Crew Focuses on Exercise, EVA Preparation, and Maintenance

Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is pictured inside the Kibo laboratory module before beginning an exercise session.
Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is pictured inside the Kibo laboratory module before beginning an exercise session.

The Expedition 66 crew focused on exercise, EVA preparation, and routine maintenance checks as part of its activities aboard the International Space Station today.

 

International astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent a portion of the day setting up hardware and completing a session for the Immersive Exercise project. Pesquet was tasked with deploying a wireless virtual reality (VR) headset, which he donned while biking. Pesquet and other crew members took turns performing resistive exercises throughout the day. Roscosmos cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov also exercised for a study alongside other maintenance activities.

 

Beyond exercising, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, and Mark Vande Hei, and JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide were busy performing a variety of extravehicular (EVA)-related tasks. Among these tasks, Kimbrough took photos of the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Scrubber Assembly to help determine the nature of a previously observed leak. McArthur performed preventive maintenance on the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER), a device that astronauts wear in case they become untethered during spacewalks. Meanwhile, Vande Hei and Hoshide used a camcorder to inspect and provide feedback about how to improve the stowage of EVA hardware.

 

As for other maintenance activities, Kimbrough collected water samples from the Portable Water Dispenser (PWF) for in-flight analysis. NASA astronaut Megan McArthur changed batteries in devices that monitor the levels of specific compounds aboard the space station as well.

 

Looking forward, McArthur prepared for an in-flight interview with Space.com at 1:05 p.m. EDT Thursday, October 21. She will be joined with Vande Hei during the event.

 

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

Russian Station Veteran, Filmmakers Back on Earth

The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship with three Russian crew mates is pictured just moments from landing in the steppe of Kazakhstan.
The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship with three Russian crew mates is pictured just moments from landing in the steppe of Kazakhstan.

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Russian actress Yulia Peresild and Russian producer-director Klim Shipenko landed on Earth at 12:35 a.m. EDT Sunday, October 17 in Kazakhstan (10:35 a.m. Kazakhstan time), southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan. The trio departed the International Space Station in their Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft at 9:14 p.m.

Novitskiy arrived to the space station April 9 and returns to Earth after 191 days in space on his third mission that spanned 3,056 orbits of Earth and 80.9 million miles. During the mission, he completed three spacewalks totaling 22 hours, 38 minutes. He has now logged 531 days in space on his three flights.

Peresild and Shipenko arrived at the station Oct. 5 as spaceflight participants for 12 days of filming their movie, “Challenge,” under a commercial agreement between Roscosmos and Moscow-based media entities.

The trio will return by Russian helicopters to the recovery staging city in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, before boarding a Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center aircraft to return to their training base in Star City, Russia.

Remaining aboard the station is the seven-person crew of Expedition 66 with station commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, and Mark Vande Hei, JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.

Later this month, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 members – NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer – will join the Expedition 66 members aboard the station. Crew-3 will be the third long-duration mission to fly as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, continuing to provide the capability of regularly launching humans from American soil.

In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed a 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique technological demonstrations and research that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars while also improving life on Earth. To date, 246 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory that has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

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

NASA TV Back on Air for Soyuz Crew Landing Coverage

The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship is pictured relocating from the Rassvet module to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module on Sept. 28, 2021.
The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship is pictured relocating from the Rassvet module to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module on Sept. 28, 2021.

NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app are now broadcasting live coverage of the return to Earth of a trio of Russian spacefarers.

The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Russian actress Yulia Peresild and Russian producer-director Klim Shipenko will make its deorbit burn at 11:41 p.m. EDT to set the spaceship on its re-entry through Earth’s atmosphere for a landing in Kazakhstan at 12:35 a.m. (10:35 a.m. Kazakhstan time) Sunday, October 17.

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

Soyuz Crew Ship with Russian Trio Undocks from Station

The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship departs the space station with three Russian crew members on their way home to Earth. Credit: NASA TV
The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship departs the space station with three Russian crew members on their way home to Earth. Credit: NASA TV

The Soyuz spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station at 9:14 p.m. EDT, carrying three people back to Earth. Live coverage on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app will resume at 11:15 p.m. for the deorbit burn and landing of the spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Russian actress Yulia Peresild and Russian producer-director Klim Shipenko at 12:36 a.m. (10:36 a.m. Kazakhstan time) Sunday, October 17.

Expedition 66 officially began aboard the station at the time of undocking. Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) is the station commander for the crew consisting of NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, and Mark Vande Hei, JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.

Novitskiy arrived to the space station April 9 with Vande Hei and Dubrov, who will both remain aboard the orbiting laboratory until March 2022.

A potential benefit to this extension is NASA gaining deeper insight into how the human body adapts to life in microgravity for longer periods of time. This research helps prepare for Artemis missions to the Moon and eventually long-duration missions to Mars, as well as provides critical opportunities for additional research to be conducted aboard the station that can benefit life on Earth.

Peresild and Shipenko have spent 12 days aboard station as spaceflight participants to film their movie, “Challenge.” They arrived at the station Oct. 5 aboard the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft with Shkaplerov.

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

NASA TV Live Now as Soyuz Crew Gets Ready to Undock

The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship is pictured docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.
The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship is pictured docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

NASA is providing live coverage on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app of the undocking and departure from the International Space Station of the Soyuz spacecraft that will return Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Russian actress Yulia Peresild and Russian producer-director Klim Shipenko to Earth. The coverage will include a replay of hatch closure.

Novitskiy returns to Earth after 191 days in space on his third mission. At the time of landing, Novitskiy will have logged 531 days in space on his three flights.

Peresild and Shipenko arrived at the station Oct. 5 aboard the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft with Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov for 12 days of filming their movie, “Challenge,” under a commercial agreement between Roscosmos and Moscow-based media entities. They served as spaceflight participants during their stay on the orbital complex.

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

Departing Russian Trio Says Farewell to Station Crew

(From left) Spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy are pictured moments before entering the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship.
(From left) Spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy are pictured moments before entering the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship.

At 4:41 p.m. EDT, the hatch closed between the Soyuz spacecraft and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking. Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos, Russian actress Yulia Peresild, and Russian producer-director Klim Shipenko are scheduled to undock in the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft at 9:14 p.m.

NASA Television will air live coverage of the undocking beginning at 9 p.m.; the coverage will include a replay of hatch closure. Coverage of the Soyuz deorbit burn and landing begins at 11:15 p.m. Their landing in Kazakhstan is targeted for approximately 12:36 a.m. (10:36 a.m. Kazakhstan time) Sunday, October 17.

When the Soyuz undocks, Expedition 66 will formally begin aboard the station. Remaining aboard the orbiting outpost will be commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, and Mark Vande Hei, JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.

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

NASA TV Covers Russian Trio Leaving Station for Earth

(From left) Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and spaceflight participants Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild are returning to Earth inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship.
(From left) Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and spaceflight participants Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild are returning to Earth inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship.

NASA is providing live coverage on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app as Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Russian actress Yulia Peresild and Russian producer-director Klim Shipenko prepare to return to Earth from the International Space Station.

The trio will bid farewell to the Expedition 65 crew at 4:35 p.m. EDT and later will close the hatch to their Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft around 5:45 p.m. to begin the journey back to Earth. They will undock from the station’s Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module at 9:14 p.m., heading for a parachute-assisted landing at 12:36 a.m. (10:36 a.m. Kazakhstan time) Sunday, October 17, on the steppe of Kazakhstan.

Coverage of the farewells will be followed by undocking coverage at 9 p.m. that will include a replay of hatch closure, with coverage of the Soyuz deorbit burn and landing beginning at 11:15 p.m.

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

Crew Work and Station Attitude Update Before Soyuz Crew Departure

A aurora vividly streams over the Earth as the station orbited above the southern Indian Ocean in between Australia and Antarctica.
A aurora vividly streams over the Earth as the station orbited above the southern Indian Ocean in between Australia and Antarctica.

Three Russian inhabitants of the International Space Station are preparing to depart for Earth on Saturday night. Meanwhile, the rest of the Expedition 65 crew worked on a variety of life science activities as well as important orbital plumbing duties on Friday.

Russia’s Soyuz MS-18 crew ship will return to Earth just after midnight Eastern time on Sunday with Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy and spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko. They will undock from the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module on Saturday at 9:14 p.m. EDT. Next, they will soar through the atmosphere in the Soyuz descent module. Finally, the Soyuz parachutes will deploy above Kazakhstan bringing the trio to a safe landing at 12:36 a.m. Sunday (10:36 a.m. Kazakh time).

Novitskiy spent Friday wrapping up packing station hardware, science experiments and personal items inside the Soyuz vehicle. The three-time station resident from Roscosmos also tested the lower body negative pressure suit that may help him more quickly adjust to gravity after returning to Earth.

Meanwhile, science and maintenance continued as usual aboard the orbital lab. The crew members had a busy schedule on their hands today working on vein scans, orbital plumbing, and microbial analysis.

Station Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) scanned the leg, neck and heart veins of Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration during the morning using an ultrasound device. Doctors on the ground assisted the duo in real time for the Vascular Aging study that is exploring why astronaut’s veins show accelerated aging characteristics after a long-term space mission.

NASA Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough and Mark Vande Hei worked throughout the day configuring the station’s new toilet located in the Tranquility module. Kimbrough also performed simulated robotic maneuvers for a cognition test, while Vande Hei worked on a CubeSat deployer before transferring cargo inside the Cygnus space freighter. NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur spent the afternoon inside the U.S. Quest airlock installing a deck panel.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov partnered together for a microbial study in the station’s Russian segment during the afternoon. The duo collected and stowed samples of microbes living on the station for further analysis.

At 5:02 a.m. EDT today, Russian flight controllers conducted a scheduled thruster firing test on the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft that is scheduled to return to Earth Saturday night with three crew members aboard. The thruster firing unexpectedly continued after the end of the test window, resulting in a loss of attitude control for the International Space Station at 5:13 a.m. Within 30 minutes, flight controllers regained attitude control of the space station, which is now in a stable configuration. The crew was awake at the time of the event and was not in any danger.

Flight controllers are continuing to evaluate data on the station’s brief attitude change due to the thruster firing. NASA and Roscosmos are collaborating to understand the root cause.

Coverage of the Soyuz MS-18 crew’s farewells, undocking, and landing will air live on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app at the following times tomorrow (all EDT):

  • 4:15 p.m. – Farewells (at about 4:35 p.m.)
  • 9 p.m. – Soyuz undocking and a replay of hatch closure (undocking at 9:14 p.m.)
  • 11:15 p.m. – Deorbit burn (11:42 p.m.) and landing (12:36 a.m.)

Russian Trio Nears Departure, Rest of Crew Busy with Research, Lab Upkeep

The ten station inhabitants are gathered together in the Unity module for a meal and a portrait. In the front row (from left) are, Mark Vande Hei, Klim Shipenko, Pyotr Dubrov, and Megan McArthur. In the back row (from left) are, Akihiko Hoshide, Anton Shkaplerov, Thomas Pesquet, Yulia Peresild, Oleg Novitskiy, and Shane Kimbrough.
The ten station inhabitants are gathered together in the Unity module for a meal and a portrait. In the front row (from left) are, Mark Vande Hei, Klim Shipenko, Pyotr Dubrov, and Megan McArthur. In the back row (from left) are, Akihiko Hoshide, Anton Shkaplerov, Thomas Pesquet, Yulia Peresild, Oleg Novitskiy, and Shane Kimbrough.

A veteran cosmonaut will soon lead two Russian spaceflight participants on a ride through Earth’s atmosphere to a parachuted landing in Kazakhstan this weekend. Meanwhile, the rest of the Expedition 65 crew stayed focused on a multitude of science, cargo, and maintenance activities throughout Thursday.

Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy will complete his third station mission when he undocks from the Nauka multipurpose laboratory on Saturday at 9:14 p.m. EDT inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship. He, with the station’s two filmmaking guests Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko riding alongside him, will touchdown on the Kazakh steppe on Sunday at 12:36 a.m. (10:36 a.m. Kazakh time).

Novitskiy has been packing the Soyuz spacecraft for several days with station hardware, science samples and personal items. He has also been practicing Soyuz descent techniques and training for the departure maneuvers on a Russian computer. The three-time station resident, with assistance from cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov, has also been testing a specialized suit, the lower body negative pressure suit, that may help his body adjust quickly to Earth’s gravity after 191 days in space.

The station’s three NASA flight engineers had their hands full today with a host of research and lab upkeep activities in the orbiting lab’s U.S. segment. Megan McArthur swapped fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack then performed simulated robotic tasks for a cognition test. Shane Kimbrough had some light plumbing duties during the morning before continuing cargo work inside the Cygnus space freighter. Mark Vande Hei, who is staying on the station for nearly a year, filmed a video about safety in space for students on Earth then worked on life support and networking gear.

The two international astronauts, Thomas Pesquet and Akihiko Hoshide, spent some time in their respective modules, Europe’s Columbus laboratory and Japan’s Kibo laboratory, ensuring smooth lab operations. Pesquet, of ESA (European Space Agency), serviced a variety of science freezers inside Columbus. Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) reorganized stowage space inside Kibo making room for new science gear soon to be delivered on the next SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission.

Over in the station’s Russian segment, Roscosmos Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov worked on an exercise study and dismantled a radiation detector. Dubrov downloaded and checked radiation data then configured radiation sensors, or dosimeters.

Virtual Reality, Spacesuits, Departure Preps Keeping Crew Busy

NASA astronaut Megan McArthur poses with an AstroBee robotic free-flying assistant inside the space station's Kibo laboratory module.
NASA astronaut Megan McArthur poses with an AstroBee robotic free-flying assistant inside the space station’s Kibo laboratory module.

Exercising wearing virtual reality goggles, replacing spacesuit components, and getting ready for this weekend’s crew departure were the main objectives for the Expedition 65 crew today. The residents aboard the International Space Station also juggled ongoing research and maintenance tasks amidst Russian filmmaking activities.

Daily exercise in microgravity is vital to maintain bone and muscle health in the weightless environment of the orbiting lab. Scientists are studying whether virtual reality may add an extra dimension of pleasure and satisfaction for a crew member during an exercise session in space. Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) put on a virtual reality headset and strapped himself on to an exercise bike Wednesday morning for the Immersive Exercise study. The virtual reality sequence, including audio, is synchronized with the pedaling speed to increase the immersive sensation.

Pesquet then spent the afternoon with NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough working on a U.S. spacesuit. The duo swapped components to resize the spacesuit and checked out the suit’s communications gear.

Kimbrough earlier swapped out fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack before cleaning up the seven-windowed cupola. NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur spent her day deploying camcorders inside the Harmony module where the SpaceX Crew Dragon is docked.

In the Unity module, NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei set up networking hardware and software then moved on to cargo work inside Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter. Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) cleaned smoke alarms in the Kibo laboratory module then worked on botany and life science activities.

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy is preparing for his return to Earth this weekend inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship. Joining him for this morning’s Soyuz descent training session were Russian spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko. Novitskiy will lead the duo aboard the Soyuz to a parachuted landing in Kazakhstan on Sunday at 12:36 a.m. EDT (10:36 a.m. Kazakh time).

Veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov spent Wednesday morning studying future spacecraft piloting and robotic techniques. First time space-flyer Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos photographed Shkaplerov during the session. The duo, including Novitskiy, then spent the afternoon on filmmaking activities with their two Russian space station guests.