A veteran cosmonaut will soon lead two Russian spaceflight participants on a ride through Earth’s atmosphere to a parachuted landing in Kazakhstan this weekend. Meanwhile, the rest of the Expedition 65 crew stayed focused on a multitude of science, cargo, and maintenance activities throughout Thursday.
Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy will complete his third station mission when he undocks from the Nauka multipurpose laboratory on Saturday at 9:14 p.m. EDT inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship. He, with the station’s two filmmaking guests Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko riding alongside him, will touchdown on the Kazakh steppe on Sunday at 12:36 a.m. (10:36 a.m. Kazakh time).
Novitskiy has been packing the Soyuz spacecraft for several days with station hardware, science samples and personal items. He has also been practicing Soyuz descent techniques and training for the departure maneuvers on a Russian computer. The three-time station resident, with assistance from cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov, has also been testing a specialized suit, the lower body negative pressure suit, that may help his body adjust quickly to Earth’s gravity after 191 days in space.
The station’s three NASA flight engineers had their hands full today with a host of research and lab upkeep activities in the orbiting lab’s U.S. segment. Megan McArthur swapped fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack then performed simulated robotic tasks for a cognition test. Shane Kimbrough had some light plumbing duties during the morning before continuing cargo work inside the Cygnus space freighter. Mark Vande Hei, who is staying on the station for nearly a year, filmed a video about safety in space for students on Earth then worked on life support and networking gear.
The two international astronauts, Thomas Pesquet and Akihiko Hoshide, spent some time in their respective modules, Europe’s Columbus laboratory and Japan’s Kibo laboratory, ensuring smooth lab operations. Pesquet, of ESA (European Space Agency), serviced a variety of science freezers inside Columbus. Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) reorganized stowage space inside Kibo making room for new science gear soon to be delivered on the next SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission.
Over in the station’s Russian segment, Roscosmos Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov worked on an exercise study and dismantled a radiation detector. Dubrov downloaded and checked radiation data then configured radiation sensors, or dosimeters.
Exercising wearing virtual reality goggles, replacing spacesuit components, and getting ready for this weekend’s crew departure were the main objectives for the Expedition 65 crew today. The residents aboard the International Space Station also juggled ongoing research and maintenance tasks amidst Russian filmmaking activities.
Daily exercise in microgravity is vital to maintain bone and muscle health in the weightless environment of the orbiting lab. Scientists are studying whether virtual reality may add an extra dimension of pleasure and satisfaction for a crew member during an exercise session in space. Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) put on a virtual reality headset and strapped himself on to an exercise bike Wednesday morning for the Immersive Exercise study. The virtual reality sequence, including audio, is synchronized with the pedaling speed to increase the immersive sensation.
Pesquet then spent the afternoon with NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough working on a U.S. spacesuit. The duo swapped components to resize the spacesuit and checked out the suit’s communications gear.
Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy is preparing for his return to Earth this weekend inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship. Joining him for this morning’s Soyuz descent training session were Russian spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko. Novitskiy will lead the duo aboard the Soyuz to a parachuted landing in Kazakhstan on Sunday at 12:36 a.m. EDT (10:36 a.m. Kazakh time).
Veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov spent Wednesday morning studying future spacecraft piloting and robotic techniques. First time space-flyer Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos photographed Shkaplerov during the session. The duo, including Novitskiy, then spent the afternoon on filmmaking activities with their two Russian space station guests.
The Expedition 65 crew kicked off the work week with robotics research, combustion, and life science as the International Space Station orbits a little higher today. Three Russian orbital residents are also preparing for their return to Earth this weekend.
NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough worked in the NanoRacks Bishop airlock today installing cameras, work lights and the new GITAI robotic arm technology demonstration. The GITAI tech demo will test the small robotic arm’s ability to push buttons, flip switches, and plug and unplug cables inside the station saving the crew time.
Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) spent most of the day servicing laptop computers and swapping out science hardware in the Columbus laboratory module. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei had a light duty day as well as conducted a ham radio pass with students from England.
The return to Earth of Roscosmos Flight Engineer Oleg Novitskiy and spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko is still on track for Oct. 17 just after midnight Eastern time. The trio will undock from the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan on Sunday at 12:36 a.m. EDT (10:36 a.m. Kazakh time).
Novitskiy continued packing the Soyuz MS-18 then joined cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov and tested the lower body negative pressure suit that may help crew members adjust to gravity after returning to Earth. Veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov studied how microgravity affects the circulatory system before moving on to filmmaking activities with the other two cosmonauts and the two spaceflight participants.
The space station’s Zvezda service module fired it engines for 39 seconds early Tuesday morning lifting the station’s orbit by just over half-a-mile. The orbital reboost readies the station for December’s planned approach and rendezvous of the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship with one Russian cosmonaut and two Japanese spaceflight participants.
The Expedition 65 crew focused on a variety of advanced housekeeping activities today aboard the International Space Station. There was also time for robotics research, crew departure preparations, and filmmaking activities.
Five station astronauts had their hands full on Friday working on everything from electronics, cleaning, plumbing, and setting up temporary crew quarters. Some of the crewmates also had time to continue ongoing research, which is the main mission of the orbiting lab.
McArthur also turned on an Astrobee robotic free-flyer and tested its maneuvering abilities using a perching arm. Kimbrough removed a science freezer from the Cygnus space freighter and installed it in the Kibo lab. Vande Hei called down to NASA nutritionists and discussed his views about the station’s food menu.
All three cosmonauts also participated in filmmaking activities in the station’s Russian segment with spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko. The two space station guests will return to Earth on Oct. 16 with Novitskiy as he leads the pair to a parachute landing in Kazakhstan inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship.
The Expedition 65 crew had a busy day on Thursday with eye checks, space science, and Soyuz crew departure preparations on the schedule. The 10 residents aboard the International Space Station also joined each other in the afternoon to review emergency procedures.
NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Shane Kimbrough swapped roles as crew medical officer today during a series of eye exams. Vande Hei kicked off the first session Thursday morning using an ultrasound device scanning the eyes of fellow astronauts Kimbrough, Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Akihiko Hoshide, and Commander Thomas Pesquet. Kimbrough took charge in the afternoon measuring fluid pressure in his crewmates eyes then using near-infrared imaging gear to examine their retinas.
Veteran cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Anton Shkaplerov checked computers and electronics gear inside the docked Soyuz MS-18 and Soyuz MS-19 crew ships. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov joined Novitskiy and Shkaplerov and also assisted the two spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko with their filmmaking activities today.
Novitskiy will command the Soyuz MS-18 back to Earth in just over a week with the two filmmakers. Shkaplerov will complete his mission at the end of March next year inside the Soyuz MS-19 leading Vande Hei and Dubrov back home after their near year-long mission.
All 10 residents aboard the station joined each other for an hourlong session in the afternoon to review their roles and responsibilities in the unlikely event of an emergency on the station. They located safety gear, ensured the crew vehicles were ready for an evacuation, and practiced communication and coordination with mission control centers around the world.
Ten people are living and working aboard the International Space Station today following the arrival of three Russian crewmates on Tuesday morning. The five astronauts, three cosmonauts, and two spaceflight participants will work together on science, maintenance, and filmmaking activities until the departure of the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship on Oct. 16.
The other two NASA Flight Engineers, Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, assisted Vande Hei with cargo work inside Cygnus which has been attached to the Harmony module since August. McArthur also serviced a variety of hardware throughout the day including a cordless vacuum cleaner, science rack light bulbs and a carbon dioxide monitor. Kimbrough worked on, then activated and checked out the Tranquility module’s treadmill.
Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency was in the cupola during the morning photographing tiny satellites deployed outside the Kibo laboratory module. The Japanese astronaut, who swapped station command with Pesquet on Monday, also assisted McArthur with the vacuum work then moved on to ventilation work inside Tranquility.
Four-time station visitor Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos got right to work Wednesday following his three-and-half ride to the orbiting lab on Tuesday. He unpacked cargo delivered aboard the new Soyuz MS-19 crew ship and worked on video gear and a Russian science experiment with fellow cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy. Novitskiy then began collecting station hardware for return to Earth inside the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft.
Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov worked on water transfers from the docked ISS Progress 78 resupply ship then moved on to hardware checks inside the Rassvet module. Dubrov also helped the new spaceflight participants, Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko, adapt to life on the station as the pair begin several days of movie filming work.
The hatches between the International Space Station and the newly arrived Soyuz spacecraft officially opened at 11 a.m. EDT. The arrival of three new crew members to the existing seven people already aboard for Expedition 65 temporarily increases the station’s population to 10.
This is the fourth flight into space for Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov. Actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko are making their first flights into space and will spend 12 days on the space station, filming segments for a movie titled “Challenge” under a commercial agreement between Roscosmos and Moscow-based media entities.
Peresild and Shipenko will return to Earth with Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy Oct. 16 (Oct. 17 Kazakhstan time) on the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft, which is currently docked at the space station, for a parachute-assisted landing on the Kazakh steppe. Shkaplerov will remain aboard the station through next March, returning with NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, and Roscosmos cosmonaut and Pyotr Dubrov on the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft. The return of Vande Hei and Dubrov will mark the end of a 355-day mission. Vande Hei will have completed the longest single spaceflight by an astronaut in U.S. history.
The Soyuz spacecraft carrying Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko docked to the International Space Station at 8:22 a.m. EDT while both spacecraft were flying about 260 miles above Earth to the north of the Philippine islands.
When the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened following standard pressurization and leak checks, the trio will join Expedition 65 Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov.
Watch the hatch opening on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app beginning at 9:30 a.m. for hatch opening targeted for about 10 a.m.
Nearly nine minutes after a successful launch at 4:55 a.m. EDT of the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko safely reached orbit. They have begun a two-orbit, three-hour flight to reach the International Space Station and join the Expedition 65 crew. At the time of launch, the station was flying about 260 miles over southwest Kazakhstan.
The spacecraft’s docking to the station’s Rassvet module is expected to take place at 8:12 a.m., with NASA TV coverage on the agency’s website, and the NASA app beginning at 7:30 a.m.
About two hours after docking, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open. The trio will then join Expedition 65 Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. Coverage of the hatch opening will begin at 9:30 a.m.
Live launch coverage is underway on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app for the targeted lift off at 4:55 a.m. EDT (1:55 p.m. Baikonur time).
Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko will the launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station, where they will film segments for a movie. The launch will mark the expansion of commercial space opportunities to include feature filmmaking.