An uncrewed Russian Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft is now a safe distance away from the International Space Station following an abort during its final approach for a docking to the Poisk module.
After the cosmonauts on the station aborted an automated docking attempt early Saturday, Russian flight controllers told the crew on the station that early data indicates the issue that prevented its automated docking resides on the station’s side of the so-called KURS automated rendezvous system, not on the Soyuz itself.
The Soyuz is on a safe trajectory above and behind the space station that will bring it in the vicinity of the orbital complex again in 24 hours and 48 hours. Russian flight controllers have indicated the next earliest docking attempt could be Monday morning.
In the meantime, Russian controllers informed Expedition 60 commander Alexey Ovchinin and flight engineer Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos they will send instructions to swap the signal amplifier of the station’s KURS docking system and test it before proceeding with another docking attempt.
The Soyuz launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 11:38 p.m. EDT (8:38 a.m. Aug. 22 Baikonur time) on a test flight to validate the spacecraft’s compatibility with a revamped Soyuz booster rocket.
At 1:36 a.m. EDT, Russian cosmonauts issued a command to abort the automated approach of an uncrewed Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station after the craft was unable to lock onto its target at the station’s space-facing Poisk module.
The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 11:38 p.m. EDT (8:38 a.m. Aug. 22 Baikonur time) on a test flight. It made 34 orbits of Earth en route to its anticipated docking to the station.
Following the abort, the spacecraft backed a safe distance away from the orbital complex while the Russian flight controllers assess the next steps.
The Expedition 60 crew is continuing ongoing space science today and packing a U.S. resupply ship for departure next week. Russia’s first unpiloted Soyuz spacecraft is also on its way to the International Space Station where it will dock early Saturday morning.
Ground controllers will remotely command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to detach Dragon from the Harmony module before releasing it into orbit on Tuesday at 10:42 a.m. EDT. SpaceX personnel will retrieve Dragon from the Pacific Ocean after its splashdown off the coast of southern California a few hours later. NASA TV begins its live broadcast of Dragon’s departure on Tuesday at 10:15 a.m.
A multitude of space experiments is continuing aboard the orbiting lab today. Hague explored how moss grows in microgravity to inform self-sustaining human missions to the Moon and Mars. Koch serviced 3D printed tissue samples for a study investigating printing human organs in space. Parmitano researched cell differentiation to help doctors design medical therapies for humans on Earth and in space. Finally, Morgan collected and spun his blood samples in a centrifuge before stowing them in a science freezer for analysis.
The two cosmonauts, Alexey Ovchinin and Alexander Skvortsov, will be up early Saturday several hours before the rest of their crewmates. They will be monitoring the automated arrival of the Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft set to dock to the Poisk module at 1:31 a.m. EDT Saturday. It will stay there for two weeks before undocking and parachuting to a landing in Kazakhstan with no crew onboard Sept. 6.
Russia’s uncrewed Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station following its launch just a few hours after Wednesday’s spacewalk. The Expedition 60 crew is back on a full science schedule today and preparing to send a U.S. cargo craft back to Earth.
NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan called down to Mission Control today to discuss yesterday’s spacewalk when they installed the station’s second commercial crew vehicle docking port, the International Docking Adapter-3. The duo, including NASA Flight Engineer Christina Koch, talked about normal technical issues and task challenges they faced before, during and after the spacewalking job.
Koch spent most of Thursday tending to lab mice living aboard the station. Scientists seek therapeutic insights not possible on Earth by observing the rodents due to their genetic similarity to humans.
Morgan is preparing the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft for its return to Earth next week. The crew will be packing Dragon over the weekend and into Monday with the results of numerous space experiments for analysis. Robotics controllers will command the Canadarm2 to release Dragon from its grips on Tuesday at 10:42 a.m. EDT. It will splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California a few hours later for retrieval by SpaceX personnel.
The first unpiloted Soyuz spacecraft launched yesterday from Kazakhstan about nine hours after Hague and Morgan completed their spacewalk. The Soyuz MS-14 is orbiting Earth today headed toward the station following a successful 2.1a booster test during its ascent. Commander Alexey Ovchinin and Flight Engineer Alexander Skvortsov will monitor its automated approach and rendezvous when it docks Saturday to the Poisk module at 1:31 a.m. EDT.
The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft launched at 11:38 p.m. EDT (8:38 a.m. Aug. 22 Baikonur time) from Site 31 at the Cosmodrome on a Soyuz 2.1a booster, which has been used recently to launch uncrewed Russian Progress cargo resupply missions to the space station.
The Soyuz 2.1a booster, equipped with a new digital flight control system and upgraded engines, is replacing the Soyuz FG booster that has been used for decades to launch crews into space. The Soyuz spacecraft will have an upgraded motion control and navigation system, as well as a revamped descent control system.
Instead of crew members, the Soyuz will carry 1,450 pounds of cargo to the Expedition 60 crew currently residing on the orbital outpost.
The Soyuz will navigate to station for an automated docking on the space-facing Poisk module on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 1:30 a.m. After a two-week stay at the station, the Soyuz will be commanded to undock from the station on Friday, Sept. 6, at 2:13 p.m.
NASA TV coverage of the docking, and undocking activities is as follows:
Saturday, Aug. 24:
12:45 a.m. – Docking coverage (docking scheduled for 1:30 a.m.)
Friday, Sept. 6:
1:45 p.m. – Undocking coverage (undocking scheduled for 2:13 p.m.)
An uncrewed Russian Soyuz spacecraft is set to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 11:38 p.m. EDT (8:38 a.m. Aug. 22 Baikonur time) on a test flight to validate the spacecraft’s compatibility with a revamped Soyuz booster rocket. The booster will be used to transport crews to the International Space Station beginning in spring 2020.
Live coverage of the launch, docking and undocking of the spacecraft is underway on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan concluded today’s spacewalk at 2:59 p.m. EDT. During the six-hour and 32-minute spacewalk, the two astronauts successfully installed the second of two international docking adapters (IDAs).
The IDAs will be used for the future arrivals of Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon commercial crew spacecraft. NASA’s commercial crew partnership with Boeing and SpaceX will restore launches of American astronauts from American soil on American rockets and maximize the time U.S. crews can dedicate to scientific research and technological advances aboard the orbiting laboratory to enable the agency’s ambitious goals for the Artemis lunar exploration program and future missions to the Moon and Mars. Regular human space transportation to the space station is a critical step to opening the space station for commercial business to enable the growth of the U.S. commercial space sector and the development of a robust low-Earth orbit economy.
The spacewalkers also completed additional routing for the station’s wireless internet.
Space station crew members have spent a total of 56 days, 23 hours, and 26 minutes during 218 spacewalks in support of station assembly, maintenance and upgrades. It was the fifth spacewalk in 2019, and the first for Morgan. During three spacewalks, Hague has now spent a total of 19 hours and 59 minutes outside the space station.
NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan switched their spacesuits to battery power this morning at 8:27 a.m. EDT aboard the International Space Station to begin a spacewalk planned to last about six-and-a-half hours. The two flight engineers will install the second of two international docking adapters (IDAs) that will enable future arrivals of Boeing and SpaceX commercial crew spacecraft.
NASA Television coverage of today’s spacewalk is ongoing and available on the agency’s website.
Hague is designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), his helmet camera is #11, and he is wearing the spacesuit with a red stripe. Morgan will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), his helmet camera is #18, and he is wearing the suit with no stripes.
The docking adapter arrived to the space station July 27 on a SpaceX Dragon cargo resupply spacecraft. On Monday, ground controllers used the Canadarm2 robotic arm, and its attached “Dextre” Special Dexterous Manipulator, to extract the IDA from the trunk of Dragon and position it just 2 feet away from Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA) located on the space-facing side of the station’s Harmony module. Once the IDA is moved to a surface to surface contact with the PMA, Hague and Morgan will begin work to hook up tethers in advance of NASA astronaut Christina Koch sending commands to close the hooks between the two docking ports. Once the hooks are closed, Hague and Morgan will press ahead to route and connect power and data lines for future use of the IDA.
The spacewalk is the 218th in support of station assembly, maintenance and upgrades and the fifth outside the station this year. It will be the third spacewalk for Hague and the first for Morgan.
NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan, assigned as flight engineers for Expedition 60 aboard the International Space Station, will begin a planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk from inside the Quest airlock about 8:20 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21. Live NASA Television coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m. The duo will assist in the installation of International Docking Adapter-3 (IDA-3) to Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 on the space-facing side of the station’s Harmony module.
NASA experts provided an overview of the spacewalk activities in a preview briefing Friday, Aug. 16.
IDA-3 will provide a second docking port to the International Space Station to accommodate the future arrivals of Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon commercial crew spacecraft. The docking port was launched to the station last month on a SpaceX Dragon on the company’s 18th commercial cargo resupply services mission to the station. IDA-2 was installed to the forward end of the Harmony module in the summer of 2016.
NASA’s commercial crew partnership with Boeing and SpaceX will restore launches of American astronauts from American soil on American rockets and maximize the time U.S. crews can dedicate to scientific research and technological advances aboard the orbiting laboratory to enable the agency’s ambitious goals for the Artemis lunar exploration program and future missions to the Moon and Mars. Regular human space transportation to the space station is a critical step to opening the space station for commercial business to enable the growth of the U.S. commercial space sector and the development of a robust low-Earth orbit economy.
A new commercial crew docking port is in position on the International Space Station ready for installation during Wednesday’s spacewalk. Russia is also counting down to the launch of an unpiloted Soyuz spacecraft to the orbiting lab just a few hours after tomorrow’s spacewalk.
Spacewalkers Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan will set their spacesuits to battery power Wednesday at 8:20 a.m. EDT and exit the Quest airlock to finish installing the IDA-3. The duo will spend about six and a half hours routing cables and configuring the station’s second Boeing and SpaceX crew vehicle docking port. NASA TV is broadcasting live the spacewalk starting Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. See an animation of their planned activities.
Commander Alexey Ovchinin with Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Luca Parmitano familiarized themselves with tomorrow’s spacewalk procedures. Koch also prepared Hague and Andrew’s installation tools and set up the IDA-3 control panel.
Parmitano moved on and continued researching cell differentiation for the Micro-15 investigation. Afterward, he photographed biofilm samples in the Kubik incubator for the BioRock space mining study that explores how microbes interact with rocks.
The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft is standing at its launch pad in Kazakhstan preparing for a liftoff just a few hours after Hague and Morgan finish their spacewalk. The unpiloted vehicle will blast off Wednesday at 11:38 p.m. EDT and test its 2.1a booster segment during ascent. The Soyuz spacecraft will automatically dock to the station’s Poisk module on Saturday at 1:30 a.m.