Cygnus Spacecraft Gets Ready for Tuesday Release

Astronauts Jeff Williams, Timothy Kopra and Timothy Peake
Astronauts Jeff Williams, Timothy Kopra and Timothy Peake are pictured in front of the hatch to the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

Expedition 47 is preparing the Orbital ATK Cygnus space freighter for its June 14 departure from the International Space Station. The Canadarm2 robotic arm will maneuver towards Cygnus and grapple the cargo craft before unberthing it from the Unity module and releasing it next Tuesday.

The crew is reviewing gear that will be installed in Cygnus to record its fiery re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere on June 22. When Cygnus begins its atmospheric demise the Re-entry Breakup Recorder will collect data during its breakup. Engineers will use the data to better understand the orbital dynamics of a destructive re-entry and design safer spacecraft.

British astronaut Tim Peake joined NASA astronauts Jeff Williams and Tim Kopra for ultrasound scans today. The scans, along with biological samples and ground tests, will help doctors determine the risk of clogged arteries, or atherosclerosis, in astronauts on long term space missions.

The three cosmonauts, Yuri Malenchenko, Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin, worked on their set of science experiments and maintenance tasks on the Russian side of the station. They continued exploring the vibrations the station experiences during spacecraft dockings, spacewalks and crew exercise sessions. They also researched new techniques to locate module pressure leaks as well as locate and photograph landmarks on Earth.

 

2 thoughts on “Cygnus Spacecraft Gets Ready for Tuesday Release”

  1. Looking at the three men who have been living and working inside and outside of the space station’ look as they do not want to return to earth. If I was a lot youngers, I would jump at the chance to travel above the earth and beyond.
    What NASA are doing today is a stepping stone to mankind living ion Mars in their own homes’ when I hear so much of Mars’ I truly believe a new home will be built on the moon, which will more than just a stop over traveling to Moon as I have written about above those homes will become so much more. I would like to believe in the future there will also be children born on the Moon’ they will be asked where do you live? with pride they will say’ THE MOON

  2. I guess we will assume the Re-entry Breakup Recorder has been armored/hardened to survive the Fire experiment that is scheduled to run between ISS departure and re-entry? I realize it was designed to survive re-entry for as long as possible but the in-cabin fire might create a different range of hazards.

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