September was a busy month on the International Space Station filled with a wide variety of space research, a spacewalk, a crew departure and a test of the new BEAM module. One science highlight this month includes a new experiment that may improve how medicine works.
A new fuel burning study is about to start soon after Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi completes the installation of the Group Combustion experiment. Results from the fire research could help engineers design advanced rocket engines and industrial furnaces. Onishi is also documenting his meals over the next few days for the ENERGY study. Onishi’s meal data in conjunction with his water and breath samples will help scientists understand the nutritional requirements necessary for long-term space missions.
Cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, who took command of Expedition 49 on Sept. 6, has been working on the continuous upkeep of the Russian segment of the space station. The veteran cosmonaut has been preparing a Progress resupply ship for its Oct. 14 undocking. Some of the numerous Russian science experiments Ivanishin has been conducting have been observing the condition of the Earth and exploring human research.
BEAM, the new expandable module attached to the International Space Station, was opened up today for tests and equipment checks. The Expedition 49 crew also explored eating right in space, adapting to new technology and studied a variety of other life science and physics research.
Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi started an 11-day run today to document his meals while wearing a monitor that will take water samples and measure his breathing. The ENERGY experiment will help doctor’s understand metabolism in space and ensure astronauts are properly nourished to maintain the energy required for a long-term mission. Onishi is also continuing to set up the Group Combustion fuel burning study and checked for pressure leaks in the experiment gear.
The three Expedition 49 crew members measured noise levels on the International Space Station today and continued exploring how physical and organic phenomena are affected by weightlessness.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins surveyed the acoustic environment inside the station today. She analyzed the sound levels of various life support gear and took standard measurements in the Destiny lab module and the Zvezda service module. Rubins also partnered up with Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi to remix, photograph and stow samples for the Hard to Wet Surfaces pharmaceutical study.
Onishi began his day testing his performance on a mobile tablet device. The study, known as Fine Motor Skills, observes how an astronaut adapts to new technology and could help engineers design next generation spacecraft, spacesuits and tools. He then moved onto setting up equipment for the upcoming Group Combustion experiment to research how fuel burns in space. Results could influence the future production of rocket engines and industrial furnaces.
On the Russian side of the station, Commander Anatoly Ivanishin sampled different areas searching for mold fungus and bacteria contamination. The commander then repressurized the station’s environment with air from a docked cargo ship and worked on life support system maintenance.
Two different studies are under way on the International Space Station – one will observe how fuel burns in space while another is researching how medicine dissolves in water. Results from both experiments could benefit humans on Earth and in space.
Astronaut Takuya Onishi is setting up the Group Combustion experiment that will explore how flames spread across a cloud of fuel droplets. Observations may help engineers design advanced rocket engines, as well as gas turbines and industrial furnaces.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is researching how pharmaceutical materials dissolve in water for the Hard to Wet Surfaces study. The space environment can reveal processes masked by Earth’s gravity and help scientists improve how drugs work in humans on Earth and in space.
Commander Anatoly Ivanishin was back at work studying how charged particle systems react when trapped in a magnetic field. The veteran cosmonaut, who is on his second station mission, also explored new methods to detect and target landmarks improving Earth photography techniques.
Mission managers are targeting the Oct. 9-13 timeframe for the launch of the sixth Orbital ATK resupply mission to the International Space Station. A pair of astronauts onboard the station are also training for the robotic capture of the Cygnus resupply ship from Orbital ATK when it arrives about two days after launch.
Cygnus’ primary mission is to deliver about 2,400 kilograms of supplies and science experiments to the Expedition 49 crew. When Cygnus departs the station about a month later it will participate in secondary missions including combustion research and deploying CubeSats for weather forecasting before reentering Earth’s atmosphere.
Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi called down to ground controllers today to review and train for next month’s planned arrival of the Cygnus. The duo will be in the cupola monitoring the Cygnus’ rendezvous and approach before grappling and installing the spacecraft with Canada’s robotic arm Canadarm2.
Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi are continuing more eye checks today in the middle of day-long orbital plumbing work. Commander Anatoly Ivanishin packed trash in a resupply ship and researched a variety of Earth and space phenomena.
Rubins and Onishi scanned each other’s eyes today using an ultrasound. Doctors on the ground assisted the duo and will use the data to determine how living in space affects vision and the shape of the eye. The pair also participated in the Story Time From Space video series for children demonstrating simple physics experiments.
Onishi spent most of his day replacing parts such as sensors and valves in the bathroom, or the Water and Hygiene Compartment, located in the Tranquility module. Rubins analyzed the quality of the station’s water supply and sampled for microbes, silica and organic material.
Ivanishin, a veteran cosmonaut on his second station mission, is getting the Progress 63 cargo craft ready for departure next month. He transferred cargo and trash to and from the resupply ship then updated the station’s inventory management system. The commander also spent some time exploring new ways to monitor natural disasters, how the digestive system adapts in space and detecting orbital debris and micrometeoroid impacts on the station.
The United States and Russia are working to get a pair of cargo ships ready for a mid-October launch schedule to the International Space Station. While the new shipments are being processed, the Expedition 49 crew conducted eye checks, wore carbon dioxide monitors and prepared for a fuel combustion experiment.
The U.S. company Orbital ATK is targeting the Oct. 9-13 time frame for the launch of its sixth Commercial Resupply Services mission to the space station. Its Cygnus spacecraft will be scheduled to launch atop an Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Va., after successfully completing operational milestones and technical reviews.
The next resupply mission will be Oct. 20 when the Progress 65 cargo craft launches from Kazakhstan on a two-day trip to the space station. The new Russian space freighter will replace the Progress 63 after it undocks Oct. 14 from the rear port of the Zvezda service module.
Back on orbit, astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi paired up for routine eye exams today with remote support from ground personnel. Rubins, from NASA, also wore personal devices to demonstrate the ability to monitor a crew member’s exposure to carbon dioxide aboard a spacecraft.
Onishi, from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, continued setting up gear to begin the Group Combustion experiment next week. That study will explore how flames fed by fuel droplets spread in microgravity.
The Expedition 49 crew is helping the pharmaceutical industry improve drug design while also helping researchers understand the properties of materials burning at high temperatures. The International Space Station‘s microgravity environment helps reveal new characteristics of physical and organic processes cloaked by Earth’s gravity. Scientists, doctors and engineers use these observations to design products and procedures to benefit humans living on Earth and in space.
The new Eli Lilly-Hard to Wet Surfaces experiment is researching how different materials dissolve in water. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins set up a camera to automatically photograph the process today using six samples. Results could benefit how pills are designed improving drug delivery inside the body.
Commander Anatoly Ivanishin continued checking out Russian laptop computers and life support systems today. The veteran cosmonaut also transferred gear from a cargo ship and wrapped up a 24-hour data recording session for the Cosmocard blood circulation study.
The three Expedition 49 crew members orbiting Earth right now are moving ahead today with human research and the upkeep of the International Space Station. In the meantime, Roscosmos officials have decided to postpone the Sept. 23 launch of NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko aboard the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft.
Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin worked throughout the station’s Russian segment Monday working on life support systems, checking computers and testing video gear. He also set up an electrocardiogram to begin recording data for 24 hours for the Cosmocard blood circulation study.
Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi partnered up for the Body Measures experiment exploring how living in space changes body shape and size. The study involves video-taping, photographing and tape measuring the circumference of a crew member’s arms, legs and chest and comparing it with data recorded before, during and after a space mission.
The pair also performed a series of interactive tasks on a touchscreen tablet for the Fine Motor Skills study. That experiment explores how astronauts interact with new technologies which may help engineers design new spacesuits and spacecraft for future long-term space missions.
Roscosmos decided to postpone the planned September 23, 2016 launch of the spacecraft “Soyuz MS – 02” for technical reasons after routine tests at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch date of the spacecraft will be announced later.