Russian Cargo Craft Launching Live on NASA TV Friday Morning

Russia's Progress 74 cargo rocket stands at its launch pad
Russia’s Progress 74 cargo rocket stands at its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Roscosmos

NASA Television will provide live launch coverage of a Russian Progress cargo spacecraft carrying almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 61 crew aboard the International Space Station. Watch live on NASA TV and the agency’s website beginning at 4:15 a.m. EST Friday, Dec. 6.

The Progress 74 spacecraft is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:34 a.m. (2:34 p.m. Baikonur time).

The spacecraft is expected to dock to the Pirs compartment on the station’s Russian segment at 5:38 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9 and remain at the station for more than seven months.

Learn more about space station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

US Space Freighter Heads to Station, Russian Cargo Craft Follows

A mission controller in Houston watches the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship blast off
A mission controller in Houston watches the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship blast off from Florida.

The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship is on its way to the International Space Station packed with science and supplies for the Expedition 61 crew. Russia’s Progress 74 cargo craft will soon follow the U.S. spaceship with a launch set for Friday morning.

Dragon blasted off from Florida on Thursday at 12:29 p.m. EST carrying nearly three tons of cargo. Included in the space shipment are new science experiments such as the Confined Combustion study, Japan’s Hyperspectral Imager Suite (HISUI) and the AzTechSat-1 cubesat developed by Mexican students.

Astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan will capture Dragon with the Canadarm2 robotic arm when it arrives Sunday at approximately 6 a.m. Robotics controllers on Earth will take over the Canadarm2 and remotely install Dragon to the Harmony module.

Russia’s’ Progress 74 resupply rocket stands at its launch pad in Kazakhstan counting down to a Friday launch at 4:34 a.m. It will arrive Monday loaded with new station hardware and crew supplies. Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka will monitor the 74P’s automated docking to the Pirs docking compartment at 5:38 a.m.

Back inside the orbiting lab, a variety of space biology research took place today to understand how weightlessness affects the human body long term. Morgan and fellow NASA astronaut Jessica Meir collected and spun their blood samples in a centrifuge for the Fluid Shifts study. Meir then joined Parmitano for eye checks during the afternoon.

Parmitano started his morning installing cell research hardware in the Japanese Kibo laboratory module. NASA Flight Engineer Christina Koch serviced the Bio-Monitor, a wearable device that monitors a crewmember’s vital signs real-time.

SpaceX Delays Launch One Day, Russia Rolls Out New Cargo Rocket

Russia's Progress 74 cargo rocket
Russia’s Progress 74 cargo rocket rolls out its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Energia

The Expedition 61 crew will wait an extra day for the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship to the International Space Station. Meanwhile, the Progress 74 (74P) cargo craft from Roscosmos rolled out to its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

High upper level winds forced SpaceX to scrub today’s launch of its 19th Dragon resupply ship aboard a Falcon 9 rocket today. Mission personnel are now targeting a launch less than 24 hours later on Thursday at 12:29 p.m. EST from Florida.

Commander Luca Parmitano and Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan will capture Dragon with the Canadarm2 robotic arm when it arrives Sunday at approximately 6 a.m. Dragon will deliver nearly three tons of cargo including new experiments such as the Confined Combustion study, Japan’s Hyperspectral Imager Suite (HISUI) and the AzTechSat-1 cubesat developed by Mexican students.

The duo along with NASA Flight Engineers Jessica Meir and Christina Koch had a light-duty day today. The quartet focused on housecleaning duties in the station’s U.S. segment following a busy period of spacewalks and space biology research.

The 74P resupply rocket from Russia is now standing vertical at the launch site in Kazakhstan having rolled out early Wednesday morning from its processing facility. It will blast off Friday at 4:34 a.m. loaded with new station hardware and crew supplies. Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka will monitor its arrival on Monday when the 74P automatically docks to the Pirs docking compartment on Monday at 5:38 a.m.

Crew Training for Two New Cargo Missions Launching This Week

Astronaut Luca Parmitano
Astronaut Luca Parmitano carries the new thermal pump system that was installed on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) during the third spacewalk to upgrade the AMS.

The Expedition 61 crew aboard the International Space Station is focusing on a pair of upcoming cargo deliveries after completing a spacewalk on Monday.

SpaceX will launch its 19th Dragon resupply ship aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on Wednesday at 12:51 p.m. EST from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Dragon is delivering nearly three tons of cargo to the orbiting lab including new science hardware such as the Confined Combustion study, Japan’s Hyperspectral Imager Suite (HISUI) and the AzTechSat-1 cubesat developed by Mexican students.

Commander Luca Parmitano and Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan are training to capture Dragon with the Canadarm2 robotic arm when it arrives Saturday at 5:58 a.m. Robotics controllers will take command of the Canadarm2 and then install Dragon to the Harmony module’s Earth-facing port.

Parmitano and Morgan wrapped up a spacewalk on Monday having replaced a thermal pump system on the station’s cosmic particle detector. They joined fellow astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch at the end of the day Tuesday with a call to Mission Control about their spacewalk experience.

The space station is also preparing for the arrival of Russia’s Progress 74 (74P) cargo craft set for launch on Friday at 4:34 a.m. The 74P will take a three-day trip to the station and dock Monday Dec. 9 at 5:38 a.m. Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka checked out the tele-robotically operated rendezvous unit (TORU) today in the unlikely event they would need to remotely maneuver the 74P to a docking.

Astronauts Wrap Up Third Spacewalk for Cosmic Particle Detector Repairs

Astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan
Astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan are pictured during a spacewalk to continue upgrading the station’s cosmic particle detector, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

Expedition 61 Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan concluded their spacewalk at 12:33 p.m. EST. During the six hour and two minute spacewalk, the two astronauts successfully installed a new cooling system for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS).

The crew completed the primary task to install the upgraded cooling system, called the upgraded tracker thermal pump system (UTTPS), completed the power and data cable connection for the system, and connected all eight cooling lines from the AMS to the new system. The intricate connection work required making a clean cut for each existing stainless steel tube connected to the AMS then connecting it to the new system through a process of metalworking known as swaging.

The astronauts also completed an additional task to install an insulating blanket on the nadir side of the AMS to replace the heat shield and blanket they removed during the first spacewalk to begin the repair work. The flight control team on Earth initiated power-up of the system and confirmed it is receiving power and data.

It is the first long day of a very busy several weeks for the space station crew, with two cargo resupply spacecraft launching to the station loaded with science investigations; a SpaceX Dragon is scheduled to lift off at 12:51 p.m. Wednesday, and a Russian Progress is set to launch Friday at 4:34 a.m. Crew members then will be focused on the spacecrafts’ arrivals and associated work. Meanwhile, teams on Earth will evaluate the date for the planned fourth spacewalk to conduct leak checks for the spectrometer’s refurbished cooling lines and complete the work to resume operations of the cosmic ray detector.

For more information about the AMS science and spacewalks, listen to the recent podcasts:

Parmitano has now conducted five spacewalks in his career for a total of 26 hours and 53 minutes, and Morgan has logged 39 hours and 32 minutes during six spacewalks since his arrival on the station in July. It was the 11th spacewalk at the station this year. Space station crew members have conducted a total of 224 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 58 days 15 hours and 43 minutes working outside the station.

Learn more about space station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Spacewalkers Begin Third Venture for Cosmic Particle Detector Upgrades

Astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan
Astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan are pictured during a spacewalk to continue upgrading the station’s cosmic particle detector, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

Expedition 61 Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan switched their spacesuits to battery power this morning at 6:31 a.m. EST aboard the International Space Station to begin a spacewalk planned to last about seven-and-a-half hours during which they will install a new cooling system for the cosmic ray detector attached to the station called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS).

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

Parmitano is extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit with red stripes, and with the helmet camera labeled #11. Morgan is extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes and with helmet camera #18.

In addition to revitalizing an important piece of scientific equipment, the process of creating the tools and procedures for these spacewalks is preparing teams for the types of spacewalks that may be required on Moon and Mars missions. The tools include plumbing instruments to cut into the cooling lines, new screwdriver bits and devices to capture the fasteners the astronauts remove from AMS. Learn more about the unique tools developed for the spacewalks to repair AMS.

Learn more about space station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Watch NASA TV Monday as Spacewalkers Continue Cosmic Repair Work

Astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan
Astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan are pictured during a spacewalk to continue upgrading the station’s cosmic particle detector, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

 

Expedition 61 Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan will begin a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station at about 7 a.m. EST. 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.

The two astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station for the third in a series of complex spacewalks to replace a cooling system on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a cosmic ray detector. The primary tasks for Monday’s spacewalk will be the installation of a new cooling pump for the AMS and the cutting and splicing of cooling lines for the new unit.

During the first spacewalk in the series to repair the AMS on Nov. 15, the astronauts positioned materials and conducted work in preparation for the repairs. In the second spacewalk Nov. 22, the crew successfully cut and labeled the stainless steel tubes that attach the current cooling system to the AMS.

For more details, watch the animation explaining the spacewalk.

Learn more about space station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.