Monthly Archives: July 2015

ISS R&D Conference 2015 – July 9

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NASA astronauts Suni Williams (left) and Karen Nyberg (right) give a keynote talk on the final day of the 2015 ISS R&D Conference in Boston

NASA astronauts Suni Williams (left) and Karen Nyberg (right) give a keynote talk on the final day of the 2015 ISS R&D Conference in Boston

The final day of the 2015 International Space Station (ISS) Research and Development conference closed the event with multiple talks looking at exploration beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO) and novel ways the space station is affecting life on Earth.

Panel sessions began with a talk about the commercial capabilities and technologies that will be needed—together with international collaboration and new relationships between government, constituents such as international consortia, and industry partners—in order to successfully address the challenges and promise of deep space exploration. NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman, along with NASA’s Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan and Chief Technologist David Miller, presented as the group explored key questions associated with international and commercial partnerships in support of exploration beyond LEO.

Additional panels included discussions about materials science testing and manufacturing in space, how the ISS National Lab is influencing students and educators in the area of science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM), and the challenges for the journey to Mars —getting there (and back) and developing the technology necessary to keep human astronauts alive, thriving, and productive for the 1,000 days such a mission will require.

A series of technical breakout sessions also took place, focusing on space biology tools, cell and microbiology in space, materials manufacturing and function in space, STEM programs and processes and concepts for the future.

Astronauts Karen Nyberg and Suni Williams also provided a keynote address to conference participants. Using their experiences and stories from living aboard the orbiting laboratory, they shared three life lessons: get to the starting line and make yourself available for these kinds of opportunities, don’t forget the basics that you learned in kindergarten, and stop and enjoy the journey along the way. Williams was announced today as one of four U.S. astronauts who will be the first to train to fly on American commercial crew vehicles.

The conference is bringing together leaders from industry, academia, and government for three days of detailed presentations and discussions about innovations and breakthroughs in microgravity research, life sciences, materials development technology development, human health and remote sensing.

For more information about the annual ISS R&D Conference, visit the conference website: http://www.issconference.org, or watch a livestream of the conference at http://www.issconference.org/livestream.php

Crew Heads to Launch Site Friday, First Commercial Crew Announced

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Expedition 44/45 Crew Members

At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, Expedition 44/45 crew members (from left) Kjell Lindgren of NASA; Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency; and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency pose for pictures following a news conference July 8. Credit: NASA/Seth Marcantel

The International Space Station will get an orbital boost tonight to get ready for upcoming Soyuz crew missions. On the ground, three new crew members are preparing for their Friday departure to the launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The orbiting Expedition 44 trio, with Commander Gennady Padalka and One-Year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko, is looking forward to expanding to three new crew members. Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui will take a six-hour ride July 22 in the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft for a five month stay in space.

On the station, Kelly is getting Japan’s Kibo airlock ready for next week’s deployment of 16 Cubesats over four days. Kornienko continued moving supplies from the new ISS Progress 60 space freighter. Padalka worked on the Vozdukh, a Russian carbon dioxide removal system, the Zvezda service module. All the crew members then practiced emergency evacuation procedures.

NASA announced today that four astronauts have been selected to train on commercial crew vehicles. Veteran astronauts Robert Behnken, Sunita Williams, Eric Boe and Douglas Hurley are now training for a commercial crew launch in 2017 as part of NASA’s journey to Mars.

Commercial Crew Astronauts

The first astronauts selected to train to fly to space on commercial crew carriers are (from left) Bob Behnken, Eric Boe, Doug Hurley and Sunita Williams

ISS R&D Conference 2015 – July 8

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ISS R&D 2015

The second full day of the 2015 International Space Station (ISS) Research and Development conference was dominated by panels and technical sessions featuring the leading minds in scientific research from the commercial and academic ISS communities.

Panel sessions were led by a look at what the ISS Program is doing to maximize use of the ISS as a world renowned laboratory in space enabling discoveries in science and technology that benefit life on Earth and exploration of the universe. It featured multiple NASA ISS managers discussing many efforts underway to update and upgrade ISS facilities and processes to improve how the ISS Program provides timely, efficient, customer friendly and cost effective access to the low-Earth orbit microgravity environment for both existing and new users.

Additional panels included discussions about leveraging the station to enable the commercialization of low-Earth orbit, the role of microgravity in ongoing stem cell research, new capabilities in commercial remote sensing from space, and the impact of space science on precision medicine.

A series of technical breakout sessions also took place, focusing on science in areas including drug discovery and delivery, plants and omics in space, the development of commercial capabilities and services, crew research and performance and technology developments on ISS.

The conference is bringing together leaders from industry, academia, and government for three days of detailed presentations and discussions about innovations and breakthroughs in microgravity research, life sciences, materials development technology development, human health and remote sensing.

For more information about the annual ISS R&D Conference, visit the conference website: http://www.issconference.org, or watch a livestream of the conference at http://www.issconference.org/livestream.php

Botany Science, Cargo Work on Orbit

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Northern Australia

The brilliant blues and rugged cliffs along the waters edge of northern Australia.

The Expedition 44 trio continued more science Wednesday looking at plants, fluids and other ongoing advanced space research. Back on Earth, another crew is getting ready for its July 22 launch to the International Space Station.

One-Year crew member Scott Kelly worked throughout the day on botany science preparing samples collected for the Plant Gravity Sensing 2 study and installing gear for the Veggie-01 experiment. Kelly then moved on to the Capillary Beverage experiment which uses specially designed Space Cups that use fluid dynamics to mimic the effect of gravity. Results of this experiment will in turn be used to design advanced fluid systems for spacecraft with significantly increased reliability

Kelly’s One-Year crew partner Mikhail Kornienko worked on Russian life support maintenance and transferred cargo from the new ISS Progress 60 resupply ship. Station Commander Gennady Padalka spent the majority of his day collecting and photographing samples swabbed for the Aseptik hardware sterilization study.

Meanwhile in Russia three new crew members conducted a news conference, toured the Gagarin Museum and laid flowers at the statue of Yuri Gagarin ahead of their Friday departure to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. From there they will launch July 22 at 5:02 p.m. EDT aboard a Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft for a six-hour ride to their new home in orbit.

ISS R&D Conference 2015 – July 7

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ISS R&D 2015

The 2015 International Space Station R&D Conference officially kicked off in Boston today with researchers gathering to learn about the incredible breadth of research and technology development on humankind’s most innovative learning platform.

The day began with opening remarks from Mike Suffredini, NASA’s ISS Program Manager, followed immediately by his conversation with keynote speaker, Elon Musk, the CEO and Lead Designer of commercial space company SpaceX.

Panels for the day began with a talk on the role of the ISS as a “first step” away from our home planet on the path of human exploration that featured William Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. Additional panels on Tuesday covered the benefits of microgravity for protein crystal growth in order to grow larger, more well-ordered crystals for pharmaceutical research, the capital investments and grants fueling the growth of “New Space” businesses and more.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced the winners of the Galactic Grant Competition, a collaboration between the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. It has been established to provide access to a unique zero-gravity environment, that’s only available on the International Space Station lab, to Massachusetts based life sciences companies.

Awards were also presented to three investigations that were recognized for significant scientific results:

  • Joel Plawsky, Sc.D., and Peter C. Wayner Jr., Ph.D., both of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, in recognition of work on the physics of evaporation and condensation in microgravity.
  • Robert J. Ferl, Ph.D., and Anna-Lisa Paul, Ph.D., both of the University of Florida in Gainesville, for their work using a plant as a real-time biosensor to determine the quality of the surrounding environment.
  • Daniela Grimm of Aarhus, Denmark, in recognition of her findings while growing thyroid cancer cells in orbit to determine new courses of treatment.

The conference is bringing together leaders from industry, academia, and government for three days of detailed presentations and discussions about innovations and breakthroughs in microgravity research, life sciences, materials development technology development, human health and remote sensing.

For more information on the annual ISS R&D Conference, visit the conference website: http://www.issconference.org, or watch a livestream of the conference at http://www.issconference.org/livestream.php

Orbital Crew Works Science as New Trio Readies for Mission

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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly

ISS043E194316 (05/15/2015) —NASA astronaut Scott Kelly aboard the International Space Station tweeted this image out on May, 15, 2015 with this comment concerning his twin brother former astronaut Mark Kelly’s appearance on a television show.

The three-member orbiting Expedition 44 crew was busy Tuesday with a variety of research. On the ground a new set of station crew members is getting ready to depart to their launch site in Kazakhstan at the end of the week.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly worked on science and life support maintenance throughout the day. Kelly completed a test and questionnaire for the Fine Motor Skills study that observes how astronauts interact with touch-based technologies and repair sensitive equipment. He also worked on a science freezer and replaced a recycle tank.

Commander Gennady Padalka sampled surfaces in the orbital laboratory checking for hardware sterility. One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko worked inside a pair of docked Progress resupply ships including the new P60 space freighter which arrived Sunday morning.

Back on Earth, three new Expedition 44 crew members are preparing for a news conference and traditional ceremonies before departing to the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Friday. The trio will conduct final preflight training in Kazakhstan before launching July 22 on six-hour ride to the International Space Station.

Russian Cargo Craft Arrives at Space Station

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Space Station Configuration

The ISS Progress 60 cargo craft is now docked to the Pirs docking compartment. Credit: NASA TV

Traveling about 251 miles over the south Pacific, southeast of New Zealand, the unpiloted ISS Progress 60 Russian cargo ship docked at 3:11 a.m. EDT to the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station.

The craft is delivering more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies, including 1,940 pounds of propellant, 106 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water, and 3,133 pounds of spare parts, supplies and experiment hardware for the members of the Expedition 44 crew currently living and working in space. Progress 60 is scheduled to remain docked to Pirs for the next four months.

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

ISS Progress 60

The ISS Progress 60 cargo craft is seen just a few minutes away from docking to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

Live Coverage of Progress Docking on NASA TV

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ISS Progress 60 Launch

The ISS Progress 60 cargo craft launches July 3 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: RSC Energia

Beginning Sunday at 2:30 a.m. EDT, NASA Television will provide live coverage of the docking of a Russian Progress spacecraft carrying more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 44 crew aboard the International Space Station.

The ISS Progress 60 is scheduled to arrive at the Pirs docking compartment of the space station at 3:13 a.m. on July 5. The Expedition 44 crew will monitor key events during Progress 60’s automated rendezvous and docking.

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

The spacecraft will remain docked to the station for four months. Launch of ISS Progress 60 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan occurred at 12:55 a.m. Friday, July 3 (10:55 a.m. local time in Baikonur).

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Progress 60 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.

Progress Reaches Orbit for Two Day trip to Station

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ISS Progress 60 launch

The ISS Progress 60 resupply ship launches on time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Credit: NASA TV

Carrying more than 6,100 pounds of food, fuel, and supplies for the International Space Station crew, the unpiloted ISS Progress 60 cargo craft launched at 12:55 a.m. EDT (10:55 p.m. local time in Baikonur) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

At the time of launch, the International Space Station was flying about 249 miles over northwestern Sudan, near the border with Egypt and Libya.

Less than 10 minutes after launch, the resupply ship reached preliminary orbit and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned. The Russian cargo craft will make 34 orbits of Earth during the next two days before docking to the orbiting laboratory at 3:13 a.m. Sunday, July 5.

Beginning at 2:30 a.m. Sunday, July 5, NASA Television will provide live coverage of Progress 60’s arrival to the space station’s Pirs Docking Compartment. Watch live on NASA TV and online at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Progress 60 on Twitter, follow @Space_Station and the hashtag #ISScargo.

A camera from the Progress spacecraft shows the Earth below as it begins its two day trip to the space station. Credit: NASA TV

A camera from the Progress spacecraft shows the Earth below as it begins its two day trip to the space station. Credit: NASA TV

Watch NASA TV for Live Coverage of Progress Launch

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Progress Roll Out

The rocket that will carry the ISS Progress 60 spacecraft into orbit is seen rolling out to its launch pad. Credit: RKK Energia

At 12:30 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 44 crew aboard the International Space Station.

Launch of ISS Progress 60 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is planned for 12:55 a.m. (10:55 a.m. local time in Baikonur).

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

Following a 34-orbit, two-day trip, Progress 60 is scheduled to arrive at the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station at 3:13 a.m. on Sunday, July 5. It will remain docked to the station for about four months.

The Expedition 44 crew will monitor key events during Progress 60’s automated rendezvous and docking.

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Progress 60 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.

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