Monthly Archives: November 2015

Pair of NASA Astronauts Wrap Up Second Spacewalk

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Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren

Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren translate along the port truss structure back to the Quest airlock after completing cooling system servicing work. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren ended their spacewalk at 2:10 p.m. EST with the repressurization of the U.S. Quest airlock. The astronauts restored the port truss (P6) ammonia cooling system to its original configuration, the main task for today’s spacewalk. They also returned ammonia to the desired levels in both the prime and back-up systems.

In a minor departure from the planned tasks, the astronauts ran out of time to cinch and cover a spare radiator known as the Trailing Thermal Control Radiator. The radiator, which Lindgren retracted earlier in the spacewalk, was fully redeployed and locked into place in a dormant state.

The radiator had been deployed during a November 2012 spacewalk by astronauts Sunita Williams and Aki Hoshide as they tried to isolate a leak in the truss’ cooling supply by re-plumbing the system to the backup radiator. The leak persisted and was subsequently traced to a different component that was replaced during a spacewalk in May 2013.

The 7 hour and 48 minute spacewalk was the second for both astronauts, and the 190th in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Crew members have now spent a total of 1,192 hours and 4 minutes working outside the orbital laboratory.

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

Spacewalkers Moving Ahead With Cooling System Work

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Spacewalker Scott Kelly

Spacewalker Scott Kelly works on cables in the P6 truss structure to restore its cooling system back to its original configuration. Credit: NASA TV

Approximately 3.5 hours into today’s spacewalk, astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly have completed the first of several steps to restore the port truss (P6) ammonia cooling system to its original configuration.

Kelly and Lindgren have returned ammonia to the desired levels in both the prime and back-up systems.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA Television at: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

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

Astronauts Begin Second Spacewalk to Finish Cooling System Repairs

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Station, Earth and Milky Way

Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo to Twitter on August 9, 2015 with the caption, “Day 135. #MilkyWay. You’re old, dusty, gassy and warped. But beautiful. Good night from @space_station! #YearInSpace”.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren switched their spacesuits to battery power at 6:22 a.m. EST, signifying the start of today’s spacewalk, planned for 6 hours and 30 minutes.

Lindgren is wearing a spacesuit with red stripes and is designated EV1. His helmet camera displays the number 17. Kelly is wearing a spacesuit with no stripes and is designated EV2. His helmet camera displays the number 18.

The astronauts are embarking on the 190th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance to restore the port truss ammonia cooling system to its original configuration following a leak detection exercise three years ago that ultimately resulted in the replacement of an ammonia pump on the station’s truss.

NASA Television is broadcasting the spacewalk at www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

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

Watch Spacewalkers Complete Repairs Live Today on NASA TV

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NASA Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren

NASA Astronauts Scott Kelly (left) and Kjell Lindgren will conduct a spacewalk today to upgrade and service the International Space Station.

NASA Television is providing live coverage of today’s U.S. spacewalk from the International Space Station. The spacewalk is scheduled to begin at approximately 7:10 a.m. EST, or earlier, if the crew is ready to begin ahead of schedule, and will last about 6 hours and 30 minutes. NASA TV coverage begins at 5:30 a.m.

This is the second spacewalk for both Expedition 45 Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren. They will venture out of the Quest airlock to configure the port truss (P6) ammonia cooling system to its original state. A spacewalk in November 2012 by astronauts Sunita Williams and Aki Hoshide tried to isolate a leak in the truss’ cooling supply by re-plumbing the system to a backup radiator, but the leak persisted and was subsequently traced to a different component that was replaced during a spacewalk in May 2013. Now leak-free, officials decided to restore the port truss cooling system to its primary method of dispelling heat.

The spacewalk is the 190th in support of space station assembly and maintenance and the second in nine days for Kelly and Lindgren.

Watch the spacewalk live at www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

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

Spacewalkers Ready to Wrap Up Cooling System Repair Job

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The International Space Station Flies Over an Aurora

A solar array is seen in the foreground as the International Space Station flies over an aurora.

Two astronauts are ready to finish a cooling system repair job that was started three years ago on the outside of the International Space Station. NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren will exit the U.S. Quest airlock Friday at 7:10 a.m. EST for about six hours and 30 minutes of spacewalking tasks.

Kelly and Lindgren are restoring the port truss cooling system back to its original configuration after leak repair work done in November 2012 by spacewalkers Suni Williams and Aki Hoshide. More leak repair work was done to the system during a May 2013 spacewalk by NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn.

Kelly and Lindgren will also top off the cooling system’s ammonia levels using storage tanks. The Photovoltaic Thermal Control System dissipates heat generated at the space station from radiators attached to the truss structure. This will be the second spacewalk for both astronauts whose first was on Oct. 28.

Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui and veteran cosmonaut Sergey Volkov will assist the spacewalkers into their spacesuits and the airlock before depressurization begins. Yui and Volkov will also welcome the spacewalkers back into the station at the end of their excursion.

Spacewalkers Get Tools Ready While Conducting Research

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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly snaps a quick space selfie during his first ever spacewalk on Oct 28, 2015.

Two NASA astronauts are getting ready for their second spacewalk Friday morning while also conducting science. The rest of the global crew worked on orbital lab maintenance and continued international space research.

Expedition 45 Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren organized their spacewalk tools today and attached checklists to their spacesuit cuffs. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui, who will coordinate Friday’s spacewalk from inside the International Space Station, assisted Kelly and Lindgren with their tool checks.

The three astronauts also had time today for some science work to improve life on Earth and for future crews.

Lindgren downloaded data captured from tiny free-flying satellites known as SPHERES that test autonomous rendezvous and docking maneuvers and other flight techniques. Yui worked on the Capillary Flow Experiment with results potentially benefiting fluid systems on future spacecraft. Finally, Kelly took a test to measure his cognitive adaptation during his year-long spaceflight.

Astronauts Getting Ready for Friday Spacewalk

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NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is photographed just outside the airlock during his first ever spacewalk on Oct 28, 2015.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren are looking ahead to Friday morning’s spacewalk to return the port truss cooling system back to its original configuration after repair work completed in 2012. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui will assist the spacewalkers before they get out the door and coordinate their activities from inside the International Space Station.

Today, the trio reviewed the cooling system servicing spacewalk procedures and organized their tools. Kelly and Lindgren will work with ammonia fluid cables and tanks during the spacewalk scheduled for Friday at 7:10 a.m. EST. Yui joined the duo and trained for the possibility their spacesuits may come in contact with ammonia coolant flakes.

Station Hosts Crews Conducting Science for 15 Years Today

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Expedition 1

Expedition 1, the first space station crew, poses inside the Zvezda service module with a model of the young International Space Station. Pictured in December 2000 (from left) are Commander William Shepherd and Flight Engineers Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev.

Today marks 15 years of continuous habitation aboard the International Space Station. Expedition 1, the first station crew, docked Nov. 2, 2000 after launching two days earlier inside the Soyuz TM-31 spacecraft.

The young space station at the time consisted of just three modules including the Zarya module, the Zvezda service module and the Unity module. Commander William Shepherd and Flight Engineers Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko spent 141 days in space, saw two space shuttle missions and the addition of a solar array truss structure and the U.S. Destiny laboratory module.

The current six-member crew, Expedition 45, consists of NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren, Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui and veteran cosmonauts Sergey Volkov, Mikhail Kornienko and Oleg Kononenko. Kelly and Kornienko are spending nearly a year in space.

The crew worked a wide variety of lab maintenance and advanced science exploring how life adapts to long-term space missions with potential benefits to Earth-bound humans and future astronauts. Today they researched new exercise techniques and how living in space affects a crew member’s attitude.

The crew also explored how the station’s habitat affects the orbiting resident’s mental state and how lack of sleep and fatigue affects a crew member’s cognition. Another ongoing experiment that took place today researched the dynamic loads the space station experiences during spacecraft dockings, spacewalks and even crew exercise.

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