Monthly Archives: January 2017

Second Spacewalk of 2017 Successfully Complete

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Spacewalk Suit Up

Astronaut Peggy Whitson (center) helps spacewalkers Thomas Pesquet (left) and Shane Kimbrough suit up before beginning their spacewalk Jan. 13, 2017.

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough from NASA and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency concluded their spacewalk at 12:20 p.m. EST. During the nearly six hour spacewalk, the two astronauts successfully installed three new adapter plates and hooked up electrical connections for three of the six new lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station.

The new lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates replace the nickel-hydrogen batteries currently used on the station to store electrical energy generated by the station’s solar arrays. These new batteries provide an improved power capacity for operations with a lighter mass and a smaller volume than the nickel-hydrogen batteries. Robotic work to update the batteries began in January. This was the second of two spacewalks to finalize the installation. Additional batteries will be replaced as part of this power upgrade over the next couple of years as new batteries are delivered to station.

Astronauts were also able to accomplish several get-ahead tasks including stowing padded shields from Node 3 outside of the station to make room inside the airlock and taking photos to document hardware for future spacewalks.

This was the second spacewalk in a week for Kimbrough and the fourth of his career, and the first for Pesquet in the refurbishment of two of the station’s eight power channels.

Space station crew members have conducted 197 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 51 days 6 hours and 4 minutes working outside the station.

Keep up with the crew aboard the International Space Station on the agency’s blog, follow @ISS on Instagram, and @space_station on Twitter.

Astronauts Begin Second Spacewalk to Upgrade Power Systems

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Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet

Astronauts Shane Kimbrough (left) and Thomas Pesquet are today’s spacewalkers. credit: NASA

Two astronauts switched their spacesuits to battery power this morning at 6:22 a.m. EST aboard the International Space Station to begin a spacewalk planned to last about six-and-a-half hours.

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will install adapter plates and hook up electrical connections for the remaining three of six new lithium-ion batteries installed on the station’s starboard truss. Kimbrough is designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit bearing red stripes. Pesquet is designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes.

The new channel lithium-ion batteries installed Friday, Jan. 6 during the first spacewalk with Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA are functioning properly and all electrical loads are being routed normally to systems through that power channel.

Earlier this week, the robotic ground controllers used the Canadian-built “Dextre” Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator to move the three new lithium-ion batteries for today’s spacewalk into their slots in the Integrated Electronics Assembly. Engineers also moved one of the old nickel-hydrogen battery onto the HTV External Pallet for disposal and two others to one of Dextre’s arms for temporary stowage.

In all, nine old nickel-hydrogen batteries will be stowed on the external pallet for disposal when the HTV is deorbited to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere later this month. The power channel for the last of the new batteries will be activated during the spacewalk after adapter plates are moved into place on the Integrated Electronics Assembly.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates online. Learn more about the International Space Station online, including additional information about the current crew members.

Live Spacewalk Coverage Now on NASA TV

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Astronaut Peggy Whitson

Astronaut Peggy Whitson is pictured Jan. 6, 2017, during the first of two spacewalks to upgrade power systems on the International Space Station.

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will begin a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station at 7 a.m. EST Friday, Jan. 13. Watch the spacewalk live now on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

This will be the 197th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Kimbrough will be designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit bearing red stripes, the fourth of his career. Pesquet will be designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes.

This is the second of two battery replacement spacewalks this month. Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA conducted the first spacewalk Friday, Jan. 6 to install adapter plates and hook up electrical connections for three of the six new lithium-ion batteries delivered to the complex on the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle cargo ship (HTV-6) in December.

Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates online. For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.

Second Power Upgrade Spacewalk Starts Friday Morning

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Astronaut Assists Spacewalkers

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet (center) assists spacewalkers Peggy Whitson (left) and Shane Kimbrough in the U.S. Quest airlock on Jan. 6, 2017.

Expedition 50 astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet are ready for their mission’s second spacewalk that starts Friday at 7 a.m. EST. The duo will wrap up power maintenance work to connect new lithium-ion batteries and install adapter plates. Kimbrough and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson started that work last Friday during a six-hour, 32-minute spacewalk.

Both spacewalks complement the ongoing robotics work that started at the end of December. Ground controllers have been remotely-operating the Canadarm2 robotic arm and Dextre robotic hand to remove and stow the old nickel-hydrogen batteries and the install the new batteries.

The three cosmonauts have been staying focused on their set of Russian space research and lab maintenance. Station veterans Andrey Borisenko and Oleg Novitskiy collected blood samples for a pair human research studies looking at bone loss and stress responses caused by living in space. First-time station resident Sergy Ryzhikov explored chemical reactions caused by jet engine exhaust in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

U.S. and French Astronauts Prep for Friday Spacewalk

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Astronaut Shane Kimbrough

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough is pictured during the first power upgrade spacewalk on Jan. 6, 2017.

Commander Shane Kimbrough is getting ready for his second spacewalk in a week to complete the upgrade of power systems on the International Space Station. He will be joined by Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency who will be conducting his first spacewalk.

The spacewalking duo are partnering up today with NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson to review Friday morning’s spacewalk. Whitson, who completed her seventh spacewalk last Friday, and cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy will be assisting the spacewalkers in and out of their spacesuits and the Quest airlock.

Late yesterday and last night robotic ground controllers used the Dextre Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator to move the final lithium-ion battery to the 1A power channel Integrated Electronics Assembly, moved another nickel-hydrogen battery to one of Dextre’s arms for temporary stowage and tightened down bolts on two of the previously moved Li-ion batteries.

So, we now have five nickel-hydrogen batteries either on the HTV External Pallet or temporarily stowed on Dextre and one more Ni-H battery to move from the 1A IEA to another stowage position on Dextre later today to complete the pre-EVA robotics. All six new lithium-ion batteries are now installed on the S4 truss IEA. The 3A power channel is fully operational. The 1A power channel will be activated on Friday during the EVA after adapter plates are moved into place on the 1A IEA.

Post-EVA robotics on Saturday and Sunday will complete the work to move the last four old Ni-H batteries from Dextre to the External Pallet for disposal (there will be nine on the EP in all). They will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere when the HTV is deorbited.

Whitson and Pesquet started their day scanning their arteries with and ultrasound and collecting body fluid samples for the Cardio Ox study. That experiment is researching the increased risk of atherosclerosis, the plaque build-up in the artery wall that results in narrowing of the blood vessel, in astronauts living in space.

In the Russian segment of the space station, cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov set up gear for a Matryoshka radiation detection experiment. Veteran cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko studied how mission events affect the station structure and explored new Earth photography techniques.


Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Next Cygnus Mission to Station Set for March

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Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo craft

Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo craft was captured Oct. 23, 2016, using the Canadarm2 robotic arm on the International Space Station.

Orbital ATK has completed a significant mission milestone for NASA’s next International Space Station cargo mission.

The Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) of the Cygnus spacecraft has arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for processing and assembly before launch. The OA-7 mission is targeted to launch on Thursday, March 16 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Orbital ATK will launch Cygnus atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket  for delivery of essential crew supplies, equipment and scientific experiments to astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The 30 minute launch window opens at 12:29am EDT.

OA-7 will mark Orbital ATK’s seventh cargo delivery mission for NASA under its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) -1 contract.

Second Spacewalk Sets Stage for Upcoming Cargo Missions

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Astronaut Thomas Pesquet

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency is suited up for a dry run of this Friday’s upcoming spacewalk.

The six-member Expedition 50 crew has the day off today after a pair of NASA astronauts completed the first spacewalk of 2017 on Friday of last week. That spacewalk is the first of two planned in January to upgrade the International Space Station’s power systems. Both spacewalks have been backed-up with external robotics work that installed the new lithium-ion batteries and removed the old nickel-hydrogen batteries.

The next spacewalk will take place this Friday to complete the upgrades which include connecting new batteries, installing adapter plates and stowing older batteries. Commander Shane Kimbrough will suit up for the second time in a week joining first-time spacewalker astronaut Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency.

Expedition 50 crew members Peggy Whitson from NASA and Oleg Novitskiy from Roscosmos will assist the spacewalkers. They will help them in and out of their U.S. spacesuits and guide them in and out of the crew airlock.

It will be a busy few weeks after the conclusion of Friday’s upcoming spacewalk. Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-6 resupply ship will depart at the end of January completing its cargo delivery mission that included the new batteries the spacewalkers have been hooking up. A Russian Progress 64 (64P) cargo craft will undock shortly after the HTV-6 leaves.

Astronauts Complete First of Two Power Upgrade Spacewalks

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Spacewalkers Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough

Spacewalkers Peggy Whitson (left) and Shane Kimbrough were suited up and ready to go before this morning’s spacewalk began at 7:23 a.m. EST. Credit: @Thom_Astro

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson concluded their spacewalk at 1:55 p.m. EST. During the six-hour and 32-minute spacewalk, the two NASA astronauts successfully installed three new adapter plates and hooked up electrical connections for three of the six new lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station. They also accomplished several get-ahead tasks, including a photo survey of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

The new lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates replace the nickel-hydrogen batteries currently used on the station to store electrical energy generated by the station’s solar arrays. Robotic work to update the batteries began in January. This was the first of two spacewalks planned to finalize the installation.

Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will conduct the second spacewalk on Friday, Jan. 13. NASA Television coverage will begin at 5:30 a.m.

Once again, Kimbrough will be designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing a suit bearing red stripes for the fourth spacewalk of his career. Pesquet, who will be making the first spacewalk of his career, will be extravehicular crew member 2, and will wear a suit with no stripes.

Space station crew members have conducted 196 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 1,224 hours and 6 minutes working outside the station.

Keep up with the crew aboard the International Space Station on the agency’s blog, follow @ISS on Instagram, and @space_station on Twitter.

Astronauts Begin First of Two Power Upgrade Spacewalks

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Spacewalkers Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson

Today’s spacewalkers are Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson. This is Kimbrough’s 3rd spacewalk and Whitson’s seventh spacewalk.

Two astronauts switched their spacesuits to battery power this morning at 7:23 a.m. EST aboard the International Space Station to begin a spacewalk planned to last about six-and-a-half hours. Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA will install adapter plates and hook up electrical connections for three of six new lithium-ion batteries installed on the station’s starboard truss.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

The batteries were delivered to the space station Dec. 13 by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV). Earlier this week, the Canadian-built “Dextre” Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator installed three new lithium-ion batteries in the space station’s 3A power channel Integrated Electronics Assembly (IEA) pallet on the starboard truss. Dextre also removed four old nickel-hydrogen batteries from the IEA.

The robotic work cleared the way for Kimbrough and Whitson’s spacewalk today. The duo will install three adapter plates in slots on the IEA to which three of the old batteries will be mounted to remain on station, but will be dormant. In all, nine old nickel-hydrogen batteries will be stowed on the external pallet for disposal when the HTV is deorbited to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere later this month.

Kimbrough is designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit bearing red stripes. Whitson is designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes. Both will wear helmet cameras. Kimbrough is camera 18, and Whitson is camera 20.

Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates online. Learn more about the International Space Station online, including additional information about the current crew members.

Watch Spacewalk Live on NASA TV Now

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Astronaut Peggy Whitson

Astronaut Peggy Whitson is pictured during a spacewalk in November of 2007 when she was Expedition 16 Commander.

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA will begin a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station at about 7 a.m. EST today. NASA Television coverage of the spacewalk will begin at 5:30 a.m.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

This will be the 196th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Kimbrough will be designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit bearing red stripes for both spacewalks, the third and fourth of his career.

Whitson will be making the seventh spacewalk of her career and match the record of NASA’s Suni Williams, for most spacewalks by a woman. She will be designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes for the first spacewalk.

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