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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.