Station to Boost Orbit Ahead of March Crew Swap

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The Green and Red Hues of an Aurora

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly took this majestic image of the Earth at night highlighting the green and red hues of an Aurora. He tweeted this message along with the image: “The dance of #aurora. #YearInSpace”

The International Space Station will raise its orbit Wednesday afternoon before a pair of crews swap places and a cargo ship arrives in March. One-year crew members Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos are set to return home March 1 along with Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov. Then, Expedition 47 will begin and three new crew members will arrive March 19. New supplies are scheduled to be delivered to the crew March 31 aboard a Progress 63 cargo craft.

The orbiting Expedition 46 crew was back at work Tuesday on a series of life science and physics experiments to benefit life on Earth and crews living in space. Commander Scott Kelly explored maximizing the effects of exercise in space while British astronaut Tim Peake studied how living in space affects using touch-based technologies, repairing sensitive equipment and a variety of other tasks. NASA astronaut Tim Kopra researched how materials burn in space.

Two cosmonauts resized their Russian Orlan spacesuits today, checked them for leaks and set up hardware before next week’s maintenance spacewalk. Flight Engineers Sergey Volkov and Yuri Malenchenko will work outside Feb. 3 in their Orlan suits to install hardware and science experiments on the orbital lab’s Russian segment.

 

14 thoughts on “Station to Boost Orbit Ahead of March Crew Swap

  1. Claire Newall

    Apologies for the ignorance but why would you need to boost the stations orbit this early ahead of a March swap of crew etc. Is it to do with the mass of the ISS and the gravitational pull of the Earth on it so that in order to get it to a higher orbit to make it easier for the rocket to dock you start the procedure this early? What will the orbital height be just prior to the rocket docking and will it maintain its current speed? Thank you for your help. Best Wishes

    Reply
    1. Mark Garcia Post author

      Atmospheric drag is one factor to maintain its proper mean altitude for the station operations, but for the crew launches and for Progress launches specifically, the altitude must be adjusted to accommodate the proper orbital mechanics and phasing capability for the Russians to meet a four-orbit, six-hour rendezvous when applicable.

      Reply
  2. Stanislava

    Dear members of ISS , How The ONE YEAR IN SPACE CREW are feeling , being so long in the Out of Earth conditions, and all articles say that they will be changes in bones, muscles, and even they are doing sports , haw whould be to adapt to gravitation conditions?
    Stanislava Markova

    Reply
  3. Wendell Keith

    You are talking about things happening in March, but didn’t mention the SpaceX delivery of cargo in March. I see that it is scheduled to launch on March 20th.

    Reply
  4. Tracy

    Hi Astronauts! Watch you fly over whenever I can. It was super fun to see five planets the other morning and than the ISS fly in between them in the sky. Super bonus for early morning viewing!

    Reply
  5. Cassie Kelly

    I would love to know more about the Cosmonauts resizing their space suits. Could you point to any more information about this? Do the suits come with this capability? What is involved? Any info would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
  6. Vic Provenzano

    Hi Astronauts first may I say what a fantastic job you all are doing up there!!
    what temperature is the iss climate set on ,in Celsius thanks,also humidity?
    Also do you ever get hit by Micro debris?
    And sorry last do you get a lot of radiation from solar flares,any way of measuring this?
    Thanks
    Vic Provenzano
    Ba science student
    Adelaide uni.

    Reply

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