Monthly Archives: October 2015

Astronauts Set Up for Next Spacewalk as Research Continues

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New York City at Night

An Expedition 45 crew member captured this nighttime photograph of New York City.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren are now looking ahead to their second spacewalk scheduled for Friday Nov. 6 at 7:10 a.m. EST. They will work outside for six-hours, 30-minutes to return a port truss cooling system to its original configuration after repair work during a previous spacewalk in 2012.

Kelly and Lindgren are inspecting their tethers today which keep spacewalkers attached to the International Space Station. They are also reviewing procedures for the upcoming spacewalk and organizing their tools.

Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui, who is also the spacewalkers’ internal coordinator, worked in the Kibo lab module attaching science samples to an experiment platform. He then moved on to studying how plants grow in space without gravity to guide them.

On the Russian side of the orbital laboratory, the cosmonauts explored tools and acoustic methods to detect micrometeoroid impacts on the station. The veteran trio of Sergey Volkov, Mikhail Kornienko and Oleg Kononenko, also researched the physics of plasma crystals and how a crew member adapts to piloting a spacecraft.

Scott Kelly Breaks NASA Single Spaceflight Record Today

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NASA Astronauts Single Spaceflight Record Holders

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly passes Michael Lopez-Alegria for longest single spaceflight on Oct. 29, 2015. Credit: NASA

Expedition 45 Commander Scott Kelly has been in space longer than any other NASA astronaut. Today he exceeds Michael Lopez-Alegria’s record of 215 days on a single spaceflight. He passed Michael Fincke’s record of 382 cumulative days in space on Oct. 16.

Kelly also completed his first spacewalk along with Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren on Wednesday. The duo worked outside for seven hours and 16 minutes on a series of tasks to service and upgrade the International Space Station. They wrapped a dark matter detection experiment in a thermal blanket, lubricated the tip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm and then routed power and data cables for a future docking port.

Meanwhile, the crew is back at work today on advanced space science and routine laboratory maintenance. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui explored how plants grow without gravity to guide them. Kelly recorded his impressions of the space station’s living and working space for the Habitability study. Lindgren trained for the VIABLE experiment that researches microbe development on station surfaces.

The cosmonauts including Sergey Volkov, Mikhail Kornienko and Oleg Kononenko worked on scheduled tasks in the Russian segment of the orbital laboratory. They explored Earth photography techniques, the physics of plasma crystals and controlling a rover on the ground from space.

NASA Astronauts Complete Their First Spacewalk

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NASA Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren will conduct a second spacewalk on Nov. 6. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren ended their spacewalk at 3:19 p.m. EDT with the repressurization of the U.S. Quest airlock, having completed most of the major tasks planned for their excursion outside the International Space Station.

Kelly and Lindgren applied a thermal cover on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer; applied grease to a number of components in one of the latching ends of the Canadarm2 robotic arm; and began work to rig power and data system cables for the future installation of a docking port to the station that will be used for the arrival of the Boeing Starliner CST-100 and SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Greasing numerous parts of the robotic arm took somewhat longer than anticipated, and flight controllers chose to forego the lubrication of one component. However, engineers are satisfied the work that was completed sufficiently enhances the performance of the latching end effector. A lower priority task to reinstall a valve on the station will be assigned to crew members during a future spacewalk.

The 7-hour and 16-minute spacewalk was a first for both astronauts. Crew members have now spent a total of 1,184 hours and 16 minutes conducting space station assembly and maintenance during 189 spacewalks.

Kelly and Lindgren will venture outside the International Space Station again on Friday, Nov. 6. The two spacewalks were scheduled around milestones in space. Tomorrow, Kelly becomes the U.S. astronaut who has lived in space the longest during a single U.S. spaceflight, and Monday the crew celebrates the 15th year of a continuous human presence in space aboard the station.

During the second spacewalk, the astronauts will restore a truss cooling system to its original configuration following a 2012 spacewalk in which another team of astronauts attempted to isolate a leak of ammonia coolant. They also will top off ammonia on the station’s truss reservoirs. NASA Television coverage will begin at 5:45 a.m. EST ahead of the spacewalk’s planned start time of 7:10 a.m.

Stay up-to-date on the latest space station news at: https://www.nasa.gov/station

Dark Matter Experiment Covered in Thermal Blanket

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Astronaut Scott Kelly

Astronaut Scott Kelly moves along the space station’s truss structure before beginning lubrication work on Canada’s robotic arm, Canadarm2. Credit: NASA TV

Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes into today’s spacewalk, astronaut Kjell Lindgren successfully placed a thermal cover over the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) outside the International Space Station. First launched aboard the space shuttle Endeavour in May 2011, the AMS is collecting and analyzing billions of cosmic ray events and identifying dark matter.

Scott Kelly has been removing some insulation from a power switching unit on the station’s truss to facilitate its future robotic replacement.

Next up, Kelly will apply grease to several components of the 57.7 foot Canadarm2 robotic arm. Lindgren is working on routing power cables for the future installation of a docking port for commercial crew spacecraft.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA Television at: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#education

Follow @Space_Station and #spacewalk on Twitter to join the conversation online.

Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren Begin Spacewalk Early

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Spacewalkers Move into Airlock

Expedition 45 crew members Kimiya Yui (left) and Sergey Volkov guide spacewalkers Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly into the Quest airlock. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren switched their spacesuits to battery power at 8:03 a.m. EDT, signifying the start of today’s planned 6-hour, 30-minute spacewalk. NASA Television is broadcasting the spacewalk at www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Kelly is wearing a spacesuit with red stripes and is designated EV1. His helmet camera displays the number 18. Lindgren’s spacesuit is white without stripes; he is designated EV2. His helmet camera displays the number 17. This is the first spacewalk for both astronauts.

The first tasks for the astronauts will be to install a thermal cover over a dark matter detection experiment, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, and to remove a piece of thermal insulation from a power switching unit to facilitate its robotic replacement in the future.

Follow @Space_Station and #spacewalk on Twitter to join the conversation online.

Watch Spacewalk With Kelly and Lindgren Live on NASA TV Now

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Computer Rendering of Spacewalk

Watch a narrated 3D animation describing today’s spacewalk tasks… https://youtu.be/uezBWff0wK8

NASA Television is providing live coverage of today’s U.S. spacewalk from the International Space Station. The spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 8:10 a.m. EDT, unless the crew is ready to begin earlier, and will last about 6 hours and 30 minutes. Watch the spacewalk live at www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Expedition 45 Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren will venture out of the space station to install a thermal cover on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, which is a state-of-the-art particle physics detector that has been attached to the space station since 2011. In addition, they will apply grease to components on the space station’s robotic Canadarm2, and route cables to prepare for new docking ports for U.S. commercial crew spacecraft.

This will be the first spacewalk for both Kelly and Lindgren and the 189th in support of space station assembly and maintenance. This is NASA’s 32nd spacewalk to service the space station.

Nov. 2 will mark 15 years of humans continuously living aboard the International Space Station to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that also will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space.

Follow @Space_Station and #spacewalk on Twitter to join the conversation online.

Watch First-Time Spacewalkers Venture Outside the Space Station Oct. 28

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NASA Astronaut Mike Hopkins

NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins is pictured during a spacewalk on Dec. 24, 2013, when he was a flight engineer for Expedition 38.

U.S. astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren will venture outside the space station’s Quest airlock on Wednesday, Oct. 28 to perform a spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance, 189th of the space station. The six-and-a-half hour walk will be streamed live beginning at 6:30 am E.T. You can watch the spacewalk live on NASA TV, on the NASA app on your smartphone or follow live updates on @Space_Station Twitter.

The spacewalk is the 32nd U.S. spacewalk, and will focus on station upgrades and maintenance tasks, including installing a thermal cover on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, which is a state-of-the-art particle physics detector that has been attached to the station since 2011. NASA TV coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m. ET, with the spacewalk scheduled to begin at 8:10 a.m.

Another spacewalk is scheduled for the pair on Nov. 6. That will be the 33rd U.S. spacewalk, and will attempt to restore the port truss ammonia cooling system to its original configuration. A spacewalk conducted in November 2012 tried to isolate a leak in the truss’ cooling supply, but the leak was subsequently traced to a different component. NASA TV coverage will begin at 5:45 a.m., with the spacewalk scheduled to begin at 7:10 a.m.

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

Astronauts Complete Preps for First of Two Upgrade Spacewalks

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NASA Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren

NASA Astronauts Scott Kelly (left) and Kjell Lindgren will conduct two spacewalks to upgrade and service the International Space Station on Oct. 28 and Nov. 6.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren will begin the first of two spacewalks Wednesday morning to service and upgrade the International Space Station. The duo have completed reviewing their procedures, preparing their U.S. spacesuits and organizing their tools inside the U.S. Quest airlock. NASA Television will cover the spacewalk live beginning at 6:30 a.m. EDT.

They will spend six hours and 30 minutes to cover the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer with a thermal blanket, lubricate the leading edge of the Canadarm2 and route power and data cables for a future docking port. This will be the first spacewalk for both astronauts who will also be assisted from inside the station by Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui. Monitoring the activities from the ground will be Tracy Caldwell, a veteran of three spacewalks.

Meanwhile, on the Russian side of the orbital laboratory, the trio of veteran cosmonauts stayed focused on their ongoing maintenance and science activities. Sergey Volkov spent time assisting Kelly and Lindgren today then looked at how the immune system is affected by stress in space. One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko explored blood circulation adaptation then worked on cargo transfers from the Progress 60 resupply ship. Oleg Kononenko studied material physics as he observed plasma crystals and liquid crystals.

Crew Gets Ready for Spacewalk on Wednesday

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Astronaut Kjell Lindgren

Astronaut Kjell Lindgren performs high-flying, advanced plumbing work inside the International Space Station’s Tranquility module. Credit: NASA TV

Two astronauts are getting ready for a six-hour, 30-minute spacewalk Wednesday morning. They and the rest of the Expedition 45 crew also worked on international science and laboratory maintenance.

Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren are preparing for two spacewalks on Oct. 28 and Nov. 6 to upgrade and service the International Space Station. Lindgren was assisted by Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui checking out the SAFER spacesuit jetpacks a spacewalker would use in the unlikely event they became untethered from the station. Kelly collected and organized the spacewalk tools he and Lindgren will use during both spacewalks. Watch a 3D animation illustrating the Oct. 28 spacewalk activities.

Kelly started his day with Mikhail Kornienko, his One-Year mission crewmate, as they swapped turns on the Fine Motor Skills experiment. Yui spent his morning stowing a small satellite deployer that ejected 14 Cubesats outside the Kibo lab module a few weeks ago.

Cosmonaut Sergey Volkov explored human metabolism in space and charged a satellite phone. Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko looked at microgravity’s effects on a crew member’s cardiac and respiratory behavior before testing remotely controlling a rover on the ground from space.

Astronauts Tailor Spacesuits as Crew Explores Human Research

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U.S. Spacesuit

A U.S. spacesuit is pictured inside the Quest joint airlock.

The crew started their day checking out Cubesat gear and researching a wide variety of science to benefit humanity on and off Earth. Later, two astronauts tried on their spacesuits to ensure a good fit before next week’s spacewalk.

Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren were in the Kibo lab module Thursday morning inspecting and photographing a small satellite deployer mechanism. The mechanism failed to eject a pair of Cubesats two weeks ago and payload controllers are troubleshooting the issue.

During the afternoon, the duo got back together inside the U.S. Quest airlock and tried on the spacesuits they will wear on spacewalks scheduled for Oct. 28 and Nov. 6. They were assisted inside the airlock by Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui and cosmonaut Sergey Volkov. Yui will guide the spacewalkers and operate the 57.7 foot Canadarm2 robotic arm during the spacewalks.

More human research took place today as the crew looked at brain adaptation and cognitive performance on the space station. The crew also explored sleep disturbances and changes in cardiac and respiratory behavior during long-term missions.

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