Monthly Archives: March 2015

Wilmore Hands Over Station Command to Virts

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Expedition 42 Change of Command

Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore (right foreground) hands over station command to NASA astronaut Terry Virts. Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore handed over control of the International Space Station to NASA astronaut Terry Virts in a Change of Command Ceremony today. Virts will lead Expedition 43 when Wilmore and Soyuz Commander Alexander Samokutyaev and Flight Engineer Elena Serova undock Wednesday at 6:44 p.m. EDT in their Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft.

› Check out the NASA TV of Expedition 42 undocking activities

Back on Earth, a new Expedition 43 trio is relaxing as they count down to their March 27 launch. Riding with Soyuz TMA-16M Commander Gennady Padalka are One-Year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko who will live in space until March 2016. Padalka will stay in space till September.

Meanwhile inside the station, Virts continues installing cables so future commercial crew vehicles can communicate with a pair of International Docking Adapters to be installed later this year. He and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Samantha Cristoforetti also reviewed their emergency roles and responsibilities and practiced communication and coordination.

Homebound Trio Packing Up Before Tuesday’s Change of Command

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Earth View with Solar Array and Radiator

ISS042E292504 (03/01/2015) — U.S. astronaut Terry Virts observed this scene from the International Space Station on Mar. 1, 2015. He sent this image via Twitter with the remark, “The camera doesn’t do it justice – floating in space, looking down on creation, seeing new color shades”.

Expedition 42 crew members Barry Wilmore, Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova are two days away from ending their stay aboard the International Space Station. The trio is packing gear and cleaning crew quarters as they prepare to undock in their Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft Wednesday at 6:44 p.m. EDT and land in Kazakhstan at 10:07 p.m.

› Check out the live NASA TV coverage schedule of Expedition 42 undocking activities

Wilmore, the commander of Expedition 42, will handover control of the orbital laboratory Tuesday to NASA astronaut Terry Virts who will command Expedition 43. The Change of Command Ceremony will take place live on NASA TV at 10:25 a.m.

Meanwhile, advanced microgravity science and laboratory maintenance is ongoing aboard the space station. Among the experiments, the crew studied body size and shape in space for suit sizing and looked at airway inflammation in astronauts. Ethernet cables were also installed in the Harmony module that will enable future commercial crew vehicles to communicate with a pair of upcoming International Docking Adapters.

› Read more about the Body Measures experiment
› Read more about the Airway Monitoring study

Science and Microbe Checks as Expedition 42 Trio Preps for Departure

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Scott Kelly, Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, left, and cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos are in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow as part of traditional pre-launch ceremonies, Friday, March 6, 2015. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Astronauts Terry Virts and Samantha Cristoforetti were in the U.S. Quest airlock conducting airflow monitor tests, measurements and calibrations. The tests were part of the Airway Monitoring experiment that is looking for possible indicators of airway inflammation in astronauts during spaceflight.

› Read more about the Airway Monitoring experiment

Their crewmate Anton Shkaplerov worked in the Zarya cargo module sampling equipment surfaces for microbial analysis. He also photographed the condition of the surfaces inside the Zarya module.

Their homebound crewmates Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore, Soyuz TMA-14M Commander Alexander Samokutyaev and Flight Engineer Elena Serova practiced a Soyuz descent drill ahead of their March 11 departure and landing in Kazakhstan.

The next trio of space station to crewmates to launch to the International Space Station conducted a news conference Friday then laid flowers at the Kremlin Wall at the Red Square in Moscow. One Year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko along with Soyuz TMA-16M Commander Gennady Padalka are set to launch March 27 to join their Expedition 43 crewmates.

Cubesat Deployment Compete; One-Year Crew Preps for Launch

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Kornienko, Padalka and Kelly

(From left) Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka and NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly pose for a photograph outside a Soyuz simulator during the second day of qualification exams at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Expedition 42 crew completed the deployment of numerous nanosatellites while also preparing for the departure of a Soyuz crew. The six-member crew also worked on advanced microgravity research and the upkeep of their orbital laboratory and home.

The final pair of Cubesats was deployed overnight completing the launch of a total of 16 nanosatellites from outside the Kibo lab module. The Cubesats were launched from the International Space Station to perform a variety of research.

Commander Barry Wilmore and his Soyuz crewmates Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova are counting down to their departure March 11. Staying behind will be new Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts and Flight Engineers Samantha Cristoforetti and Anton Shkaplerov.

They will be waiting for new Expedition 43 crew mates Scott Kelly, Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka who are scheduled to lift off March 27. Kelly and Kornienko are in Star City, Russia, completing final mission preparations and will stay aboard the station until March 2016.

Expedition 42 Gets Ready for Crew Swap

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Expedition 42 Crew Patch

ISS042-S-001 (April 2013)— The rectangular-shaped design portrays the International Space Station orbiting planet Earth with its solar array wings spread wide. Facing the sun with the lower left outboard solar array feathered, the left array portrays a prominent number “4” and the fully deployed arrays on the right form the Roman numeral version of “2,” which signifies the two increment crews which, together, comprise the six-member international Expedition “42” crew. The crew and all supporting personnel around the world are also represented by the six stars adorning the sky around the complex.

Soyuz TMA-14M Commander Alexander Samokutyaev and Flight Engineer Elena Serova are counting to their departure March 11 with Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore. The two cosmonauts trained on Soyuz descent procedures and checked out emergency communications gear. Wilmore also prepared for his departure and began packing gear for the return home.

Meanwhile, One-Year crew members NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are in Star City, Russia, getting ready for final qualification exams in the Soyuz trainer. They are at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center preparing for their launch aboard a Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft March 27 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The veteran space duo will take a six-hour, four-orbit ride to the International Space Station where they will live and work until March 2016.

One-Year Crew Patch

JSC2014-E-077266 (July 2014) — This patch represents the historic one-year expedition to the International Space Station, spanning Increments 43 through 46. The ISS, an orbiting laboratory above the Earth, provides a unique environment in which to study the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body. This one-year mission will pave the way for future pursuits in space exploration of humankind on longer journeys to farther destinations.

Spacesuit Cleanup Work as Soyuz Crew Preps for Departure

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Soyuz 40 Crew Members

JSC2014-E-079951 (19 June 2014) — NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore (left), Expedition 41 flight engineer and Expedition 42 commander; Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova, both Expedition 41/42 flight engineers, attired in Russian Sokol launch and entry suits, take a break from training in Star City, Russia to pose for a portrait. Photo credit: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center

As a pair of astronauts cleans up their spacesuits after completing a set of spacewalks, more nanosatellites were deployed from Japan’s Kibo lab module. The International Space Station also raised its orbit Tuesday morning to set the stage for the upcoming crew departure.

Astronauts Barry WiImore and Terry Virts scrubbed the cooling loops inside the spacesuits after their third and final spacewalk on Sunday. They also sampled the water from the loops and talked about their experiences with spacewalk experts on the ground.

Wilmore is also getting ready to return home March 11 with Soyuz crewmates Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova. Samokutyaev and Serova spent Tuesday getting their Soyuz spacecraft ready for next week’s undocking and packing gear for the return home.

Dovesat Nanorack

One of four Dovesat NanoRacks satellites is seen launching from the deployer mechanism outside the Kibo laboratory. Credit: NASA TV

Virts and Wilmore Complete Spacewalk Trilogy

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Spacewalker Terry Virts

Spacewalker Terry Virts works outside the Quest airlock. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Barry Wilmore ended their spacewalk at 12:30 p.m. EST with the repressurization of the Quest airlock. Virts and Wilmore completed installing 400 feet of cable and several antennas associated with the Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles system known as C2V2. Boeing’s Crew Transportation System (CST)-100 and the SpaceX Crew Dragon will use the system in the coming years to rendezvous with the orbital laboratory and deliver crews to the space station. They completed one additional task to retrieve a bag to cover equipment on the outside of the station.

The 5-hour, 38-minute spacewalk was the third for Virts and the fourth for Wilmore. Virts has now spent 19 hours and 2 minutes outside during his three spacewalks. Wilmore now has spent 25 hours and 36 minutes in the void of space during his four excursions.

Crews have now spent a total of 1,171 hours and 29 minutes conducting space station assembly and maintenance during 187 spacewalks.

 

Spacewalkers Install C2V2 Cables

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Spacewalker Terry Virts

Spacewalker Terry Virts works on the Port 3 Truss to route cables. Credit: NASA TV

Approximately three hours into today’s spacewalk, NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Barry Wilmore have installed cables for the Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles (C2V2) system and completed tasks along the port side of the space station’s truss. To complete the system’s installation, they will route the remaining cables along the starboard side.

They are about an hour ahead of the timeline. Both astronauts continue to report that their spacesuits are functioning perfectly.

Watch the spacewalk at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Virts and Wilmore Install Booms and Antennas

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Astronaut Terry Virts

Astronaut Terry Virts completes boom and antenna installation work on the Port 3 Truss. Credit: NASA TV

Approximately one hour into today’s spacewalk, NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Barry Wilmore each installed a boom with two antennas for the Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles (C2V2) system. Virts worked on the port side while Wilmore put the starboard side boom and antennas in place. They are running slightly ahead of the timeline.

Next they will work together to connect the C2V2 to GPS and antenna systems aboard the space station. Then they will spend the remainder of the spacewalk installing 400 feet of cable for the system along the truss of the space station.

Both astronauts have reported dry conditions inside their spacesuits during periodic checks with ground controllers.

Watch the spacewalk at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Virts and Wilmore Start Third Spacewalk

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Spacewalkers Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov assist spacewalkers Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts before they begin their mission’s third spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Barry Wilmore switched their spacesuits to battery power at 6:52 a.m. EST, signifying the start of today’s planned 6-hour, 45-minute spacewalk.

Virts is wearing a spacesuit with red stripes and is designated EV1. His helmet camera displays the number 20. Wilmore is wearing a spacesuit with no stripes and is designated EV2. His helmet camera displays the number 18. This is third spacewalk for Virts and the fourth for Wilmore.

Virts and Wilmore will install 400 feet of cable along the space station’s truss and other equipment associated with the Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles (C2V2). The system will be used by crewed commercial spacecraft to rendezvous with the space station in the coming years.

NASA Television is broadcasting the spacewalk at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

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