Progress Cargo Craft Ready for Thursday Launch

Astronauts Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindgren
ISS045E019087 (09/18/2015) — Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui (left) and NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren (right) work on removing items from a storage rack located inside the International Space Station’s Destiny laboratory. The pair are making room for new communications hardware that will be used for future visiting vehicles arriving at the space station, including the new U.S. commercial crew vehicles currently in development.

A new Russian cargo craft loaded with more than three tons food, fuel and supplies is ready for launch to the International Space Station. The crew inside the orbital lab continues ongoing science activities and routine maintenance.

Russia’s ISS Progress 61 (61P) cargo craft is at the launch pad in Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan counting down to a Thursday launch at 12:49 p.m. EDT. The 61P will dock after four orbits, or six hours later, to the Zvezda service module. NASA Television will broadcast the launch and docking of the cargo mission live beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Inside the space station, Commander Scott Kelly worked with a pair of bowling ball-sized satellites observing their automated docking abilities for the long-running SPHERES experiment. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui used an ultrasound to scan cosmonaut Sergey Volkov’s eyes for the Ocular Health study.

Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren routed cables in the Destiny laboratory to support the next Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo mission planned for early December.

Russian Ship Rolls to Launch Pad as Japanese Ship Descends to Earth

ISS Progress 61 Cargo Craft
The ISS Progress 61 cargo craft stands at its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan ahead of Thursday afternoon’s launch. Credit: RSC Energia

The latest Russian resupply ship, the Progress 61, rolled out to its launch pad today, getting set for a Thursday launch at 12:49 p.m. EDT (4:49 p.m. UTC) and a docking to the Zvezda service module at 6:54 p.m. Meanwhile, Japan’s cargo craft, the “Kounotori” HTV-5, is descending to Earth this afternoon after completing a five-week delivery mission attached to the International Space Station’s Unity module.

The six-member Expedition 45 crew, including the One-Year Crew, worked a variety of science Tuesday looking at plants, performing eye exams and studying crew metabolism and the human respiratory system. The ongoing research is helping scientists and crews prepare for long-term deep space missions and NASA’s Journey to Mars. The space residents also worked on robotic inspections, replaced combustion experiment hardware and swapped batteries on a set of free-floating internal satellites known as SPHERES.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren are getting ready for the first of two U.S. spacewalks scheduled for Oct. 28. The duo will lubricate the Canadarm2’s leading end effector (LEE) systems. The LEE is used to grapple, maneuver and release cargo craft, as well as latch on to external station systems. Kelly photographed the LEE today from the seven-window cupola to document its condition and prepare for the upcoming spacewalk.

Robotic Arm Releases Japanese Cargo Craft After Five Weeks at Station

Canadarm2 and HTV-5 Resupply Ship
The Canadarm2 robotic arm backs away from the just released “Kounotori” HTV-5 resupply ship. Credit: NASA TV

Following a slight delay, Expedition 45 Flight Engineer Kimiya Yui of JAXA, backed up by NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren, commanded the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to release JAXA’s H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)-5 from the International Space Station at 12:53 p.m. EDT while the spacecraft was flying 256 miles above the Southern Pacific, after it unberthed from the space station at 7:12 a.m. EDT.

The HTV-5 will now move away from the orbiting laboratory to a safe location where it will fire its engines to begin a controlled deorbit to reenter Earth’s atmosphere. The intense heat of reentry will cause the vehicle to burn up over the Pacific Ocean.

HTV-5 carried a variety of experiments and supplies to the space station, including the NanoRacks External Payload Platform, which can house multiple investigations in the open-space environment of the station, and the CALorimetric Electron Telescope investigation, an astrophysics mission that measures high energy particles to search for dark matter and the origin of cosmic rays.

HTV-5 also delivered materials to support the Twins Study, a compilation of 10 investigations designed to gain broader insights into the subtle effects of and changes that occur in the environment of space as compared to that of Earth by studying two individuals who have the same genetics, but are in different environments. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is participating from the space station while his identical twin Mark Kelly, a retired astronaut, is participating on Earth. The study includes a suite of integrated human space physiology and cellular-level experiments.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit:

Release of Japanese Cargo Ship Delayed

"Kounotori" in Grips of Canadarm2
Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-5 resupply ship is in the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Credit: NASA TV

The release of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) H-II Transport Vehicle-5 (HTV-5) has been delayed. Teams are troubleshooting, and the next opportunity will be at the next day pass at approximately 12:42 p.m. EDT. HTV-5 is still captured, and the crew is in no danger.

NASA TV Covering Release of Japanese Cargo Ship

HTV-5 and Aurora
Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo of an aurora, with Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-5 cargo ship in the foreground, taken from the International Space Station to Instagram with the caption, “Day 154. #Aurora’s purple glow adds mystery to the nightscape. Good night from @ISS! #YearInSpace #space #iss #solarstorm #northernlights #goodnight.”

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the unberthing of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) H-II Transport Vehicle-5 (HTV-5) from the International Space Station beginning at 11 a.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 28. Release from the station’s Harmony module is scheduled for 11:20 a.m.

Watch the unberthing live on NASA Television or at:

The unpiloted cargo ship delivered about five tons of supplies and experiments to the station in August.

Several hours after the unberthing, the cargo ship will fire its engines to begin a controlled deorbit and entry through Earth’s atmosphere, where it will burn up over the Pacific Ocean.

To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit:

Long-Term Human Research As Crew Prepares to Swap Supply Ships

Station Crew Members Oleg Kononenko and Kjell Lindgren
Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko (foreground) receives a haircut from fellow Expedition 45 crew member Kjell Lindgren.

The Expedition 45 crew, including the One-Year Crew duo, worked on a variety of human research to help future crews persevere on longer missions in deep space. The crew is also getting ready for a pair of international cargo ships departing and arriving next week.

Scientists on the ground are exploring how microgravity affects humans living and working in space as NASA prepares for the Journey to Mars. Astronauts living on the International Space Station for months at a time, including the One-Year Crew, provide excellent subjects for long-term microgravity human research.

The crew today looked at cardiovascular health for the Cardio-Ox study and documented nutritional activity. Blood and urine samples were also drawn and stored in a science freezer for later analysis. Station Commander Scott Kelly continued more Twins research as doctors compare the human body in space with a human body on Earth, in this case ex-astronaut Mark Kelly, the commander’s twin brother.

Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-5 space freighter is due for release Monday morning ending its month-long stay at the station’s Harmony module. The HTV-5 is still being packed with trash and disposable gear for a fiery destruction over the Pacific Ocean. The next shipment of new research, gear, food and fuel is being prepared as Russia’s readies its ISS Progress 61 resupply ship for an Oct. 1 launch.

Eye Checks, Fitness Research and Spacewalk Preps for Space Station Crew

JAXA Astronaut Kimiya Yui
ISS044E088545 (09/05/2015) — JAXA astronaut Kimiya Yui iss seen with a packet of almonds while floating inside of the Japanese Experiment Module.

The six-member space station crew is conducting human research to prepare future astronauts for long-term missions beyond low-Earth orbit including NASA’s Journey to Mars. The orbital residents are also getting ready to release a cargo craft Monday while getting ready for a late October spacewalk.

Space station Commander Scott Kelly, who is comparing his body to his ground-based twin brother ex-astronaut Mark Kelly, collected and stored a urine sample for the Twins study. He also scanned his legs with an ultrasound for the Sprint fitness study with some assistance from Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui.

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren partnered with Yui for ultrasound scans of the eyes and an echocardiogram of the heart for the Ocular Health study. The duo then moved on to tool collection for a planned October 28 spacewalk by Kelly and Lindgren before loading trash into Japan’s HTV-5 resupply ship due to leave the station Monday at 11:20 a.m. EDT.

Space Cargo Deliveries Coming and Going on Station Next Week

Crew Members Work in Unity Module
ISS044E089152 (09/05/2015) — NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly (left,) JAXA astronaut Kimiya Yui (center) and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov (right) take some time off inside the station’s Unity module and set up the onboard projector.

Crew members practiced an emergency evacuation drill and conducted long-term biomedical research today onboard the International Space Station. Japan’s fifth resupply ship is also being loaded with trash before its mission ends early next week.

Station Commander Scott Kelly teamed up with his fellow One-Year Crew member Mikhail Kornienko and cosmonaut Sergey Volkov to review the procedures they would use to evacuate the station in the unlikely event of an emergency. Kelly then moved on to exploring fluid physics and more Twins studies. Kornienko, Volkov including cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko worked on Russian science and systems maintenance.

Meanwhile, astronauts Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindgren are preparing a Japanese cargo craft, the “Kounotori” HII Transfer Vehicle-5, for its release and destructive entry Monday over the Pacific Ocean. Another cargo craft, Russia’s ISS Progress 61 (61P), is being readied for its Oct. 1 launch and six-hour delivery mission to the station’s Zvezda service module. Kornienko and Volkov practiced the telerobotic rendezvous techniques they would use if it became necessary to manually dock the 61P.

Long-Term Human Research for Crew before Japanese Mission Ends

Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko
Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko works on the OASIS experiment inside the Destiny laboratory’s Microgravity Science Glovebox. Credit: NASA TV

Japan’s resupply ship, the “Kounotori” HII Transfer Vehicle-5 (HTV-5), will end its stay at the International Space Station next Monday. A new Russian Progress cargo mission will launch to replenish the crew Oct. 1. While the HTV-5 is winding down its mission, the six-member Expedition 45 is conducting human research and lab maintenance.

First time space-flyers Kjell Lindgren from NASA and Yui Kimiya Yui from Japan checked each other’s eyes today for the Ocular Health study. Lindgren then moved on to a six-month inspection of the treadmill inside the Unity module while Kimiya replaced bacteria filters in the Destiny lab module.

Station Commander Scott Kelly started his workday swabbing his body to collect microorganism samples for the Microbiome study. Kelly later cleaned a science freezer before measuring the acoustic levels inside the space station.

There are three veteran cosmonauts onboard the station with a combined 8 missions, including the current mission, on the orbital lab. Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko worked in the Microgravity Science Glovebox for the OASIS liquid crystal experiment. Flight Engineer Sergey Volkov with One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko studied how living in space affects a crew member’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems for the DAN experiment.

One-Year Crew Conducts Human Research Before October Shipment

"Goodnight Earth"
Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo taken from the International Space Station to Twitter on Sept. 5, 2015 with the caption, “#goodnight #Earth! Make me proud and I’ll try and do the same. #YearInSpace”.

With the second half of their mission underway, a pair of One-Year Crew members continued a series of biomedical experiments this week. The six-member Expedition 45 crew is also getting ready for a new space shipment due early next month.

Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko have been teaming up for a variety of human research studies in space since March. Scientists are observing the effects of living in space on long-term crew members. This week the duo explored head pressure and visual impairment some station astronauts have experienced to help NASA prepare future crew members for the Journey to Mars.

The next cargo mission, ISS Progress 61 (61P), to the International Space Station is scheduled to launch Oct. 1 and dock six hours later to the rear docking port of the Zvezda service module. A pair of cosmonauts practiced the techniques Friday they would use in the unlikely event it became necessary to use the Zvezda’s telerobotically operated rendezvous system to manually dock the 61P.