Monthly Archives: April 2015

Progress 59 Update Apr. 30, 2015

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Progress 50P undocking

ISS036-E-024930 (25 July 2013) — The unpiloted Russian ISS Progress 50 (50P) resupply ship seen shortly after undocking. Progress is an unmanned cargo craft used to resupply the International Space Station.

Attempts by Russian ground controllers to regain control of the Progress have been unsuccessful, and they have said they will not be able to regain propulsive control of it. As a result, the Progress currently is expected to reenter Earth’s atmosphere within the next two weeks. Russian ballistics specialists, working in conjunction with flight controllers in Mission Control Houston and ESA, are continuing to track the vehicle’s path and will provide updates on its anticipated reentry date. The United States Air Force Joint Functional Component Command for Space’s Joint Space Operations Center is also tracking Progress, performing conjunction analysis, and providing warning of any potential collisions in space to ensure spaceflight safety. The break up and reentry of the Progress poses no threat to the ISS crew.

Robotic Refueling and More Today on Station

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Canadarm2 and Dextre

ISS041-E-049091 (30 Sept. 2014) — The International Space Station’s Canadarm2 and Dextre, also known as the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator (SPDM)

Station astronauts continued preparing for the next round of robotic refueling demonstrations while conducting various biomedical experiments and checkouts.

Expedition 43 commander Terry Virts worked with ground teams to prepare the airlock in the Japanese Experiment Module and extend the slide table carrying the new Robotic Refueling Mission-2 (RRM-2) hardware. Robotics controllers on the ground then used the Canadarm2 robotic arm to install the new task boards that will be used for the experiment. The objective of RRM-2 is to develop new technologies, tools and techniques that could eventually give satellite owners resources to diagnose problems on orbit and keep certain spacecraft instruments performing longer in space.

The crew is also engaging in the Cardio Ox experiment, the Space Aging study and the Body Measures experiment. More Rodent Research work took place, as the astronauts readied samples for return to Earth and checked out the rodents’ habitat.

Meanwhile, Russian ballistics specialists continue to work calculations to identify the most likely period for Progress 59’s entry back into the Earth’s atmosphere. The unmanned cargo craft experienced an unspecified problem shortly after separating from the third launch stage on April 28, resulting in the vehicle’s docking to the station being called off.

Science Continues on the International Space Station

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One-Year crew speaks to reporters

One-Year crew members Scott Kelly (left) and Mikhail Kornienko (right) took a few minutes out of their day to speak to media. Credit: NASA

The Expedition 43 crew continued their work on Wednesday with a variety of research and technology demonstration activities.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Terry Virts studied the effects of microgravity on living organisms for the Rodent Research experiment. They are looking at mice and how their body systems change in space. The results may promote the development of new drugs tackling the effects of aging and disease on Earth.

Meanwhile, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti continued operations with the Triplelux-A experiment and adjusted imaging equipment on the Electromagnetic Levitation study.

The crew was also notified in the morning that the planned docking of Progress 59 has been called off. Both the Russian and USOS segments of the station continue to operate normally and are adequately supplied well beyond the next planned resupply flight.

Russian flight controllers are continuing to assess the vehicle and what the plan going forward will be. More information will be provided as available.

 

Progress 59 Cargo Craft Updates

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Progress 47 at Pirs docking compartment.

ISS Progress 47 is shown docked at the International Space Station’s Pirs docking compartment prior to its departure Saturday, April 25.

UPDATE (4/29 9:50 a.m. EDT): Docking has been called off for the Progress 59 spacecraft. Russian flight controllers are continuing to assess the vehicle and what the plan going forward will be. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

UPDATE (4/28 11:00 p.m. EDT): Russian flight controllers are continuing attempts to communicate with and troubleshoot issues with the Russian Progress 59 cargo spacecraft as it makes additional passes tonight over Russian ground stations.

UPDATE (4/28 9:35 a.m. EDT): Russian flight controllers have continued to try and recover telemetry capability with the ISS Progress 59 cargo craft this morning. The most recent ground pass started at 9:20 a.m. EDT and flight controllers reported no change in the issues with receiving telemetry data from the unmanned craft. The Russian flight control team attempted to command the vehicle over four orbits flying over Russian ground sites with no success. The next series of ground station passes is expected to resume late Tuesday evening. Teams are standing down on the Thursday docking attempt while Russian teams continue to analyze data and develop a troubleshooting plan going forward.

UPDATE (4/28 8:15 a.m. EDT): Russian flight controllers are continuing to troubleshoot issues with the ISS Progress 59 cargo craft. The spacecraft made another pass over Russian ground stations and continued to experience telemetry problems regarding the deployment of navigational antennas and the pressurization of the manifolds in the propulsion system. Flight controllers also confirmed that the vehicle had entered into a slow spin and have issued commands to attempt to control it.
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Carrying more than 6,000 pounds of food, fuel, and supplies for the International Space Station crew, the unpiloted ISS Progress 59 cargo craft launched at 3:09 a.m. EDT (1:09 p.m. local time in Baikonur) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

However, Russian flight controllers initially could not confirm the health of the spacecraft’s systems and deployment of Kurs rendezvous and other navigational antennas. They selected the backup rendezvous plan with a targeted arrival Thursday for the cargo ship and its supplies for the  space station crew. The Progress spacecraft is in a safe preliminary orbit.

At the time of launch, the International Space Station was flying about 257 miles over northeast Kazakhstan near the Russian border, having flown over the launch site two and a half minutes before lift off.

As Progress passed over Russian ground stations, the Russian flight control team issued commands through the telemetry system onboard the spacecraft in an attempt to receive confirmation that navigation and rendezvous systems had deployed. But, due to sporadic telemetry  from Progress 59, inconclusive data, and trouble uplinking commands to the spacecraft, controllers were unable to confirm the status of the systems.

Flight controllers will continue to look at the telemetry system to determine the overall health of the spacecraft’s systems. Instead of a four-orbit, six-hour docking later this morning as originally planned, Progress now will make a two-day, 34-orbit rendezvous with the station. With the two-day rendezvous, the Russian cargo craft is scheduled to arrive at the space station at 5:03 a.m. Thursday. Russian flight controllers are continuing to work to establish a good link with the Progress as it approaches the space station.

Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts and his five crew mates continue to conduct a variety of microgravity experiments on board the space station as they await the arrival of Progress 59.

Russian Progress Spacecraft Launch Coverage

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Progress 59 on pad

The ISS Progress 59 cargo ship is seen here on the launch pad in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. It will launch at 3:09 a.m. EDT on Apr. 28 to carry more than three tons of supplies to the ISS. Credit: RSC Energia

On Tuesday, Apr. 28 at 2:45 a.m. EDT, NASA Television will provide live coverage of the launch of a Russian Progress spacecraft carrying more than three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the Expedition 43 crew aboard the International Space Station.

Launch of ISS Progress 59 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is planned for 3:09 a.m. (1:09 p.m. local time in Baikonur).

Watch the launch live on NASA TV or at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Following a four-orbit, six-hour trip, Progress 59 is scheduled to arrive at the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station at 9:07 a.m. It will remain docked to the station for about six months.

The Expedition 43 crew will monitor key events during Progress 59’s automated rendezvous and docking.

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Progress 59 on Twitter, follow @Space_Station and the hashtag #ISScargo. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect.

Crew Begins New Week With Focus on Biological Studies

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Nepal seen from the space station

Astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted this picture over the weekend as the station passed over Nepal which was struck by a major earthquake. Credit: @StationCDRKelly

The Expedition 43 crew kicked off a new week by focusing on a number of biological experiments.

The crew participated in the Sprint study which evaluates the use of high intensity, low volume exercise training to minimize loss of muscle, bone, and cardiovascular function in crew members during long-duration missions.

Crew members also took part in Ocular Health checkouts as scientists search to better understand the vision changes some astronauts experience during spaceflight. They also collected samples for the Microbiome experiment which investigates the impact of space travel on both the human immune system and an individual’s microbiome.

Station commander Terry Virts did some troubleshooting on the Japanese airlock in preparation for the upcoming Robotics Refueling Mission-2 (RRM-2) operations. RRM-2, a joint study between NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, investigates satellite repair and servicing techniques in space. Operators on the ground use the station’s special purpose dexterous manipulator, better known as Dextre, on the end of the Canadarm2, for fine robotics manipulation. Engineers are looking to determine whether it’s possible to refuel satellites and test electrical connections robotically.

Cargo Ship Undocks from Station

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ISS Progress 57

ISS042E101429 (01/05/2014) — This image, photographed by one of the Expedition 42 crew members aboard the International Space Station, shows the the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft on the left attached to the Rassvet module on the Earth-facing port of the Russian segment of the station that delivered Expedition 42 crewmembers Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Terry Virts of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency on Nov. 24, 2014 , and to the right, the unpiloted ISS Progress 57 cargo craft that is docked to the Pirs Docking Compartment and which arrived at the station a month earlier on Oct. 29, 2014.

The Russian ISS Progress 57 cargo spacecraft separated from the International Space Station at 2:41 a.m. EDT while the spacecraft were flying 257 miles above northwestern China.

After its departure, the spacecraft will move away from the orbiting laboratory to a safe location where it will remain until commanded to reenter Earth’s atmosphere Sunday morning, April 26. The intense heat of reentry will cause the vehicle to burn up over the Pacific Ocean.

The departure of the Progress 57 vehicle clears the Pirs docking port for the arrival of the new ISS Progress 59 cargo ship. It will launch to the station at 3:09 a.m. Tuesday morning, April 28, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a resupply mission to deliver another two tons of provisions for the station crew members.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/station

Station Crew Prepares for Cargo Ship Undocking

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ISS042E101429 (01/05/2014) --- This image, photographed by one of the Expedition 42 crew members aboard the International Space Station, shows the the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft on the left attached to the Rassvet module on the Earth-facing port of the Russian segment of the station that delivered Expedition 42 crewmembers Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Terry Virts of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency on Nov. 24, 2014 , and to the right, the unpiloted ISS Progress 57 cargo craft that is docked to the Pirs Docking Compartment and which arrived at the station a month earlier on Oct. 29, 2014.

ISS042E101429 (01/05/2014) — This image, photographed by one of the Expedition 42 crew members aboard the International Space Station, shows the the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft on the left attached to the Rassvet module on the Earth-facing port of the Russian segment of the station that delivered Expedition 42 crewmembers Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Terry Virts of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency on Nov. 24, 2014 , and to the right, the unpiloted ISS Progress 57 cargo craft that is docked to the Pirs Docking Compartment and which arrived at the station a month earlier on Oct. 29, 2014.

The crew of the International Space Station took a break from research Friday, enjoying some off-duty time as it prepared for the departure of one cargo ship and the arrival of another in short order.

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the Progress 57 spacecraft undocking beginning at 2:15 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 25. Undocking from the Pirs Docking Compartment is scheduled for 2:40 a.m.

Watch the undocking live on NASA Television or at: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

The unpiloted Progress 57 Russian cargo ship delivered more than two tons of food, fuel and supplies for the space station crew in October 2014 and is now filled with trash. After its departure, the spacecraft will move away from the orbiting laboratory to a safe location where it will remain until commanded to reenter Earth’s atmosphere. The intense heat of reentry will cause the vehicle to burn up over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday morning.

Another Russian cargo ship, Progress 59 is scheduled to launch at 3:09 a.m. Tuesday, April 29, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstanj. The launch, and subsequent docking with the station at 9:06 a.m., will be carried live on NASA TV.

Experiment Work Inside and Outside Station Wednesday

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Canadarm2 and Dextre

ISS041-E-049099 (30 Sept. 2014) — The International Space Station’s Canadarm2 and Dextre is seen outside the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship.

The Expedition 43 lab assistants conducted biomedical science in the International Space Station on Wednesday. Meanwhile, controllers on the ground will remotely maneuver the Canadarm2 outside the station to experiment with the possibility of servicing satellites on orbit for longer missions.

The crew participated in a wide variety of life science studies. The Myco experiment, which analyzes nose, throat and skin samples, examines how microorganisms on the space station can affect a crew member’s allergies and illnesses. Another study, Interactions, explores how crews from different cultures learn to work with each other. More Rodent Research work took place, as the astronauts readied samples for return to Earth and checked out the rodents’ habitat.

Crew members also underwent medical exams, checking vital signs such as temperature and blood pressure. Later there were crew eye checks as doctors on the ground explore how microgravity affects vision.

The Robotics Refueling Mission, a joint study between NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, investigates satellite repair and servicing techniques in space. Operators on the ground use the station’s special purpose dexterous manipulator, better known as Dextre, on the end of the Canadarm2, for fine robotics manipulation. Engineers are looking to determine whether it’s possible to refuel satellites and test electrical connections robotically.

Cargo Craft Prepped for Departure as Crew Works New Science

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Rainbow Double Aurora

ISS043E108129 (04/11/2015) — “Rainbow double Aurora” greets the astronauts and cosmonauts on board the International Space Station on Apr. 11, 2015.

As Expedition 43 unloads crew supplies from the SpaceX Dragon, another cargo craft is being readied for its undocking. Meanwhile, new research is underway with some of the science gear hauled into space aboard Dragon.

Russia’s ISS Progress 57 space freighter is being packed with trash and discarded gear. It will undock from the Pirs docking compartment early Saturday morning for a fiery descent into the Pacific Ocean.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Terry Virts studied the effects of microgravity on living organisms for the Rodent Research experiment. They are looking at mice and how their body systems change in space. The results may promote the development of new drugs tackling the effects of aging and disease on Earth.

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