Monthly Archives: October 2015

CubeSats Being Deployed While Crew Preps for Future Cygnus Mission

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NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren

ISS045E033806 (09/25/2015) — NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren loads a deployer device filled with 16 CubeSats into a small airlock in the Japanese Kibo Module on the International Space Station. Among the 16 satellites are 14 Dove satellites from Planet Labs that will be used for Earth observation, one for testing space based radios and another that will be used to track ships on the open ocean.

The crew is working high-end maintenance today, while preparing for an upcoming spacewalk and an early December cargo mission. CubeSats are also being deployed this week from the Kibo laboratory module.

Commander Scott Kelly checked on a power supply problem with the humanoid Robonaut. Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui installed cables in the Unity module where the Orbital ATK Cygnus commercial space freighter is scheduled to arrive in early December. Yui earlier charged spacesuit batteries that Kelly and Lindgren will use on a spacewalk planned for Oct. 28.

Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Oleg Kononenko continued unloading cargo from the new Progress 61 resupply ship which arrived last Thursday. Sergey Volkov, on his third space station mission, worked throughout the Russian segment on maintenance tasks. The trio also had time set aside for ongoing Russian science investigations exploring magnetics and chemical reactions in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

A small satellite deployer attached to Japan’s Kibo module will be busy this week as 16 CubeSats will be released into orbit through Wednesday. The Cubesats are exploring such things as navigation, communications and Earth observations.

New Space Freighter Open for Business before Late October Spacewalk

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Japanese Astronaut Kimiya Yui

Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui works in the Destiny laboratory module on the U.S. side of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

The hatches were opened today to the new space delivery from Russia’s Progress resupply craft. The Expedition 45 crew also worked on orbital lab maintenance and on science to improve life on Earth and in space.

The Progress 61 space freighter arrived at the International Space Station Thursday evening delivering more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies six hours after its launch from Kazakhstan. The vehicle is docked to the Zvezda service module and ready for two months of cargo transfer activities. Japan’s delivery space ship, the Kounotori HTV-5, finished its five-week stay at the space station Monday morning.

The six station residents were busy throughout the U.S. and Russian segments on a wide variety of activities. Commander Scott Kelly performed high-tech plumbing work as he replaced gear in the Water Processing Assembly. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren built a custom tool for lubricating the tip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm, which he and Kelly will do on a spacewalk at the end of October. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui installed a Cubesat deployer, and then worked on plant science.

Cosmonauts Sergey Volkov and Oleg Kononenko opened the Progress hatch and began checking inventory and unloading the cargo craft today. One-Year Crew member Mikhail Kornienko, Kelly’s partner, checked the station’s air quality and worked on Russian life support systems.

Space Station Receives Express Delivery in Six Hours

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Progress Minutes Away from Docking

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.

Watch Cargo Craft Docking Live on NASA TV

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Progress Spacecraft Docking

A Progress spacecraft is seen docking to the International Space Station in February 2014.

Beginning at 6:15 p.m. EDT today, 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 45 crew aboard the International Space Station.

ISS Progress 61 is on track to complete a four-orbit rendezvous, and is scheduled to automatically link up to the rear port of the Zvezda service module at 6:54 p.m. The Expedition 45 crew will monitor key events during the spacecraft’s automated rendezvous and docking.

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

Launch of ISS Progress 61 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan occurred at 12:49 p.m. today (10:49 p.m. local time in Baikonur).

The spacecraft will remain docked to the station for two months.

Space Freighter on 6-Hour Delivery Trip After Flawless Launch

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Progress 61 Launch

The Progress 61 rocket launches on time for a six-hour flight to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

Carrying more than three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the International Space Station crew, the unpiloted ISS Progress 61 cargo craft launched at 12:49 p.m. EDT (10:49 p.m. local time in Baikonur) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

At the time of launch, the space station was flying above Southeast Kazakhstan.

Less than nine minutes after launch, the resupply ship reached preliminary orbit and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned. The Russian cargo space craft will make four orbits of Earth before docking to the rear port of the Zvezda Service Module at 6:54 p.m.

Beginning at 6:15 p.m., NASA Television will air live coverage of Progress 61’s arrival to the space station.

Watch live on NASA TV and online at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Watch NASA TV for Live Coverage of Russian Cargo Craft Launch

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Progress 61 Rocket at Launch Pad

The ISS Progress 61 rocket is at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad in Kazakhstan. Credit: RSC Energia

At 12:30 p.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 45 crew aboard the International Space Station.

Launch of ISS Progress 61 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is scheduled for 12:49 p.m. (10:49 p.m. Baikonur time).

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

Following a fast-track, four-orbit journey, Progress 61 is scheduled to automatically link up to the rear port of the Zvezda Service Module at 6:54 p.m. It will remain docked to the station for about two months.

Expedition 45 crew members will monitor key events during Progress 61’s automated rendezvous and docking.

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