Monthly Archives: December 2015

Crew Enters Soyuz and Closes Hatch Before Undocking

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Soyuz Spacecraft

The Soyuz spacecraft returning the Expedition 45 trio to Earth is in between the new Cygnus cargo craft and the Progress 60 resupply craft. Credit: NASA TV

At 1:32 a.m. EST, the Soyuz hatch closed between the International Space Station and the TMA-17M spacecraft. 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) are preparing to undock at 4:49 a.m. NASA Television will air live coverage of undocking beginning at 4:30 a.m. Watch live at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

The deorbit burn is targeted for 7:19 a.m. and will lead to a landing at 8:12 a.m. northeast of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. NASA TV coverage of deorbit and landing begins at 7 a.m.

Follow the conversation on Twitter using @Space_Station.

Exp 45. – Soyuz Landing Coverage Starts at 1 a.m. EST Friday

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The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 42 commander Barry Wilmore of NASA, Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Elena Serova of Roscosmos near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 (Thursday, March 12, Kazakh time).

The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 42 commander Barry Wilmore of NASA, Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Elena Serova of Roscosmos near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 (Thursday, March 12, Kazakh time).

Three International Space Station crew members are preparing to return to Earth early Friday after 141 days in space. 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) will land in their Soyuz spacecraft at 8:12 a.m. EST, northeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

NASA Television coverage begins at 1 a.m. Friday as they bid the station farewell, enter the Soyuz, and close the hatches. So far, the crew’s return is on track, and the space station is in good shape.

Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA, along with crewmates Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos, 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 and arrive at the station about 6 hours later.

Kelly and Kornienko are on the first joint U.S.-Russian one-year mission, an important stepping stone on NASA’s journey to Mars.

NASA Television coverage times for Soyuz activities are listed below. These activities also will stream online at:

https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Here is a timeline of the Expedition 45 undocking and landing.

EST EVENT
1:00 a.m. NASA TV: Expedition 45 farewell & hatch closure coverage
1:25 a.m. Soyuz TMA-17M/space station hatch closure
4:30 a.m. NASA TV: Expedition 45 Soyuz TMA-17M undocking coverage
4:48 a.m. Soyuz undock command sent
4:49 a.m. Soyuz TMA-17M undocks from space station
4:52 a.m. Soyuz manual separation burn
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

Join the conversation on Twitter @space_station.

To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect.

Cygnus Attached to Station Ready for Business

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Dec. 9, 2015: International Space Station Configuration

Dec. 9, 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-17M spacecraft is docked to the Rassvet mini-research module. The Cygnus-4 cargo craft is berthed to the Unity module.

The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship was bolted into place on the International Space Station’s Earth-facing port of the Unity module at 9:26 a.m. EST. Cygnus will be the first cargo ship to be berthed to the Earth-facing port on the Unity module.

The spacecraft’s arrival will support the crew members’ research off the Earth to benefit the Earth. The Cygnus is delivering more than 7,000 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory to support dozens of approximately 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 45 and 46. Science payloads aboard Cygnus will offer a new life science facility that will support studies on cell cultures, bacteria and other microorganisms; a microsatellite deployer and the first microsatellite that will be deployed from the space station; and experiments that will study the behavior of gases and liquids, clarify the thermo-physical properties of molten steel, and evaluate flame-resistant textiles.

Cygnus also will deliver replacement cargo items including a set of Microsoft HoloLens devices for use in NASA’s Sidekick project, a safety jet pack astronauts wear during spacewalks known as SAFER, and high pressure nitrogen and oxygen tanks to plug into the station’s air supply network.

The spacecraft will spend more than a month attached to the space station before its destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere in January 2016, disposing of about 3,000 pounds of trash.

Join the conversation on Twitter by following @Space_Station and the hashtag #Cygnus. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect

Astronaut Kjell Lindgren Captures Cygnus Spacecraft

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Cygnus Captured

This rendering from a real-time computer animation shows the Cygnus spacecraft at the time of its capture with the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Credit: NASA TV

Using the International Space Station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren successfully captured Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo vehicle at 6:19 a.m. EST. The space station crew and the robotics officer in mission control in Houston will position Cygnus for installation to the orbiting laboratory’s Earth-facing port of the Unity module.

NASA TV coverage of the installation will begin at 8:00 a.m. Installation of the Cygnus spacecraft to the space station will occur at about 9:45 a.m.

Among the more than 7,000 pounds of supplies aboard Cygnus are numerous science and research investigations and technology demonstrations, including a new life science facility that will support studies on cell cultures, bacteria and other microorganisms; a microsatellite deployer and the first microsatellite that will be deployed from the space station; several other educational and technology demonstration CubeSats; and experiments that will study the behavior of gases and liquids, clarify the thermo-physical properties of molten steel, and evaluate flame-resistant textiles.

Follow the conversation on Twitter via @Space_Station and the hashtag #Cygnus.

Crew Gets Ready for Cygnus Arrival Today

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NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren takes images of the Earth on Dec. 1, 2015 from the Cupola. Lindgren will operate the Canadarm2 from inside the Cupola to capture Cygnus.

Aboard the International Space Station, NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren is making final preparations for the arrival of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo vehicle. NASA Television is providing live coverage, which also can be seen online at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Lindgren will command the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, to reach out and capture the Cygnus. Capture is scheduled for approximately 6:10 a.m. EST. The Cygnus launched aboard an Atlas V rocket at 4:44 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Since then, the spacecraft has performed a series of engine burns to fine-tune its course for arrival at the station.

The unpiloted cargo craft, named S.S. Deke Slayton II, in honor of the late NASA astronaut, Donald “Deke” K. Slayton, is loaded with more than 7,000 pounds of research and supplies, including water, spare parts and experiment hardware, for the six-person International Space Station crew.

Follow the conversation on Twitter via @Space_Station and the hashtag #Cygnus. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect

First Christmas Delivery Set to Arrive Wednesday

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Cygnus Approaches Station

The Cygnus spacecraft approaches the International Space Station in January of 2014.

The first of two Christmas space deliveries is set to arrive early Wednesday morning. Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo craft is on its way to the International Space Station where it will be captured and berthed to the Unity module around 6:10 a.m. EST/11:10 a.m. UTC. The next holiday shipment will be delivered Dec. 23 aboard Russia’s Progress 62 resupply ship.

Meanwhile, three Expedition 45 crew members are packing their Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft and getting ready for the ride back to Earth Dec. 11. Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko will pilot astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui to the landing site in Kazakhstan after 141 days in space.

Four days later, three new Expedition 46 crew members will launch to the orbital laboratory to join One-Year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko with cosmonaut Sergey Volkov. First-time British astronaut Tim Peake will lift off Dec. 15 aboard the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft with Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA astronaut Tim Kopra for a six-month mission in space.

Cygnus Safely in Orbit and Headed to Space Station

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Cygnus Ascent into Space

Commander Scott Kelly saw the Cygnus spacecraft heading to space Sunday after its launch from Florida at 4:44 p.m. EST/9:44 p.m. UTC. He photographed the spacecraft rising above the Earth’s horizon from the International Space Station and posted it to Twitter. Credit: @StationCDRKelly

At 6:04 p.m. EST, the twin UltraFlex solar arrays of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft completed deployment. All of Cygnus’ systems are reported in excellent shape.

The spacecraft is set to arrive at the International Space Station on Wednesday, Dec. 9. NASA crew members Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly will use the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to reach out and capture Cygnus at about 6:10 a.m. NASA TV coverage of rendezvous and grapple of Cygnus will begin at 4:45 a.m.

To join the online conversation about the Orbital ATK CRS-4 launch and the International Space Station on Twitter, follow @Space_Station and #Cygnus.

Cygnus Launches on Delivery Mission to Space Station

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The Atlas V Rocket Launches

The Atlas V Rocket launches from Florida carrying the Cygnus spacecraft in to orbit. Credit: NASA TV

Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft lifted off at 4:44 p.m. EST on top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket en route to the International Space Station. At the time of launch, the International Space Station was traveling over the Atlantic Ocean, north of Bermuda.

The cargo includes dozens of science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 45 and 46.

Favorable Weather for Cygnus Liftoff Today at 70% Chance

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Atlas V Rocket with Cygnus Spacecraft

The Atlas V rocket with the Cygnus spacecraft on top is seen at the launch pad. Credit: ULA

For the latest Orbital ATK mission information visit the NASA Orbital blog here… https://blogs.nasa.gov/orbital

Countdown is continuing for today’s scheduled launch of the fourth Orbital ATK commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. The Cygnus spacecraft is set to lift off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, carrying more than 7,000 pounds of supplies and science investigations. The chance for favorable weather at the 4:44 p.m. EST liftoff is 70 percent.

Winds at the launch site have dropped dramatically in recent hours, but are predicted to increase slightly through the launch window.

NASA television coverage has begun and can be seen at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv. Significant countdown milestones are below.

The cargo includes dozens of science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 45 and 46. Science payloads will offer a new life science facility that will support studies on cell cultures, bacteria and other microorganisms; a microsatellite deployer and the first microsatellite that will be deployed from the space station; and experiments that will study the behavior of gases and liquids, clarify the thermo-physical properties of molten steel, and evaluate flame-resistant textiles.

Cygnus also will deliver replacement cargo items including a set of Microsoft HoloLens devices for use in NASA’s Sidekick project, a safety jet pack astronauts wear during spacewalks known as SAFER, and high pressure nitrogen and oxygen tanks to plug into the station’s air supply network.

For a mission overview, press kit, launch countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/orbitalatk.

To join the online conversation about the Orbital ATK CRS-4 launch and the International Space Station on Twitter, follow @Space_Station and the hashtag #Cygnus.

Launch Managers Push Third Cygnus Launch Attempt to Sunday

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Atlas V Rocket and Cygnus Spacecraft

The Atlas V Rocket with the Cygnus spacecraft on top stands at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch pad in Florida. Credit: United Launch Alliance

For the latest Orbital ATK mission information visit the NASA Orbital blog here… https://blogs.nasa.gov/orbital

Launch managers deferred a Saturday launch opportunity due to high wind conditions expected to violate launch rules during the window. The new launch time is Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4:44 p.m. EST for the fourth Orbital ATK commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. The forecast for Sunday improves to 40 percent chance of favorable weather.

The Cygnus spacecraft will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage Sunday will begin at 3:45 p.m.

Cygnus is loaded with more than 7,000 pounds of supplies and science and research investigations. Science payloads aboard Cygnus will offer a new life science facility that will support studies on cell cultures, bacteria and other microorganisms; a microsatellite deployer and the first microsatellite that will be deployed from the space station; and experiments that will study the behavior of gases and liquids, clarify the thermo-physical properties of molten steel, and evaluate flame-resistant textiles.

For a mission overview, press kit, launch countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/orbitalatk.

To join the online conversation about the Orbital ATK CRS-4 launch and the International Space Station on Twitter, follow @Space_Station and #Cygnus.

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