Monthly Archives: December 2015

New Crew Getting Up to Speed on the Station

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Dec. 15, 2015: International Space Station Configuration

Dec. 15, 2015: International Space Station Configuration. (Clockwise from top) The Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft is docked to the Poisk mini-research module. The ISS Progress 61 spacecraft is docked to the Zvezda service module. The ISS Progress 60 spacecraft is docked to the Pirs docking compartment. The Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft is docked to the Rassvet mini-research module. The Cygnus-4 cargo craft is berthed to the Unity module.

The new Expedition 46 trio aboard the International Space Station is settling in for a six-month mission and getting right to work. They arrived Tuesday morning, had a quick safety briefing and rested up before their first full day aboard the orbital laboratory.

New Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko, Tim Kopra and Tim Peake worked throughout Wednesday familiarizing themselves with station systems and emergency procedures. During the afternoon Kopra began unloading the new Cygnus private cargo ship while Peake worked on NanoRacks gear and life support hardware. Malenchenko began unloading science experiments, including the Biosignal human cell study, and other supplies from the new Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft.

One-Year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are over nine months into their mission aboard the station. Flight Engineer Sergey Volkov has been with the crew since September. Kelly and Volkov paired up for eye exams today as part of the Ocular Health study. Kornienko assisted Malenchenko with the Soyuz cargo transfers. He also explored how vibrations affect the station structure caused by crew activities such as spacewalks, vehicle dockings and exercise.

Soyuz Approaches Station

ISS046e001535 (12/15/2015) — Cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko manually docked the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft to the Rassvet module bringing he and astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake to the International Space Station. The solar array of the Cygnus cargo craft is seen in the foreground.

New Crew Enters Station and Joins Expedition 46

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The Six-Member Expedition 46 Crew

The six-member expedition 46 crew gathers for a ceremony in the Zvezda service module as friends and family congratulate the new arrivals. From left are Flight Engineers Tim Kopra, Sergey Volkov, Yuri Malenchenko, Mikhail Kornienko and Tim Peake with Commander Scott Kelly. Credit: NASA TV

Tim Kopra of NASA, Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency), and Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos joined their Expedition 46 crewmates aboard the orbiting laboratory when the hatches between the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft and the International Space Station officially opened at 2:58 p.m. EST. Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Flight Engineers Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos welcomed the trio aboard their orbiting home.

The crew members will install equipment and conduct experiments to help NASA’s journey to Mars while making discoveries that can benefit all of humanity. Learn more about Expedition 46 crew members and their activities: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/np-2015-12-043-jsc-exp-46-summary.pdf

The incoming trio will spend about six-months aboard the station. Kelly and Kornienko are about nine months into their one-year mission, and are scheduled to return home in March 2016. These trips also enable the Roscomos to rotate a crew member and a Soyuz spacecraft. Each Soyuz remains in orbit about six months.

Follow the space station blog for crew activities at: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation. To join the online conversation about the International Space Station, follow @Space_Station, and check out all the ways to connect with NASA at: https://www.nasa.gov/socialmedia.

New Crew Arrives at Station for Six-Month Mission

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Soyuz Approaches Station

The Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft approaches the International Space Station with three new Expedition 46-47 crew members. Credit: NASA TV

Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko manually docked the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft at 12:33 p.m. EST to the International Space Station’s Rassvet module after an initial automated attempt was aborted. Malenchenko took control of the Soyuz, backed it away from the station to assess the Soyuz’ systems, then re-approached the complex for the manual docking. Flight Engineer Tim Kopra of NASA and Flight Engineer Tim Peake of the European Space Agency flanked Malenchenko as he brought the Soyuz to the Rassvet port for the start of a six-month mission.

After leak checks are conducted on both sides of the docking interface, hatches will be opened and Malenchenko, Kopra and Peake will be greeted by Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Flight Engineers Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos).

Watch the hatch opening and welcome ceremony live on NASA Television at 2 p.m. EST: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

To learn more about the International Space Station, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/station. For launch coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. To join the online conversation about the International Space Station, follow @Space_Station.

New Crew in Soyuz Closing in for Station Docking

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Soyuz Spacecraft

A Soyuz spacecraft is seen docked to the International Space Station in 2014.

A Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft carrying Tim Kopra of NASA, Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency), and Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos, is scheduled to dock to the International Space Station at 12:24 p.m. EST. NASA Television coverage of the docking is live now at: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

NASA TV will resume at 2 p.m. EST to cover hatch opening between the two spacecraft as well as the welcoming ceremony.

The three crew members will join Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Flight Engineers Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov, both of Roscosmos, bringing the total to six crew members aboard the space station.

To learn more about the International Space Station, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/station. For launch coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. To join the online conversation about the International Space Station, follow @Space_Station.

Crew On Quick Trip to Station After “Flawless” Launch

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Expedition 46 Launch

Three Expedition 46 crew members launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-19M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

The Soyuz TMA-19M launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 6:03 a.m. EST Tuesday (5:03 p.m. in Baikonur). At the time of launch, the space station was flying 252 miles above northeast Kazakhstan. Tim Kopra of NASA, Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency), and Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos are now safely in orbit.

NASA Television coverage continues: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Below is a schedule of the remainder of the trip today to the orbiting laboratory:

6:48 a.m.      DV-1 rendezvous burn (64 mph / 93 fps)
7:32 a.m.      DV-2 burn (53 mph / 77 fps)
8:31 a.m.      DV-3 burn (27 mph / 40 fps)
9:19 a.m.      DV-4 burn (13 mph / 19 fps)
10:15:55 a.m. Automated Rendezvous & Docking (AR&D) start
10:24 a.m.    AR&D Impulse 1 (19 mph / 28 fps)
10:25 a.m.    US Motion Control Sys handover to Russian segment
10:30 a.m.    Station maneuvers to docking attitude
10:44 a.m.    AR&D Impulse 2 (.2 fps)
10:47 a.m.    Range 124 miles – establish Soyuz VHF-2 voice link
10:48 a.m.    Soyuz Kurs-A (Active) activation
10:50 a.m.    Service Module (Zvezda) Kurs-P (Passive) activation
11:08 a.m.    AR&D Impulse 3 (46 mph / 68 fps)
11:13 a.m.    Range 49.7 miles – Valid Kurs-P range data
11:34 a.m.    Range 9.3 miles (49,212 ft) – Kurs-A & -P short test
11:42 a.m.    Range 4.9 miles (26,247 ft) – Soyuz TV activation
11:45 a.m.    NASA TV: Docking coverage begins
11:45 a.m.    SCAN & RapidScat inhibit–NLT (3.7 miles / 19,685 ft)
11:50 a.m.    AR&D Impulse 4 (16 mph / 23 fps)
11:52 a.m.    AR&D Ballistic Targeting Point
11:55 a.m.    AR&D Impulse 5 (13 mph / 20 fps)
11:58 a.m.    AR&D Impulse 6 (4.5 mph / 6.6 fps)
12:01 p.m.    Fly-around mode start
12:07 p.m.    Station keeping start
12:13 p.m.    Final approach start
12:16 p.m.    Station inertial snap-and-hold window open
12:18 p.m.    Sunset
12:24 p.m.    Docking to MRM1 –“Rassvet”

  • 253 miles up & above Southwestern Russia
  • Station to free drift

12:37 p.m.    Soyuz and Rassvet hooks closed

  • Station maneuvers to LVLH attitude

12:53 p.m.    Sunrise
1:30 p.m.      Russian to US Motion Control System handover
2:00 p.m.     NASA TV: Hatch/welcome coverage
2:25 p.m.      Hatch opening & welcome ceremony

  • Includes VIP & family calls from Baikonur

4:00 p.m.     NASA TV: Docking, hatches & welcome highlights

To learn more about the International Space Station, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/station. For launch coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. To join the conversation online about the International Space Station, follow @Space_Station.

Crew Aboard Soyuz Rocket Ready for Launch

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Expedition 46 Trio

The Expedition 46 trio waves moments before boarding their Soyuz rocket. From top are Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko, NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake. Credit: NASA TV

Astronauts Tim Kopra of NASA and Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos have boarded the Russian Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft that will carry them to the International Space Station (ISS). All is on track for lift off at 6:03 a.m. EST. NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 5 a.m. Watch on NASA TV or at: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

The crew is scheduled to dock to the station at 12:24 p.m. after a six-hour journey. The trio will join Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Flight Engineers Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov, both of Roscosmos, bringing the total to six crew members aboard the ISS after operating with only three crew members for four days.

The incoming crew replaces Expedition 45 Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos and Kimiya Yui of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), who all returned to Earth Dec. 11, 2015. While both Kopra and Malenchenko have previously worked aboard the orbiting laboratory, this trip marks the first for Peake.

To learn more about the International Space Station, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/station.

For launch coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/.

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station, follow @Space_Station.

Light Day for Orbiting Crew Ahead of New Crew Launch

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Expedition 46 Crew Members

Expedition 46 Flight Engineer Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency), left, Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), center, and Flight Engineer Tim Kopra of NASA pose for a picture at the conclusion of a press conference held at the Cosmonaut Hotel, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015 in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

The three Expedition 46 crew members on board the International Space Station have a light duty day today before they welcome a new trio to the station on Tuesday. Commander Scott Kelly enjoyed a day off while cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov spent some time on microgravity science and vision checks.

Back on the ground in Kazakhstan, a new Soyuz rocket stands at its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome after being rolled out Sunday morning. The Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft will liftoff Tuesday at 6:03 a.m. EST/11:03 a.m. UTC (5:03 p.m. Kazakh time) carrying three new crew members on a six-hour trip to the International Space Station.

Veteran cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko will command the Soyuz vehicle alongside NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and British astronaut Tim Peake. The crew will be living and working in space for the next six months on advanced science benefitting life on Earth and future crews in space.

Malenchenko is the most experienced member of this trio with 641 days in space. He is embarking on his fourth space station mission.  He also lived on Russia’s last space station Mir and flew aboard space shuttle Atlantis. This will be Kopra’s second station residency, having spent 58 days in space as an Expedition 20 Flight Engineer. Peake will be Britain’s first astronaut to go to the International Space Station and this will be his first mission.

Soyuz With Expedition 45 Trio Lands After 141 Days in Space

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Soyuz Undocks

The Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft undocks carrying crew members Oleg Kononenko, Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui back to Earth. Credit: @StationCDRKelly

Three crew members from the International Space Station returned to Earth on Friday. The landing in Kazakhstan wrapped up a space mission that lasted 141 days and returned samples from several NASA human research experiments aboard the station.

Expedition 45 flight engineers Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) touched down at approximately 8:12 a.m. EST (7:12 p.m. Kazakhstan time) northeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. It was the first time a crew has landed after sunset and only the sixth nighttime Soyuz return from the space station.

As they adjust to gravity after their stay in space, Russian recovery teams will help the crew exit the Soyuz vehicle and load them into waiting helicopters for return flights home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, northeast of Moscow.

Astronaut Kjell Lindgren

Astronaut Kjell Lindgren is tended by doctors and bundled up shortly after landing in below freezing conditions in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA TV

The trio arrived at the station July 23 and orbited Earth 2,256 times, traveling a total of 59.6 million miles. It was the first mission for Lindgren and Yui and the third for Kononenko, who has now spent 533 days in space.

While aboard the orbiting laboratory, the crew members participated in Earth observations and conducted research in the areas of physical, biological and molecular science to advance knowledge and demonstrate new technologies. Such investigations enable research breakthroughs and drive technology innovations that provide benefits on Earth, and will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration missions into deep space.

The space station is a test bed to demonstrate new technologies, and Lindgren and Yui took part in the Veggie plant growth experiment that yielded fresh lettuce for crew consumption in August. NASA is maturing Veggie technology aboard the space station to provide future pioneers with a sustainable food supplement — a critical part of NASA’s journey to Mars.

The crew members welcomed three cargo spacecraft during the mission: the fifth Japanese HTV in August, a Russian ISS Progress in October, and Orbital ATK’s Cygnus, which arrived at the station Wednesday.

During his time on the orbiting complex, Lindgren ventured outside the confines of the space station for two planned spacewalks. The first included a variety of station upgrade and maintenance tasks, including routing cables to prepare for new docking ports for U.S. commercial crew spacecraft. The second spacewalk resulted in the successful reconfiguration of a space station ammonia cooling system.

The Expedition 46 crew members remaining aboard to continue research and maintenance are Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov. The three-person crew will operate the station for four days until the arrival of three new crew members. NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) are scheduled to launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on Dec. 15.

Soyuz Fires Engines for Return to Earth

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Soyuz De-orbit and Entry Profile

Following a deorbit burn completed at 7:23 a.m. EST, the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft carrying Expedition 45 Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is on a trajectory to return to Earth and land northeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, at 8:12 a.m. (7:12 p.m. Kazakhstan time).

NASA TV coverage continues and can also be viewed online at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Weather has deteriorated at the landing site, so the search and recovery forces will expedite the crew’s removal from the landing site. Rather than setting up and tending to the crew members in a medical tent at the landing site, the teams will quickly load them into waiting helicopters for a flight to Dzhezkazgan instead of Karaganda. From Dzhezkazgan, Lindgren and Yui will depart for a return to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston while Kononenko returns to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, northeast of Moscow.

Follow the conversation on Twitter using @space_station.

Expedition 45 Heading Home After Undocking from Station

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Expedition 45 Crew Members

The Expedition 45 crew members are seen in their Sokol landing and entry spacesuits in front of the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft during a training session in July 2015.

The Soyuz TMA-17M carrying Expedition 45 Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) undocked from the station at 4:49 a.m. EST.

Kononenko is the commander at the controls of the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft. They will perform a separation burn to increase the distance from the station before executing a 4-minute, 41-second deorbit burn at 7:19 a.m. The crew is scheduled to land at 8:12 a.m. northeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

NASA Television will air live coverage of the Soyuz TMA-17M deorbit burn and landing beginning at 7 a.m.

The departure marks the end of Expedition 45. Having completed his third mission, Kononenko now has spent 533 days in space. Lindgren and Yui spent 141 days on their first flight.

The Expedition 46 crew members remaining aboard to continue research and maintenance are Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov. The three-person crew will operate the station for four days until the arrival of three new crew members. NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) are scheduled to launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on Dec. 15.

Here is the timeline for Expedition 45’s landing:

EST                             EVENT

7:00 a.m.                   NASA TV: Expedition 45 Soyuz TMA-17M deorbit burn and landing coverage
7:19 a.m.                   Soyuz TMA-17M deorbit burn (4 minutes, 41 seconds duration)
7:46 a.m.                   Soyuz module separation (altitude 87 miles)
7:49 a.m.                   Soyuz atmospheric entry (altitude 62 miles)
7:57 a.m.                   Command to open parachute (6.7 miles)
8:12 a.m.                   Expedition 45 Soyuz TMA-17M landing northeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan

For live updates, follow @space_station on Twitter.

Dec. 11, 2015: International Space Station Configuration

Dec. 11, 2015: International Space Station Configuration. (Clockwise from top) The Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft is docked to the Poisk mini-research module. The ISS Progress 61 spacecraft is docked to the Zvezda service module. The ISS Progress 60 spacecraft is docked to the Pirs docking compartment. The Cygnus-4 cargo craft is berthed to the Unity module.

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