A high-definition camera on the International Space Station spots the Progress 61 resupply vehicle (upper left) just minutes before it docked to the Zvezda service module. Credit: NASA TV
Traveling about 252 miles over the North Atlantic, the unpiloted ISS Progress 61 Russian cargo spacecraft docked to the rear port of the Zvezda Service Module on the International Space Station at 6:52 p.m. EDT.
The spacecraft is delivering more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies, including 1,940 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water, and 3,397 pounds of spare parts and experiment hardware for the members of the Expedition 45 crew currently living and working in space.
The cargo includes a resupply of a Neurolab research kit necessary for the Russian Pilot-T investigation that tests performance during simulated manual space station docking. Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly have previously participated in this experiment. It measures performance during a docking training test aboard the space station. This third generation device is used to measure skin conductance, finger temperature, and pulse wave transit time. These measurements will help researchers draw conclusions about changes in blood pressure and heart rate and other complex information related to the cardiovascular and nervous systems during mission-relevant operations. The investigation also assesses voice to help scientists better understand the stress ceilings of each test subject. Investigators plan to include EEG measurements in future iterations.
Researchers will also use biological sample kits delivered by the Progress spacecraft to obtain samples of blood, saliva or urine. The ongoing collection of biological samples from crew members help scientists determine if immune system impairment caused by spaceflight increases the possibility for infection or poses a significant health risk during life aboard the space station.
In addition to these studies, seven categories of human health research are ongoing during the One-Year Mission of Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko. Researchers expect these investigations to yield beneficial knowledge on the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges faced by astronauts during long-duration spaceflight.
Read more about all of the One-Year Mission human health studies.
Progress 61 is scheduled to remain docked to ISS for the next two months. For more information about the current crew and the International Space Station, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/station.