crew, the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft will return NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin back to Earth later this year.
The orbital residents also have been continuing their science and lab upkeep tasks during the busy visiting vehicle preparations. Rubio, with support from Wakata, installed an ultra-high temperature furnace inside the Kibo laboratory module. The specialized furnace enables safe observations of thermophysical properties of super-heated samples. Mann and Cassada took turns cleaning crew quarters in the overhead and deck portions of the Harmony module.
Prokopyev worked in the Roscosmos segment of the station checking the performance of a 3-D printer. Petelin worked on a pair of different experiments including a fluid physics study and space biology investigation. Kikina wrapped up operations for an Earth observation study and a carbon dioxide monitoring session.