Three new Expedition 55 crew members are set to begin their mission aboard the International Space Station when they dock to the Poisk module Friday at 3:41 p.m. EDT. Flight Engineers Ricky Arnold, Drew Feustel and Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev are midway through their flight inside the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft that launched Wednesday at 1:44 p.m. from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Expedition 55 Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineers Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai will greet their new crewmates when the hatches to the new Soyuz spacecraft open Friday around 5:45 p.m. The current station crew has been living onboard the orbital complex since Dec. 19.
NASA TV will cover the rendezvous and docking activities live beginning Friday at 3 p.m. The hatch opening and welcome ceremony broadcast will start at 5 p.m.
As they wait for their new crewmates, Tingle and Kanai are getting a pair of U.S. spacesuits ready for next Thursday’s spacewalk to install new communications gear. Commander Shkaplerov is loading a Russian resupply ship with trash and obsolete gear ahead of its undocking on Wednesday.
The Soyuz MS-08 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 1:44 p.m. EDT (11:44 p.m. Kazakhstan time). NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos are safely in orbit on their way to the International Space Station.
The trio will orbit Earth for approximately two days before docking to the space station’s Poisk module at 3:41 p.m. Friday, March 23. Coverage of docking will begin at 3 p.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website, followed at 5 p.m. by coverage of the opening of hatches between the spacecraft and station.
The arrival Friday of Feustel, Arnold and Artemyev will restore the station’s crew complement to six as they join Scott Tingle of NASA, Expedition 55 Commander Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The crew members will spend more than five months conducting about 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.
This crew continues the long-term increase in crew size on the U.S. segment from three to four, allowing NASA to maximize time dedicated to research on the space station. Highlights of upcoming investigations include: a new facility to test materials, coatings and components of other large experiments in the harsh environment of space; a study on the effects of microgravity on bone marrow and blood cells produced in bone marrow; and a newly-developed passive nutrient delivery system for the Veggie plant growth facility.
Arnold, a former educator, will continue NASA’s Year of Education on Station, an initiative to engage students and educators in human spaceflight and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.
Two American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut are making final preparations for their journey to the International Space Station. At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos are set to launch in the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft at 1:44 p.m. EDT (11:44 p.m. Kazakhstan time).
Live coverage will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
The three will join Expedition 55 commander Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos, Scott Tingle of NASA and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanity’s only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory.
Below is the crew’s launch timeline in EDT:
10:39:25am 3:05 First and second stage oxygen fueling complete
10:44:25am 3:00 Crew walkout from 254 and board bus for the launch pad
10:49:25am 2:55 Crew departs for launch pad (Site 1)
11:09:25am 2:35 Crew arrives at launch pad (Site 1)
12:19:25pm 2:25 Crew boards Soyuz; strapped in to the Descent module
12:09:25pm 1:35 Descent module hardware tested
12:24:25pm 1:20 Hatch closed; leak checks begin
12:44:25pm 1:00 Launch vehicle control system prep; gyro activation 12:45:00pm :59:25 NASA TV LAUNCH COVERAGE BEGINS
12:59:25pm :45 Pad service structure components lowered
1:00:25pm :44 Clamshell gantry service towers retracted 1:05:00pm :39:25 NASA TV: Crew pre-launch activities played (B-roll)
1:07:25pm :37 Suit leak checks begin; descent module testing complete
1:10:25pm :34 Emergency escape system armed
1:29:25pm :15 Suit leak checks complete; escape system to auto
1:34:25pm :10 Gyros in flight readiness and recorders activated
1:37:25pm :07 Pre-launch operations complete
1:38:25pm :06 Launch countdown operations to auto; vehicle ready
1:39:25pm :05 Commander’s controls activated
1:40:25pm :04 Combustion chamber nitrogen purge
1:41:25pm :03 Propellant drainback
1:41:40pm :02:45 Booster propellant tank pressurization
1:42:55pm :01:30 Ground propellant feed terminated
1:43:25pm :01:00 Vehicle to internal power
1:43:50pm :00:35 First umbilical tower separates Auto sequence start
1:43:55pm :00:30 Ground umbilical to third stage disconnected
1:44:10pm :00:15 Second umbilical tower separates
1:44:13pm :00:12 Launch command issued Engine Start Sequence Begins
1:44:15pm :00:10 Engine turbopumps at flight speed
1:44:20pm :00:05 Engines at maximum thrust
1:44:25pm :00:00 LAUNCH OF SOYUZ MS-08 TO THE ISS (At the time of launch, the space station will be over the south Atlantic, east of Argentina; altitude of about 257 statute miles)
1:53:10pm +8:45 THIRD STAGE SHUTDOWN; SOYUZ ORBITAL INSERTION
The next update will be after the crew safely reaches orbit.
After a two-day flight, the new crew members will dock to the station’s Poisk docking module at 3:41 p.m. Friday, March 25. About two hours later, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open, and the new residents will begin their mission.
A Soyuz rocket stands at its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan ready to blast off Wednesday with three Expedition 55-56 crew members to the International Space Station. In the following two weeks the expanded Expedition 55 crew will conduct a spacewalk and welcome a new SpaceX Dragon cargo craft.
Today, NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev held a press conference while in quarantine at the Cosmonaut Hotel talking to journalists behind a glass partition. The trio will blast off inside the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft Wednesday at 1:44 p.m. EDT for a two-day ride to the station. The experienced space travelers will dock to the orbital laboratory’s Poisk module Friday at 3:41 p.m. NASA TV will begin its live launch coverage at 12:45 p.m.
Feustel and Arnold will then get busy preparing for a March 29 spacewalk while familiarizing themselves with space station operations. Both astronauts are experienced spacewalkers and will work to install wireless antennas on the Tranquility module and replace cameras on the Port-1 truss structure. The spacewalk will be broadcast live on NASA TV and is expected to start at 8:10 a.m. and last about six and a half hours.
A pair of U.S. astronauts and one Russian cosmonaut are just two days away from launching on a 50-hour, 34-orbit flight to the International Space Station. Flight Engineers Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel will flank Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev inside the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft and blast off Wednesday at 1:44 p.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Soyuz rocket that will shoot the new Expedition 55-56 trio to space rolled out to its launch pad early this morning. A train slowly hauled the rocket, as it laid horizontally on its side, from the processing facility to its pad where it was raised vertically for servicing ahead of its launch.
All three crewmates are veteran space-flyers and are due to arrive at their new home Friday when they dock to the Poisk module at 3:41 p.m. NASA TV will broadcast all the launch and docking activities including the hatch opening and crew greeting ceremony live.
Waiting for them onboard the orbital laboratory are Flight Engineers Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai and Expedition 55 Commander Anton Shkaplerov who have been living in space since Dec. 17. The orbiting trio continues to ensure the station is flying in tip-top shape while conducting advanced space science to benefit humans on Earth and in space.
As the International Space Station orbits Earth with three occupants already onboard, on the ground below in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, three more crewmates are engaged in activities leading up to a March 21 liftoff on a Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft to join them. (You can watch this launch live on NASA TV, with coverage beginning at 12:45 p.m. EDT.)
Today the future Expedition 55-56 crew members, NASA Flight Engineers Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel, along with Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev, engaged with journalists for media day, sharing how they will continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanity’s only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory. This crew will build on the trend of long-term increase in U.S. crew size from three to four, allowing NASA to maximize time dedicated time for investigative research.
Meanwhile, off the Earth, the Expedition 55 crew reconfigured the JEM Airlock in support of an upcoming experiment: Materials on ISS Experiment – Flight Facility (MISSE-FF) payload operations. This study exposes sample plates containing a variety of surface materials to the harsh environs of space outside the station for varying durations. Data collected will inform satellite designers how different materials can degrade over time—a topic of great importance when it comes to designing and building spacecraft and structures to withstand a journey through the cosmos.
On Friday, Flight Engineer Scott Tingle of NASA will wrap up the week talking to science teachers—and lots of them—via an educational in-flight event with the National Science Teachers Association National Conference. During this downlink highlighting the Year of Education on Station, teachers from as far as the United Arab Emirates will pose their own burning questions for the astronaut and learn more about how to living—and working—is accomplished in microgravity.
One week from today three individuals will blast off on a two-day trip to the International Space Station. They will join the three Expedition 55 crew members already in space who continue to research the effects of living in space while maintaining the orbital laboratory.
The Soyuz spacecraft that will carry one cosmonaut and two astronauts to their new home in space was encapsulated into its rocket today ahead of its March 21 launch. Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev will fly the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft ferrying him and NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel to the station’s Poisk module on March 23.
Waiting for the trio are Expedition 55 Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineers Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai. Today, the orbiting crewmates watered plants for a space crop study and scanned their eyes with an ultrasound device for ongoing health checks. They are also getting gear ready for the next spacewalk to conduct maintenance on the orbital lab.
The space station is orbiting a little higher today after a docked Russian cargo craft fired its engines for 1 minute and 48 seconds. The burn increased the lab’s altitude enabling future spacecraft operations including the undocking of the Expedition 54-55 trio in June and the docking of a new Russian space freighter in July.
It’s a new day in space aboard the International Space Station, and three Expedition 55 crew members are prepping for an upcoming spacewalk and cargo-transfer activities while also sharing the wonders of our orbiting laboratory.
March 29 is the target date of the next U.S. spacewalk. To begin preparations for the excursion, the crew swapped out Extravehicular Mobility Units, or EMUs, and began resizing the suits. Also on the task list: packing up suit parts intended for return to Earth with SpaceX CRS-14.
In addition, the crewmates spent time reconfiguring the European Physiology Module rack for the future installation of ESA’s ICE Cubes Facility (ICF). The ICF will provide commercial entities simplified, low-cost access to the space station with individual experiment cubes—small investigations that could make large impacts within the scientific community.
NASA astronaut Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency shared how space station benefits humankind off the Earth, for the Earth, during two in-flight Public Affairs events live on NASA TV. The first interview was with KYW-TV in Philadelphia, while the second was with NPR’s 1A Broadcast on WAMU Radio in Washington, D.C.
Later, a reboost is planned using the Progress 69P spacecraft to lift station to the correct altitude for a Soyuz 53S undock and landing early this summer.
For one such investigation, a crewmate set up Neuromapping hardware to perform tests for Flight Day 90, conducting strapped in and free-floating body configurations. This experiment studies whether long missions can cause changes to brain structure and function, motor control and multitasking abilities, as well as how long it would take the brain and body to recover from the possible effects. Previous anecdotal evidence supplied by astronauts suggests that movement control and cognition can be affected in microgravity.
The crew also continued work with Veggie-03, watering the lettuce plants, documenting growth and selecting some for consumption. Veggie-03 supports the concept that for future long-duration space missions, a fresh food supply can be grown in space to supplement the crew while far from home.
On the ground, Expedition 55-56, consisting of Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev and NASA Flight Engineers Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel, checked off more reviews of launch day and rendezvous procedures in anticipation of a March 21 liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in a Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft. They will join the crew already in orbit following a March 23 docking.
Aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition 55 crew continued exploring how plants adapt to gravity and began preparing for a suite of combustion experiments. The trio is also continuing the maintenance of the station’s life support systems and its microgravity science operations.
NASA astronaut Scott Tingle put his green thumb to work today supporting a pair of botany experiments. He set up gear for an upcoming run of the Plant Gravity Perception experiment that will monitor how plants perceive light and gravity. Tingle also watered and harvested red lettuce for consumption today for the ongoing Veggie-03 study.
After lunch, Tingle opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack and installed new gear to get ready for the Advanced Combustion Microgravity Experiment (ACME). ACME is a set of five independent studies researching gaseous flames in space that may enable more fuel efficient and less polluting technologies.
Flight Engineer Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency worked on networking gear in the Kibo lab module before inspecting smoke detectors in the Columbus lab module. Kanai then collected data on new adjustable lights installed inside Kibo before conducting plumbing work in the station’s Waste and Hygiene Compartment. Finally, he and Tingle wrapped up the work day with an Earth photography session of Baja California and China.
Commander Anton Shkaplerov continued his work on Russian life support systems through the day. He ended his work day with a photographic inspection of a pair Russian docking modules.