Liquid and Flame Science Work amid Japanese, Russian Maintenance

The Soyuz MS-09 crew ship (foreground) and the Progress 70 resupply ship
Two Russian spacecraft, the Soyuz MS-09 crew ship (foreground) and the Progress 70 resupply ship, are pictured docked to the International Space Station as the orbital complex orbited nearly 257 miles above Ukraine.

Two Expedition 57 astronauts are working to understand what happens to fluids being transported by spacecraft today. Another crew member also worked on combustion science gear as well as Japanese and Russian systems.

Fluid physics and combustion research on the International Space Station helps scientists understand how well-known phenomena on Earth behaves in microgravity. For instance, fluids sloshing around inside fuel tanks can impact how a spaceship steers in space. The way flames burn and create soot in space can also create safety issues for crews.

Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) explored how fluids affect spacecraft maneuvers today. The duo set up a pair of tiny mobile satellites known as SPHERES for the test inside Japan’s Kibo lab module. The SPHERES Tether Slosh experiment is observing what happens when the satellites tow a liquid-filled tank versus a solid mass body with a Kevlar tether.

Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack in the afternoon and replaced manifold bottles that contain gases for flame experiments. The flight engineer also packed items for disposal on a Japanese cargo ship and checked on Russian ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Three Station Crew Explores Space Science After Hague Interview

The three Expedition 57 crew members
The three Expedition 57 crew members are gathered inside the cupola, the International Space Station’s “window to the world,” for a portrait wearing t-shirts displaying their home in space. From left are Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA and Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency). The space station was orbiting nearly 253 miles above the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

The three Expedition 57 crew members living aboard the International Space Station today explored a variety of phenomena impacted by exposure to microgravity. In Houston, NASA astronaut Nick Hague talked about his Soyuz contingency landing after last week’s failed ascent to orbit.

Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor started Wednesday morning relocating samples collected from biology experiments into a Kibo lab module science freezer. The NASA astronaut then spent the rest of the day researching how to grow protein crystals real-time on the space station.

The commander, Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency), put on his plumber’s cap in the morning for maintenance on the orbital lab’s toilet. The German astronaut then spent the afternoon working on gear inside the Destiny lab module before updating a warning procedures book.

In the Russian segment of the orbital lab, cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev split his time between physics and human research. The flight engineer started the day exploring how forces such as exercising or spacecraft dockings impact the station’s structure. He then participated in a study observing interactions between a space crew and Mission Control in Moscow.

Finally, Hague talked to reporters and answered social media questions on Monday in Houston about his aborted mission to the station. The interviews and question and answer session was broadcast live on NASA TV and Facebook Live. The replay can also be seen on YouTube.

Hague Back in Houston, Station Crew Works Science and Cargo

Celestial view of Earth's atmospheric glow and the Milky Way
The International Space Station was orbiting about 256 miles above South Australia when a camera on board the orbital complex captured this celestial view of Earth’s atmospheric glow and the Milky Way.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague is safe and sound and back in Houston after last week’s mission to the International Space Station was aborted during ascent. Meanwhile, the three orbiting Expedition 57 crew members continue ongoing research, maintenance and cargo packing.

Hague returned to Houston Saturday following his emergency landing shortly after launch in the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft in Kazakhstan on Thursday. He and fellow Soyuz crew member Alexey Ovchinin were flown back to Moscow after medical checks in Kazakhstan then returned home to their families.

Back in space, two astronauts Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Commander Alexander Gerst and worked on a variety of life support and science experiments today. The duo also partnered up for cargo operations inside JAXA’s (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) HTV-7 resupply ship.

Auñón-Chancellor started her day testing the performance of battery life in space for the Zero G Battery Test experiment. Gerst was activating and checking out a life support rack to ensure good carbon dioxide and water management in the device.

Cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev worked throughout Monday on life support maintenance in the station’s Russian segment. The Russian flight engineer also ran on a treadmill in the Zvezda service module for an experiment observing how microgravity impacts exercise.

Station Crew Busy With Science After Aborted Launch Ascent

North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea
North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea are pictured as the International Space Station orbited 254 miles above the African continent. Japan’s Kounotori H-II Transfer Vehicle-7 (HTV-7) is pictured at left attached to the Harmony module.

Three Expedition 57 crew members are staying busy aboard the International Space Station after the climb to orbit of two crewmates was aborted Thursday morning. American Nick Hague and Russian Alexey Ovchinin made an emergency landing shortly after launch, but are in excellent shape and back in Russia. The trio in orbit is continuing science and maintenance aboard the orbital laboratory.

NASA astronaut Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Ovchinin are safe and returned to Moscow with mission officials after their aborted mission. The Soyuz MS-10 rocket booster experienced a failure about two minutes after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Hague will return to Houston, Texas, on Saturday and Ovchinin will stay in Moscow. Investigations into the cause of the failure are beginning, and the space station international partner agencies are evaluating what changes to the station’s operating plan will need to be adopted.

The three humans still orbiting Earth are safe with plenty of supplies and work to do on orbit. Commander Alexander Gerst and Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor started their day measuring how microgravity has impacted their muscles for the Myotones study. They then moved on to researching an ancient technique that may be used for emergency navigation on future space missions.

Serena Auñón-Chancellor is scheduled to talk with two different school groups on Monday and Thursday next week. One of those conversations will involve the flight of Seaman Jr., a plush toy that is part of the National Park Service’s celebration of its the 3,700 mile Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

Flight Engineer Sergey Prokopyev maintained life support systems in the Russian segment of the space station. He also updated the station’s inventory system and checked on Russian science experiments.

Expedition 57 Space Station Status Briefing

NASA held a news conference at noon EDT, Oct. 11, from Johnson Space Center in Houston, to provide a status update on the International Space Station following this morning’s Soyuz spacecraft abort during launch that ended with the safe landing of two Expedition 57 crew members. Participants are Kenny Todd, International Space Station Operations Integration Manager and Reid Wiseman, Deputy Chief Astronaut.

Crew in Good Condition After Booster Failure

Astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos Director Dmitry Rogozin
Astronaut Nick Hague (left) and Roscosmos Director Dmitry Rogozin

.@AstroHague NASA Astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are seen in Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. They are in good condition following their safe landing on Earth after a Soyuz booster failure after launch earlier. Latest updates: nasa.gov/live

Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin
Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin
NASA astronaut Nick Hague
NASA astronaut Nick Hague

Statement on Soyuz MS-10 Launch Abort

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has shared the following statement on Twitter @JimBridenstine.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are in good condition following today’s aborted launch. I’m grateful that everyone is safe. A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted. Full statement below:

The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 4:40 a.m. EDT Thursday, October 11 (2:40 p.m. in Baikonur) carrying American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin. Shortly after launch, there was an anomaly with the booster and the launch ascent was aborted, resulting in a ballistic landing of the spacecraft.

Search and rescue teams were deployed to the landing site. Hague and Ovchinin are out of the capsule and are reported to be in good condition. They will be transported to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia outside of Moscow.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and the NASA team are monitoring the situation carefully. NASA is working closely with Roscosmos to ensure the safe return of the crew. Safety of the crew is the utmost priority for NASA. A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted.

Launch Update

The Soyuz MS-10 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 4:40 a.m. EDT Thursday, October 11 (2:40 p.m. in Baikonur). Shortly after launch, there was an issue with the booster. Teams have confirmed the spacecraft separated from the booster and are in contact with the crew as the capsule returns in a ballistic decent mode.