Monthly Archives: July 2016

Science Ops Continue as Crew Waits for New Arrivals

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Lift-off of the Expedition 48-49 Crew

The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with Expedition 48-49 crew members Kate Rubins, Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi onboard. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

A new set of Expedition 48 crew members is on its way to the International Space Station after launching Wednesday night (Thursday morning Baikonur time) aboard the Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft. The trio from Japan, Russia and the United States will arrive at their new home in space early Saturday morning for a four-month stay.

Veteran cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin is commanding the Soyuz spacecraft that is carrying him and first time astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi to the orbital laboratory. They will dock to the Rassvet module Saturday at 12:12 a.m. EDT, open the hatches about two-and-a-half hours later and begin a mission scheduled to last until October. NASA TV will cover the docking activities beginning at 11:30 p.m.

While they wait for the new arrivals, Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin are keeping up science operations and lab maintenance work. They have been aboard the station since March 18 and are due to return to Earth in September.

Williams installed gear in the Japanese Kibo lab module today for a new life science experiment set to arrive on the next SpaceX mission. Next he configured an observation rack in the U.S. lab module that will collect imagery of meteor showers pictured from space.

Crew Launches for Two-Day Ride to Station

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The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft launches

The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft launches on time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with the Expedition 48-49 crew onboard. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The Soyuz MS-01 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 9:36 p.m. EDT Wednesday (7:36 a.m. Baikonur time, July 7). NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are now safely in orbit.

This is the first flight for the upgraded Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft. The three crew members will travel for two days and a total of 34 Earth orbits before docking to the space station’s Rassvet module at 12:12 a.m. Saturday, July 9. NASA TV coverage of the docking will begin at 11:30 p.m. Friday, July 8.

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/. Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram at: http://instagram.com/iss and on Twitter @Space_Station.

On NASA TV Now, Live Coverage of Station Crew Launch

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Kate Rubins and the Expedition 48-49 Crew

(From left) NASA astronaut Kate Rubins during a crew press conference Wednesday, July 6, 2016. The Expedition 48-49 crew boards the Soyuz spacecraft. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The next three crew members bound for the International Space Station are set to launch tonight, July 6. Live launch coverage will begin at 8:30 p.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will launch at 9:36 p.m. (7:36 a.m. Baikonur time, July 7) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. All three will spend approximately four months on the orbital complex, returning to Earth in October.

The trio will travel in an upgraded Soyuz spacecraft, testing modified systems for two days – and 34 Earth orbits – before docking to the space station’s Rassvet module at 12:12 a.m. Saturday, July 9. NASA TV coverage of docking will begin at 11:30 p.m. Friday, July 8.

For the NASA TV schedule and where to watch live and replays, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/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/. Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram at: http://instagram.com/iss and on Twitter @Space_Station.

Launch Day Arrives for Three Expedition 48-49 Crew Members

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Expedition 48-49 crew members

(From left) Expedition 48-49 crew members Kate Rubins, Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi pose for a group photograph following the crew press conference at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are preparing for launch to the International Space Station. They are scheduled to lift off in a Soyuz spacecraft today at 9:36 p.m. EDT (7:36 a.m. Baikonur time, July 7). All three will spend approximately four months on the orbital complex, returning to Earth in October.

Live launch coverage will begin at 8:30 p.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website. For the NASA TV schedule and where to watch live and replays, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/

The three will join Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams of NASA and Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos. The Expedition 48 crew members will spend four months contributing to more than 250 experiments in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.

NASA TV coverage will begin at 11:30 p.m. Friday, July 8 for docking to the space station’s Rassvet module at 12:12 a.m. Saturday, July 9. Hatches are scheduled to open about 2:50 a.m. Saturday, July 9, with NASA TV coverage resuming at 2:30 a.m.

Below is the launch timeline for the crew in EDT:

July 6

3:36 p.m.        Crew departs hotel (L-6 hrs)
3:51 p.m.        Batteries installed in booster (L-5 hrs, 45 min)
4:06 p.m.        State Commission “Go” (L-5 hrs, 30 min)
4:21 p.m.        Crew arrives at Bldg 254 / Final medical check-ups
4:36 p.m.        Tanking begins (L-5 hrs)
5:06 p.m.        Crew suit up (L-4 hrs, 30 min)
5:31 p.m.        Booster loaded with liquid Oxygen (L-4 hrs, 5 min)
6:06 p.m.        Crew greets family and friends (L-3 hrs, 30 min)
6:31 p.m.        1st and 2nd stage O2 fueling complete (L-3 hrs, 5 min)
6:36 p.m.        Crew walkout (L-3 hrs)
6:41 p.m.        Crew departs for pad – Site 1 (L-2 hrs, 55 min)
7:01 p.m.        Crew arrives at launch pad – Site 1 (L-2 hrs, 35 min)
7:11 p.m.        Crew boards Soyuz MS-01 (L-2 hr, 25 min)
7:36 p.m.        Crew in re-entry vehicle (L-2 hrs)
8:01 p.m.        Re-entry vehicle hardware tested/suits ventilated
8:16 p.m.        Hatch closed; leak checks begin (L-1 hr, 20 min)
8:30 p.m.       NASA TV:     Launch coverage begins
8:36 p.m.        Launch vehicle control system prep; gyros active (L-1 hr)
8:40 p.m.       NASA TV:     Crew pre-launch activities (B-roll)
8:51 p.m.        Pad service structure components lowered (L-45 min)
8:52 p.m.        Clamshell-like gantry service towers retracted
8:59 p.m.        Suit leak checks; re-entry vehicle testing complete
9:02 p.m.        Emergency escape system armed (L-34 min)
9:21 p.m.        Suit leak checks complete; escape system to auto
9:26 p.m.        Gyros “uncaged” and recorders activated (L-10 min)
9:29 p.m.        Pre-launch operations complete (L-7 min)
9:30 p.m.        Final launch countdown operations to auto (L-6 min)
Launch complex/vehicle systems ready
9:31 p.m.        Commander’s controls active/helmets closed (L-5 min)
Launch key inserted
9:32 p.m.        Combustion chamber nitrogen purge (L-4 min)
9:33 p.m.        Booster propellant tank pressurization (drainback)
9:35 p.m.        Ground propellant feed terminated (L-90 seconds)
9:35:41 p.m.  Vehicle to internal power (L-60 seconds)
9:36:06 p.m.   Auto sequence start (L-35 seconds)
First umbilical tower separates
9:36:11 p.m.  3rd stage ground power umbilical separates (L-30 sec)
9:36:26 p.m.  Second umbilical tower separates (L-15 sec)
9:36:29 p.m.  Launch command issued (L-12 sec)
Central/side pod engines start
9:36:31 p.m.  Engine turbopumps at flight speed (L-10 sec)
9:36:36 p.m.  Engines at maximum thrust (L-5 sec)
9:36:41 p.m. LAUNCH (1 hr, 28 min after sunrise)
ISS 254 miles up and above southern Cameroon near border with Equatorial Guinea
9:45:26 pm   Orbital insertion (L+8 min, 45 sec)

July 8

11:30 p.m.     NASA TV: Docking coverage begins
12:12 am        Docking to MRM1 –“Rassvet”
2:30 a.m.       NASA TV: Coverage resumes
2:50 a.m.        Hatches scheduled to open

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/. Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram at: http://instagram.com/iss and on Twitter @Space_Station.

Crew Will Take Two-Day Ride on Upgraded Soyuz

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The Soyuz MS-01 Spacecraft

The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft is raised vertical after it was rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, July 4, 2016. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Two astronauts and one cosmonaut are scheduled to launch July 6 at 9:36 p.m. EDT (7:36 a.m. Baikonur time, July 7) for a two-day ride to the International Space Station. During their two-day transit from the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the station, the Expedition 48-49 crew will test a variety of upgraded systems on their Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft.

The modified Soyuz is equipped with upgraded thrusters that are fully redundant, additional micrometeoroid debris shielding, redundant electrical motors for the Soyuz’ docking probe and increased power with more photovoltaic cells on the spacecraft’s solar arrays.

Other enhancements for the Soyuz include a new digital video transmitter and encoder to send engineering video of the ship’s approach to the station for docking, a new relay telemetry capability along with an upgraded Kurs automated rendezvous antenna and an improved satellite navigation system to better calculate the Soyuz’ position in space.

Soyuz commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, board engineer Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and board engineer Kate Rubins of NASA will test these systems periodically throughout their 34-orbit journey to the station, the first of at least two missions in which enhanced Soyuz hardware will be tested and verified.

Russian Cargo Ship Completes Successful Re-docking Test

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Progress 62 Cargo Craft

The Progress 62 cargo craft is seen moments after undocking and backing away from the Pirs docking compartment. Credit: NASA TV

The Russian ISS Progress 62 cargo ship re-docked to the International Space Station’s Pirs docking compartment at 2:05 a.m. EDT after a short test flight.

The system test included verification of software and a new signal converter incorporated in the upgraded manual docking system for future use in Progress vehicles in the unlikely event the “Kurs” automated rendezvous system encounters a problem.

Keep up with the International Space Station and its research and crews, at:

https://www.nasa.gov/station

Live NASA TV Coverage of Cargo Ship Docking Test

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The Progress 62 Cargo Spacecraft

The Progress 62 cargo spacecraft was photographed by astronaut Tim Peake a few days after docking in December 2015. Credit: @Astro_TimPeake

The Russian ISS Progress 62 cargo ship will undock from the Pirs Docking Compartment on the International Space Station for a short flight on Friday, July 1 to test an upgraded manual rendezvous system. NASA Television will provide live coverage beginning at 1:15 a.m. EDT.

The Progress 62 cargo ship will automatically undock from the Pirs Docking Compartment of the space station before it is manually guided back in to re-dock. The maneuver will begin with undocking at 1:36 a.m. and will take approximately 30 minutes, with re-docking planned for 2:10 a.m.

This activity will test an upgraded manual docking system and an associated signal converter. The resupply ship will back away to a distance of about 600 feet (about 183 meters) from the station, at which point Expedition 48 cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of the Russian space agency Roscosmos will take manual control of the spacecraft. They will use a workstation in the Zvezda Service Module to “fly” the Progress back to a linkup with Pirs.

View NASA TV video streaming at:

https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Keep up with the International Space Station and its research and crews, at:

https://www.nasa.gov/station

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