Station Unloads New Cargo and Waits One Day for Next Crew

The Moon is pictured above the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon Endurance spacecraft on top at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
The Moon is pictured above the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon Endurance spacecraft on top at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

The International Space Station welcomed a new cargo craft overnight as mission managers postponed the launch of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission for 24 hours. The Expedition 69 crew members have begun unpacking the new cargo while servicing a variety of science equipment aboard the orbital lab.

Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin went to bed Friday mid-afternoon after monitoring the Roscosmos Progress 85 resupply ship as it docked to the Zvezda service module’s aft port at 11:45 p.m. EDT on Thursday. The duo worked through leak and pressure checks, opened the Progress 85 hatch, then spent the next several hours offloading some of the nearly three tons of food, fuel, and supplies to replenish the lab residents.

As the Roscosmos resupply ship approached the station, four SpaceX Crew-7 crew members in Florida were informed their launch to join the Expedition 69 crew would wait one more day. Liftoff of the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket is now scheduled for 3:27 a.m. EDT on Saturday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Mission managers decided to use the extra day to review Dragon’s safety and life support systems.

Crew-7 Commander Jasmin Moghbeli will lead Pilot Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Mission Specialists Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos, during their flight to the station. The Commercial Crew quartet aboard Endurance will automatically dock to the Harmony module’s space-facing port at 8:39 a.m. on Sunday. Soon after, the foursome will enter the station, greet the Expedition 69 crew, and begin a six-month microgravity research mission.

Meanwhile, the seven station crew members orbiting Earth are all but ready to welcome their four new crewmates. While the two cosmonauts were wrapping up Progress 85 activities and getting ready for bed, the other five lab residents worked on advanced research hardware and investigated ways to treat heart ailments.

NASA Flight Engineers Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg worked in the Tranquility module preparing the NanoRacks Bishop airlock for its upcoming depressurization and demating. The Canadarm2 robotic arm will grapple and remove Bishop from Tranquility early next week for an experiment to measure temperature, vibrations, and radiation on external payload sites.

UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi stowed hardware and reconfigured the Microgravity Science Glovebox following an investigation to manufacture superior material structures in space. Flight Engineer Frank Rubio of NASA worked in the Kibo laboratory module swapping samples of stem-cell derived heart micro-tissues inside the Life Science Glovebox. Rubio’s research work may help doctors discover new therapies for space-caused cardiac abnormalities and Earth-bound heart diseases.


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Station Preps for New Cargo, Crew and Avoids Space Debris

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Dragon spacecraft on top is seen on the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida as preparations continue for the launch of the Crew-7 mission. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Dragon spacecraft on top is seen on the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida as preparations continue for the launch of the Crew-7 mission. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

The Expedition 69 crew will receive a space delivery late Thursday night and just a few hours before a new crew will launch to the International Space Station. While the orbital residents are getting ready for both missions there was still some time for gene therapy research and lab maintenance tasks.

Two cosmonauts, Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin, will be on duty monitoring the Roscosmos Progress 85 cargo craft during its automated docking planned for 11:50 p.m. EDT. During the morning, the duo practiced on the telerobotically operated rendezvous unit, or TORU, to remotely control an arriving spacecraft in the unlikely event the vehicle was unable to automatically dock. The Progress 85 is carrying three tons of food, fuel, and supplies the cosmonaut duo will begin unpacking about two hours after its arrival. The space freighter will remain docked to the Zvezda service module’s aft port for six months of cargo activities.

About 4 hours after the resupply ship’s arrival, the SpaceX Crew-7 mission will launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to the orbital lab. Liftoff of the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft with four Commercial Crew members atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for 3:50 a.m. Friday.

Endurance, commanded by NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli with Pilot Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Mission Specialists Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos, will automatically dock to the Harmony module’s space-facing port at 2:02 a.m. on Saturday. About two hours later the foursome will enter the station, greet the Expedition 69 crew, and begin a six-month microgravity research mission.

Flight Engineers Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, both from NASA, and Sultan Alneyadi from UAE (United Arab Emirates) prepared for Saturday’s Crew-7 arrival configuring the station for four new crew members. Bowen staged emergency equipment in the orbital lab’s U.S. segment that is standard procedure before a new crew arrives. Hoburg set up a new crew quarters in the Columbus laboratory module. Alneyadi configured computers inside the cupola that will monitor Dragon Endurance’s arrival on Saturday morning.

While the mission preparations were underway, NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio focused his time on biotechnology research. He treated cell samples to seek ways to closely mimic the human central nervous system and brain environment for the Neuronix investigation. Results may provide paths for researchers to discover new therapies treating neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

On Thursday, Aug. 24, the International Space Station’s Zvezda service module engines were fired for 21.5 seconds, beginning at 11 a.m. EDT to maneuver the complex away from the predicted track of an orbital debris fragment. The maneuver will not affect the rendezvous of the Roscosmos Progress 85 cargo vessel or the launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Cardiac, Digestion Research Ahead of Space Delivery and New Crew

The seven-member Expedition 69 crew gather for a portrait. Clockwise from left are, Woody Hoburg, Dmitri Petelin, Sergey Prokopyev, Frank Rubio, Stephen Bowen, Sultan Alneyadi and Andrey Fedyaev.
The seven-member Expedition 69 crew gathers for a portrait. Clockwise from left are, Woody Hoburg, Dmitri Petelin, Sergey Prokopyev, Frank Rubio, Stephen Bowen, Sultan Alneyadi and Andrey Fedyaev.

A cargo craft is orbiting Earth today heading toward the International Space Station as the seven Expedition 69 crew members studied how weightlessness affects cardiac tissue and the digestive system. Meanwhile, a new crew counts down to its launch early Friday.

Three tons of space supplies are packed aboard the Roscosmos Progress 85 cargo craft and on the way to the orbital residents for a delivery scheduled at 11:50 p.m. EDT on Thursday. Station commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin will be on duty Thursday night monitoring the Progress 85 when it automatically docks to the Zvezda service module’s aft port. The duo will wait about two hours during standard leak and pressure checks before opening the resupply ship’s hatch and begin unpacking the new food, fuel, and other cargo.

While the cargo activities get underway, the SpaceX Crew-7 mission will launch at 3:50 a.m. on Friday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Four Commercial Crew astronauts will be seated inside the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket awaiting a 24-hour trip to their new home in space.

NASA astronaut and Crew-7 Commander Jasmin Moghbeli will be leading Pilot Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Mission Specialists Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos aboard Endurance during the ride to the station. Endurance, with the quartet inside, will automatically dock to the Harmony module’s space-facing port at 2:02 a.m. on Saturday. The foursome will open the hatch about two hours later, enter the station, greet the Expedition 69 crew, and begin a six-month microgravity research mission.

Meanwhile, the crewmates living in space explored how microgravity affects cardiac cells and the digestive system to benefit humans living on and off the Earth. NASA Flight Engineers Frank Rubio and Woody Hoburg treated samples of stem-cell derived heart micro-tissues on Wednesday in the Kibo laboratory module. The Project EAGLE biology study takes place in Kibo’s Life Science Glovebox and may reveal potential therapies for space-caused cardiac abnormalities and Earth-bound heart diseases.

Prokopyev and Petelin started the day with ultrasound scans after breakfast to observe how the digestive system adapts to weightlessness. Prokopyev then partnered with Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev in the afternoon for more tests of the lower body negative pressure suit that may help crew members readjust to Earth’s gravity environment.

Fedyaev will be returning to Earth soon with Hoburg and astronauts Stephen Bowen of NASA and Sultan Alneyadi of UAE (United Arab Emirates). The quartet will enter the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft one week after Crew-7 arrives, undock from Harmony’s forward port, and splashdown off the coast of Florida to complete a six-month space mission. During Wednesday afternoon, the four crewmates inspected their SpaceX pressure suits they will wear inside Endeavour when they depart the station for the ride back to Earth.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Cargo Mission Launches Tonight, SpaceX Crew-7 Lifts Off Friday

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket engines fired for 6 seconds as part of the pre-launch static fire test on Tuesday prior to the launch of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission scheduled for 3:49 a.m. on Friday. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket engines fired for 6 seconds as part of the pre-launch static fire test on Tuesday prior to the launch of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission scheduled for 3:49 a.m. on Friday. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Two rockets on opposite sides of the world will launch to the International Space Station delivering cargo and a new crew this week. The first spaceship will launch from Kazakhstan Tuesday night hauling supplies to replenish the Expedition 69 crew. The second will launch from Florida sending four new crew members to the orbital lab.

The Roscosmos Progress 85 cargo craft is counting down to a launch at 9:08 p.m. EDT tonight from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It will orbit Earth for two days before docking to the aft port of the Zvezda service module at 11:50 p.m. on Thursday. A few hours later on Friday, cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin will open Progress 85’s hatches and begin unpacking about three tons of food, fuel, and supplies.

Four Commercial Crew astronauts were suited up inside the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida overnight for their dry dress launch countdown. A few hours later, the Falcon 9 engines fired for 6 seconds as part of the pre-launch static fire test. SpaceX Crew-7 is slated to launch at 3:49 a.m. on Friday.

Crew-7 Commander Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA will lead Pilot Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency), and Mission Specialists Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos during their ride to the orbital lab. The quartet, inside the Endurance, will dock to the Harmony module’s space-facing port at 2:02 a.m. on Saturday beginning a six-month space research mission.

Back aboard the orbital outpost on Tuesday, the seven crewmates from the U.S., UAE (United Arab Emirates), and Russia stayed focused on microgravity research and lab maintenance.

NASA Flight Engineers Frank Rubio and Stephen Bowen swapped out hardware inside the Fluids Integrated Rack for a boiling and condensation study that may improve thermal systems on Earth and in space. Rubio earlier joined UAE astronaut Sultan Alneyadi organizing cargo inside the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter. Bowen began his day cleaning crew quarters ventilation systems and checking airflow sensors. Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg of NASA also assisted with the Cygnus work before configuring the Tranquility module’s Bishop airlock ahead of its depressurization.

Prokopyev attached sensors to himself for a long-running Roscosmos heart study during the morning. He later joined Petelin for ultrasound scans to observe how the digestive system adapts to weightlessness. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev worked on orbital plumbing tasks inside the Nauka science module.

At the end of the day, Fedyaev joined Bowen, Hoburg, and Alneyadi to prepare for their upcoming departure on Sept. 1 inside the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft and splashdown off the coast of Florida about 24 hours later. The quartet called down to ground specialists and discussed spacecraft operations during their return to Earth.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Station Kicks Off Week Prepping for Cargo and Crew Missions

The four SpaceX Crew-7 members pose for a portrait in their pressure suits. From left are, Jasmin Moghbeli, Andreas Mogensen, Satoshi Furukawa, and Konstantin Borisov. Credit: SpaceX
The four SpaceX Crew-7 members pose for a portrait in their pressure suits. From left are, Jasmin Moghbeli, Andreas Mogensen, Satoshi Furukawa, and Konstantin Borisov. Credit: SpaceX

The Expedition 69 crew is gearing up for cargo and crew vehicles headed to the International Space Station this week. The seven orbital residents are also continuing critical space research while preparing for September’s crew departure activities.

An extra port on the orbital outpost is open following the departure of the Roscosmos Progress 83 cargo craft on Sunday. It will be replaced by the Roscosmos Progress 85 cargo craft after it launches at 9:08 p.m. EDT on Tuesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Progress 85 will dock at 11:50 p.m. on Thursday to the port left vacant by the Progress 83 on the aft end of the Zvezda service module.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev joined Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin on Monday training for the 85P’s arrival. The duo from Roscosmos practiced using the telerobotically operated rendezvous unit, or TORU, located in Zvezda. A cosmonaut would use the TORU to remotely control an arriving spacecraft in the unlikely event the approaching vehicle was unable to automatically dock.

Four Commercial Crew members are at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center counting down to their launch to the orbital lab at 3:49 a.m. EDT on Friday. NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli will command SpaceX Crew-7 Pilot Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency), and Mission Specialists Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos during their ride to the orbital lab. The quartet, inside the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft, will dock to the Harmony module’s space-facing port at 2:02 a.m. on Saturday.

One week after the arrival of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission, four Expedition 69 crewmates will return to Earth aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft. NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen will lead Woody Hoburg of NASA, Sultan Alneyadi of UAE (United Arab Emirates), and Andrey Fedyaev of Roscosmos when they undock from Harmony’s forward port in Endeavour on Sept. 1 and splash down off the coast of Florida about 24 hours later.

The soon-to-be departing quartet reviewed their departure activities and Dragon deorbit procedures on computer tablets at the end of the day on Monday. Bowen, Hoburg, and Alneyadi also tried on specialized garments, also known as orthostatic intolerance garments, that will help their bodies re-adapt to Earth’s gravity shortly after returning. The foursome launched to the station as the SpaceX Crew-6 mission on March 2, docked the following day, entered the station, and became Expedition 68-69 flight engineers.

Petelin and Fedyaev tested their own version of a suit, called the lower body negative pressure suit, that helps crew members readjust to Earth’s gravity environment. The cosmonauts are evaluating the unique suit for its potential to redistribute fluids that have pooled in the upper body, due to microgravity, toward the lower body.

Even amid the upcoming mission activities, microgravity science was underway aboard the orbital lab. NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio worked on science hardware throughout Monday, first reconfiguring the Cell Biology Experiment Facility, a biology research incubator. Afterward, he swapped out more graphene aerogel samples in the Microgravity Science Glovebox for a space manufacturing study. Alneyadi set up the Neuronix gene therapy study in the Life Science Glovebox to begin exploring potential therapies for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Astronauts Relax Before Space Delivery, Cosmonauts Prep for Spacewalk

Northrop Grumman's Antares rocket with the Cygnus cargo craft atop launches on time from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Credit: NASA/Patrick Black
Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket with the Cygnus cargo craft atop launches on time from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Credit: NASA/Patrick Black

Expedition 69 is awaiting an orbiting U.S. cargo craft carrying over 8,200 pounds of science and supplies for delivery on Friday. The International Space Station’s residents split their day on Wednesday as four astronauts took the day off while three cosmonauts prepared for a spacewalk next week.

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter is orbiting Earth racing towards the orbital lab after its successful launch from Virginia at 8:31 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. NASA Flight Engineers Woody Hoburg and Frank Rubio will be on duty Friday morning when Cygnus begins its slow, methodical arrival for capture. Hoburg will command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to reach out and grapple Cygnus at 5:55 a.m. after its final approach on Friday. Rubio will back up Hoburg monitoring Cygnus and its telemetry as it nears the space station.

Mission controllers on the ground will remotely take control of the Canadarm2 after Cygnus’ capture and install it to the Unity module’s Earth-facing port about two hours later.  Cygnus is scheduled to end its stay at the orbital lab at the end of October.

Both astronauts along with NASA Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen and UAE (United Arab Emirates) Flight Engineer Sultan Alneyadi relaxed Wednesday setting some time aside for their daily workouts. The quartet will get back to work on Thursday with a research schedule filled with life science, materials physics, and robotics. The foursome will have one more Cygnus conference with mission controllers on the ground, then get a good night’s sleep before beginning a full day of cargo activities.

Next week, two cosmonauts are scheduled to begin the year’s tenth spacewalk. Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin are due to exit the Poisk airlock on Aug. 9 to install micrometeoroid orbital debris shields and relocate hardware. The duo spent Wednesday reviewing the upcoming spacewalk procedures and configuring their Orlan spacesuits.

Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev worked Wednesday photographing the condition of Earth’s forests using a high-power camera. The first-time space flyer, who also joined Prokopyev and Petelin for the spacewalk review, will be in the Nauka science module at the controls of the European robotic arm assisting the spacewalkers next week.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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