More Heart Research as Next Cygnus Cargo Mission Booked

Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Victor Glover reviews research procedures for an experiment that could accelerate the development of advanced therapies that target cancer cells.
Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Victor Glover reviews research procedures for an experiment that could accelerate the development of advanced therapies that target cancer cells.

The Expedition 64 crew continues exploring how microgravity affects the heart to improve health for humans on and off the Earth. Northrop Grumman has booked its next Cygnus resupply mission to the International Space Station for early next year.

NASA Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Michael Hopkins partnered up today for the Cardinal Heart study to learn how to treat aging and weakening heart cells. Hopkins peered at heart tissue samples through a microscope while Rubins serviced those samples in the Kibo laboratory module’s Life Sciences Glovebox.

Blood sample collections were on the morning schedule for Flight Engineer Victor Glover as he took glucose measurements for the Vascular Aging study. He then moved on to a space manufacturing study that seeks to vastly improve the production and quality of optic fibers.

On the maintenance front, JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi serviced U.S. spacesuits throughout Tuesday scrubbing cooling loops in the U.S. Quest airlock. NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker continued installing and outfitting the station’s new bathroom, the Universal Waste Management System, in the Tranquility module.

Commander Sergey Ryzhikov worked during the morning replacing components inside the Zvezda service module’s treadmill then moved on to cargo transfers inside the Progress 76 resupply ship. Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov swapped fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack research facility before configuring life support and communications hardware

Northrop Grumman has announced Feb. 20 for the launch of its Cygnus space freighter to the space station with several tons of cargo to resupply the crew. Cygnus will take a two-day trip to the orbiting lab before it is captured with the Canadarm2 robotic arm and installed to the Unity module where it will stay for two months.

Heart Research and New Toilet Installation on Station Today

Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Kate Rubins works inside the Life Sciences Glovebox conducting research for the Cardinal Heart study.
Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Kate Rubins works inside the Life Sciences Glovebox conducting research for the Cardinal Heart study.

Cardiac research and orbital plumbing were the Monday highlights for the Expedition 64 crew aboard the International Space Station.

Flight Engineer Kate Rubins peered through a microscope at heart tissue samples today for the Cardinal Heart study. The microgravity study may provide new insights and advanced therapies for heart conditions on Earth and in space.

For the Vascular Echo experiment today, Flight Engineer Victor Glover strapped on a Doppler probe to his right leg to scan his femoral artery during a light exercise session. The cardiovascular study, running since March 2015 on the orbiting lab, is looking at how living in space stiffens the arteries.

A brand new, advanced toilet, delivered Oct. 5 on the 14th Cygnus resupply mission, is being installed on the space station today. NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Shannon Walker put on their plumber caps today to assemble and install the Universal Waste Management System in the Tranquility module. The station’s second space bathroom was designed to be better integrated with water systems, as well as smaller, lighter, easier to use and more comfortable.

In the Russian segment of the station, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov focused on cargo transfers and inventory updates. The duo is packing the Progress 76 resupply ship with trash and discarded gear for its departure from the Pirs docking compartment in February.

Early Saturday morning, an unexplained power glitch resulted in a loss of power to some International Space Station systems that are operated by one of eight power channels for the complex (4B channel). The crew was never in any danger, and the affected systems were repowered in a short period of time by one of the other station’s power channels (4A).

As of Monday morning, all impacted station systems are operating normally while flight controllers in Mission Control review data to try to assess the cause of the problem and a forward plan of remedial action.

Cancer and Heart Studies, Spacesuit Swaps Aboard Station Today

Four Expedition 64 crew members are pictured relaxing after a meal at the end of the work day inside the Unity module.
Four Expedition 64 crew members are pictured relaxing after a meal at the end of the work day inside the Unity module.

Life science continues ramping up aboard the International Space Station as the Expedition 64 crew explores cancer therapies and heart conditions.

NASA Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Victor Glover set up research hardware to create high quality antibody crystals Thursday morning for a new cancer study. The space medical research could accelerate the development of advanced therapies on Earth that target cancer cells.

Rubins then spent the afternoon servicing samples for the Cardinal Heart study that observes microgravity’s affect on aging and weakening heart muscles. Glover participated in ultrasound eye exams with fellow Flight Engineers Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi.

NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, with assistance from Noguchi, spent the day swapping U.S. spacesuits inside the SpaceX Cargo Dragon resupply ship today. One spacesuit was launched to the station on Sunday ready for operations another will return to Earth next month for maintenance.

Station Commander Sergey Ryzhikov configured gear inside the Poisk mini-research module before working on the Zarya module’s ventilation system. Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov swapped fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack that enables safe research into fuel and flame studies.

Space Research Revealing New Insights into Heart, Muscles and Stem Cells

NASA astronauts (from left) Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover are pictured before opening the hatch to the newly docked SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle.
NASA astronauts (from left) Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover are pictured before opening the hatch to the newly docked SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle.

The Expedition 64 crew kicked off an array of new space biology experiments delivered this week aboard the SpaceX Cargo Dragon. The International Space Station residents will be gaining unique insights about the human heart, muscles and stem cells that only microgravity can provide.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins started looking at cardiovascular cells inside the Life Science Glovebox today for the Cardinal Heart study. She serviced samples to help scientists understand the aging and weakening of heart muscles to provide new treatments for humans on Earth and astronauts in space.

Mice are being set up inside specialized habitats today so researchers can continue studying how weightlessness affects the musculoskeletal system. NASA Flight Engineers Shannon Walker, Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins removed several dozen rodents from the Cargo Dragon vehicle and placed them inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module. Observations may enable advanced drug delivery systems to treat muscle diseases on Earth and prevent muscle atrophy in space.

JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi continued his stem cell research today to enable organ growth and understand genetic changes in space. The three-time space visitor viewed cell samples today with a microscope in the Kibo laboratory module to benefit organ transplant and regenerative technology.

Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov spent Wednesday working on Russian life support systems and science experiments. The duo worked on water transfers and air vent cleaning before setting up hardware to observe Earth’s atmosphere at different wavelengths.

Crew Unpacks Dragon and Activates New Science

The upgraded SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle approaches the space station as both vehicles were orbiting above the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico.
The upgraded SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle approaches the space station as both vehicles were orbiting above the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico.

Six spaceships, three U.S. and three Russian, are parked at the International Space Station after Monday’s arrival of the upgraded SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle. The Expedition 64 crew will spend the rest of December focusing on science as 2021 shapes up to be a busy year on the orbital lab.

Two Dragon spaceships, one cargo craft and one crew ship, are docked to the station’s Harmony module for the first time ever. The Cargo Dragon docked Monday afternoon to Harmony’s space-facing port where it will stay for one month. The Crew Dragon has been docked to Harmony’s forward port since Nov. 16 and will return four astronauts back to Earth in the spring.

Cargo Dragon’s hatch was opened shortly after its automated docking and the crew soon began unpacking and activating the first of 2,100 pounds of new science investigations. The U.S. resupply ship’s main payload, the NanoRacks Bishop science airlock, will be installed with the Canadarm2 robotic arm to the Tranquility module later this month.

NASA Flight Engineers Shannon Walker and Michael Hopkins began Tuesday offloading the Dragon-transported critical research samples and stowing them in science freezers to be examined later. Their crewmates Kate Rubins installed new science freezers in the station, while Victor Glover set up newly delivered habitats carrying rodents for analysis.

A new human stem cell experiment, Space Organogenesis, got underway today after JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi collected biological samples and research hardware from Dragon. Microgravity will give scientists insight into growing organs and observing genetic changes which could impact regenerative medicine.

In the Russian segment of the station, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov explored advanced space photography techniques before working on cargo operations with the docked Progress 76 resupply ship. His fellow cosmonaut, Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, worked on Earth observation hardware then serviced repair tools.

New SpaceX Cargo Dragon Docks to Station

Dec. 7, 2020: International Space Station Configuration. Six spaceships are parked at the space station including the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Cargo Dragon vehicles, Northrop Grumman's Cygnus-14 resupply ship, all three from the United States, and Russia's Progress 75 and 76 resupply ships and Soyuz MS-17 crew ship.
Dec. 7, 2020: International Space Station Configuration. Six spaceships are parked at the space station including the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Cargo Dragon vehicles, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus-14 resupply ship, all three from the United States, and Russia’s Progress 75 and 76 resupply ships and Soyuz MS-17 crew ship.

While the International Space Station was traveling 268 miles over the southern Indian Ocean, a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft autonomously docked to the space-facing side of the orbiting laboratory’s Harmony module for the first time at 1:40 p.m. EST, Monday, Dec. 7. NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Victor Glover monitored docking operations for Dragon.

Some of the science being delivered on this mission includes a study aimed at better understanding heart disease to support development of treatments for patients on Earth, research into how microbes can be used for biomining on asteroids, and a tool being tested for quick and accurate blood analysis in microgravity. The first commercially owned and operated airlock on the space station, the Nanoracks Bishop Airlock, arrives in the unpressurized trunk of the Dragon cargo spacecraft. Bishop will provide a variety of capabilities to the orbiting laboratory, including CubeSat deployment, and support of external payloads.

The Dragon launched on SpaceX’s 21st contracted commercial resupply mission at 11:17 a.m. EST Sunday, Dec. 6 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After Dragon spends approximately one month attached to the space station, the spacecraft will return to Earth with cargo and research.

Keep up to date with the latest news from the crew living in space by following https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, and the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

New Dragon Spaceship Arriving at Station Today

The upgraded SpaceX Dragon resupply ship lifts off atop the Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 6 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The upgraded SpaceX Dragon resupply ship lifts off atop the Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 6 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX Dragon is on track to arrive at the International Space Station, with an expected docking of the cargo spacecraft around 1:30 p.m. EST. NASA Television coverage will begin at 11:30 a.m. Watch live at http://www.nasa.gov/live.

When it arrives to the space station, Dragon will automatically dock to the space-facing side (zenith) of the station’s Harmony module with NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Victor Glover monitoring operations. Dragon lifted off Sunday, Dec. 6 atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The cargo spacecraft with more than 6,400 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware will support dozens of investigations aboard the orbiting laboratory. It will be the first time a cargo Dragon autonomously docks to the station and will join the Dragon Resilience that brought the Crew-1 astronauts to orbit as the second Dragon spacecraft parked at the space station.

Keep up to date with the latest news from the crew living in space by following https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, and the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Astronauts Relax Friday Before Weekend Filled with Cargo and Science

Expedition 64 Flight Engineers (clockwise from top left) Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi pose together for a playful portrait inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module.
Expedition 64 Flight Engineers (clockwise from top left) Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi pose together for a playful portrait inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module.

Five Expedition 64 astronauts are relaxing aboard the International Space Station today as they get ready for the arrival of the next-generation SpaceX Dragon resupply ship. The two cosmonauts stayed focused on their contingent of Russian space science and lab maintenance.

The Falcon 9 rocket that will carry the Cargo Dragon spacecraft into Earth orbit stands at its launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Currently, there is a 50% chance of favorable weather conditions for a launch on Saturday at 11:39 a.m. EST to the orbiting lab.

Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Victor Glover will be on duty early Sunday to monitor the Cargo Dragon’s approach and rendezvous. Its automated docking is planned for 11 a.m. to the Harmony module’s space-facing port adjacent to the Crew Dragon vehicle. The duo will also be readying the Tranquility module for Dragon’s primary payload, the NanoRacks Bishop science airlock.

The other three astronauts, Shannon Walker, Soichi Noguchi and Michael Hopkins, will be working on Sunday servicing a variety of research gear. They will be checking out advanced hardware like the Kubik incubator, the Hermes planetary science facility, the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace and a specialized science freezer nicknamed FRIDGE.

The station’s two cosmonauts, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, spent Friday day on research and maintenance tasks.  The Russian duo explored ways to improve the effectiveness of space exercise and also worked on lab computers and life support gear.

Crew Immersed in Space Science as Cargo Dragon Nears Launch

The upgraded version of SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft is seen before it rolls out to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The upgraded version of SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft is seen before it rolls out to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Expedition 64 is getting ready for over 6,400 pounds of cargo due to arrive this weekend aboard the next-generation SpaceX Dragon space freighter. All seven International Space Station residents also were immersed in microgravity research throughout Thursday.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon cargo spacecraft has rolled out to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is counting down to a Saturday lift off at 11:39 a.m. EST. Weather permitting, Dragon would automatically dock just under 24 hours later to the Harmony module’s space-facing port adjacent to the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle.

The Cargo Dragon’s main payload is the NanoRacks Bishop airlock that will be robotically attached to the Tranquility module. Bishop will increase the capacity for external space research at the space station benefitting public and private organizations.

The orbiting lab was humming today with a host of advanced space science looking at a variety of microgravity phenomena to enhance life for humans on and off the Earth.

Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov swapped fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack that enables safe investigations of flames and fuels on the station. Eye exams were on the slate this afternoon for astronauts Kate Rubins and Soichi Noguchi who also serviced botany and cell biology research gear.

NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker serviced samples inside the Materials Science Laboratory before setting up the Fiber Optic Production study inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox. Her crewmate, Flight Engineer Victor Glover collected and stowed biological samples for the Food Physiology study exploring how diet affects the immune system in space.

Finally, station Commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos wrapped up a 24-hour session that monitored his heart activity. The two-time station resident also explored ways to improve the workspace inside the station.

Busy December Sees Crew Ramping Up for Space Cargo

Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi is pictured relaxing at the end of the work day inside the seven-windowed cupola, the International Space Station's "window to the world."
Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi is pictured relaxing at the end of the work day inside the seven-windowed cupola, the International Space Station’s “window to the world.”

December is shaping up to be a busy month as the Expedition 64 crew gears up for space freighter traffic. All seven crew members also practiced responding to a simulated emergency aboard the International Space Station.

NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins set up the tools that she and fellow Flight Engineer Victor Glover will use when the new SpaceX Dragon cargo craft arrives this weekend. The duo will monitor Dragon’s arrival on Sunday almost 24 hours after it launches from Florida on Saturday at 11:39 a.m. EST.

Rubins’ science work today consisted of setting up a microscope then servicing botany gear supporting the Plant Habitat-02 experiment. Rubins harvested the first crop of radish plants on Monday. Glover researched how diet affects the immune system in space for the Food Physiology study.

Flight Engineer Shannon Walker organized hardware inside the Human Research Facility today making room for future space deliveries. JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi worked in the Kibo laboratory module servicing external experiment hardware.

The behavior of water droplets is being observed in the orbiting lab’s Microgravity Science Glovebox today. Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins closely watched how the droplets react to different surfaces which may help improve the design of fuel and life support systems.

The entire crew, including cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, gathered together Wednesday afternoon and trained for the unlikely event of an emergency at the orbiting lab. They coordinated with mission controllers around the world practicing their communication, locating safety gear and maneuvering through escape routes.