Russian, Japanese Visitors Leave Station and Head Home

The Soyuz MS-20 crew ship with cosmoanut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yozo Hirano and Yusaku Maezawa backs away from the station.
The Soyuz MS-20 crew ship with cosmoanut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yozo Hirano and Yusaku Maezawa backs away from the station.

The Soyuz spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station at 6:50 p.m. EST, carrying three people back to Earth. Live coverage on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app will resume at 9 p.m. for the deorbit burn and landing of the spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin along with spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano. Landing in Kazakhstan is scheduled for 10:13 p.m. (9:13 a.m. Monday, Dec. 20, Kazakhstan time).

Remaining aboard the orbiting outpost are Expedition 66 commander and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, Roscosmos cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov, NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer.


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

NASA TV Covers Visiting Trio Undocking in Soyuz Crew Ship

The Soyuz MS-20 crew ship, carrying cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano, approaches the station on Dec. 8, 2021.
The Soyuz MS-20 crew ship, carrying cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano, approaches the station on Dec. 8, 2021.

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 Alexander Misurkin along with spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano to Earth.

The Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft will undock from the station’s Poisk module at 6:50 p.m. EST and make a deorbit burn at 9:18 p.m. Live coverage of the deorbit burn and landing will begin at 9 p.m. The spacecraft will make a parachute-assisted landing at 10:13 p.m. (9:13 a.m. Monday, Dec. 20, Kazakhstan time) on the steppe of Kazakhstan.


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Visiting Trio Says Farewell to Station Crew Before Undocking

Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano wave goodbye before closing the Soyuz vehicle's hatch. Credit: NASA TV
Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano wave goodbye before closing the Soyuz vehicle’s hatch. Credit: NASA TV

NASA will provide live coverage as Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin along with spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano begin their to return to Earth from the International Space Station.

The trio, concluding a nearly 12-day mission, has bid farewell to the Expedition 66 crew and closed the hatch to their Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft around 2:20 p.m. EST.

They will undock from the station’s Poisk module at 6:50 p.m., heading for a parachute-assisted landing at 10:13 p.m. (9:13 a.m. Monday, Dec. 20, Kazakhstan time) on the steppe of Kazakhstan.

Live coverage on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app will begin at 6:30 p.m. for undocking, with coverage of the Soyuz deorbit burn and landing beginning at 9 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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Crew Ramps Up for Visitors’ Departure and U.S. Cargo Mission

The three-person Soyuz MS-20 crew (front row) participates in a group portrait with the seven-member Expedition 66 crew.
The three-person Soyuz MS-20 crew (front row) participates in a group portrait with the seven-member Expedition 66 crew.

Next week will see a U.S. resupply ship launch toward the International Space Station following Sunday’s departure of three orbiting lab visitors. Meanwhile, the seven Expedition 66 crewmates continued their space biology and physics research while maintaining station systems.

SpaceX is due to launch its Cargo Dragon spacecraft from Florida on Tuesday at 5:06 a.m. EST to replenish the station crew. It will automatically dock to the Harmony module’s space-facing port on Wednesday at 4:30 a.m. delivering about 6,500 pounds of new science experiments, crew supplies and station hardware. NASA TV will cover both events live on the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Thomas Marshburn are training for the U.S. cargo mission. The duo reviewed Cargo Dragon’s approach and rendezvous profile and got familiarized with docked operations. Both flight engineers will be on duty Wednesday morning monitoring the commercial craft’s automated arrival and docking.

Three space travelers are nearing the end of their 11-day mission as they prepare to return to Earth this weekend. Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin has been staging gear to be packed inside the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship and checking components inside the Russian spacecraft. He’ll lead Japanese spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano back home when the spacecraft undocks on Sunday at 6:50 p.m. and parachutes to a landing in Kazakhstan at 10:18 p.m. NASA TV coverage begins at 3 p.m. when the departing trio says farewell to the station crew and closes the Soyuz vehicle’s hatch.

Human research is ongoing in space as Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer began Friday with blood and saliva collections and stowed the samples in a science freezer for future analysis. Barron of NASA then spent the afternoon inspecting personal protective equipment. Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) swapped samples for a wet foams study then configured components that support the EasyMotion space exercise suit.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei continued more runs today of the InSPACE-4 manufacturing study learning how to manipulate nanoparticles in weightlessness. Vande Hei then wrapped up his day early following a busy week of space physics research taking place inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox .

The two Expedition 66 cosmonauts, Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov, started the day attaching sensors to their hands for a muscle study. Shkaplerov then analyzed the Zvezda service module’s atmosphere and checked Russian life support and electronics hardware. Dubrov worked on communications gear and downloaded data collected from radiation detectors.


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Science and Exercise Hardware Work as Trio Nears Departure

A waxing crescent Moon during is pictured from the station during an orbital sunset as it flew above the Pacific Ocean.
A waxing crescent Moon during is pictured from the station during an orbital sunset as it flew above the Pacific Ocean.

The seven-member Expedition 66 crew spent Thursday servicing physics research gear and exercise hardware aboard the International Space Station. Meanwhile, the orbiting lab’s three visitors are preparing for their departure on Sunday.

The coldest temperatures in the Universe can be found inside the space station’s Cold Atom Lab (CAL). Atoms are chilled to temperatures near absolute zero allowing scientists to observe fundamental behaviors and quantum characteristics not possible on Earth. NASA Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Raja Chari opened the CAL today and replaced computer hardware inside the space physics device.

Human research is always ongoing aboard the station helping scientists understand how microgravity affects humans as NASA prepares to go to the Moon, Mars and beyond. NASA Flight Engineer Thomas Marshburn scanned his right leg’s femoral artery with an ultrasound device to observe accelerated aging-like characteristics in the cardiovascular system that take place in weightlessness.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov replaced a motor inside the Zvezda service module’s treadmill during the afternoon. Flight surgeons regularly monitor space exercise ensuring crew members maintain muscle and bone health during long term space missions.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei took a robotics test for the Behavioral Core Measures space psychology study and continued researching how to manipulate nanoparticles. Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) spent his day maintaining science and computer systems inside the Columbus laboratory module.

Three station visitors are nearing the end of their mission and getting ready to return to Earth on Sunday. Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin led Japanese spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano on a review of the descent procedures they will use as they soar into the atmosphere aboard the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship. The trio will undock from the Poisk module on Sunday at 6:50 p.m. EST and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan at 10:13 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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Research Focusing on Muscles, Botany during Russian Spaceship Work

Astronaut Kayla Barron is pictured inside the seven-windowed cupola, the space station's "window to the world."
Astronaut Kayla Barron is pictured inside the seven-windowed cupola, the space station’s “window to the world.”

Wednesday’s research schedule aboard the International Space Station highlighted the human muscular and circulatory systems as well as botany. The Expedition 66 crew also continued its space physics studies while working on docked Russian spacecraft.

The lack of gravity affects the human body and station crew members exercise about two hours a day to counteract the loss of bone and muscle. Flight Engineers Thomas Marshburn of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) focused their science work today on how weightlessness affects the biochemical properties of muscles. Maurer scanned Marshburn’s arm, leg, back and neck muscles with an ultrasound device before and after the NASA astronaut worked out on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED). Observations may help doctors increase muscle health in space and on Earth.

NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari is setting up the Advanced Plant Habitat in the Kibo laboratory module which will house a space botany experiment launching on the next SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission. Over in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module, NASA Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Mark Vande Hei took turns researching how to manipulate nanoparticles for the InSPACE-4 space manufacturing study.

In the station’s Russian segment, Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov unpacked cargo from the ISS Progress 79 cargo craft and inspected the Rassvet, Poisk and Nauka modules. Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov focused on electronics work and cable connections.

Visiting Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin from Roscosmos loaded gear and readied the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship for its return on Sunday. Japanese spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano spent the day videotaping and photographing the Earth and continued more research into how the circulatory system behaves in space.


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Crew Studies Vision, Psychology and Services Soyuz Crew Ships

NASA astronaut Kayla Barron is pictured inspecting and photographing components inside the space station's Materials Science Research Rack.
NASA astronaut Kayla Barron is pictured inspecting and photographing components inside the space station’s Materials Science Research Rack.

The seven-member Expedition 66 crew focused on spacesuits, eye checks and an array of microgravity science aboard the International Space Station today. Meanwhile, the lab’s three visitors filmed a station tour and continued a space biology study.

Maintaining the orbiting lab and its systems is a top priority for NASA and its international partners to keep astronauts safe and continue critical space research. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei worked in the U.S. Quest airlock cleaning cooling loops inside a pair of U.S. spacesuits. He also prepared suit components for return on the next SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission. Over in the Columbus laboratory module, Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) worked on electrical connections behind an EXPRESS science rack.

Vision and psychology are crucial to space exploration as doctors explore how long-term weightlessness impacts the human eye as well as crew dynamics. NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari took on the crew medical officer role today and scanned NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron’s eyes using medical imaging gear. The duo also took turns on a robotics test for the Behavioral Core Measures space psychology study.

Astronaut Thomas Marshburn of NASA also participated in the robotics test that measures crew performance at various points during a mission. The three-time station resident continued working in the Kibo laboratory module setting up hardware that will house rodents for an upcoming visual function study.

The three cosmonauts aboard the station worked on Soyuz activities and conducted Russian research. Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov charged camera batteries inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship and tested water samples from Russian drink bags. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov worked on computers and electrical connections in the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Veteran cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin packed hardware inside the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship that will return him and two Japanese space guests to Earth on Dec. 19.

Misurkin also partnered with spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano filming a space station tour. The visiting trio then continued researching how microgravity affects the human circulatory system.


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Week Kicks Off with Space Physics, Biology Before Visitors Depart

Expedition 66 Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer is pictured inside the seven-windowed cupola, the International Space Station's "window to the world."
Expedition 66 Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer is pictured inside the seven-windowed cupola, the International Space Station’s “window to the world.”

It was a busy Monday for the 10 individuals living aboard the International Space Station as they worked on human research and space physics. The Expedition 66 crew is also gearing up for next week’s departure of three lab visitors as well as a cargo delivery before Christmas.

NASA Flight Engineer Thomas Marshburn juggled a pair of life science studies throughout Monday. He first collected blood samples for the Vascular Aging experiment, then set up rodent research hardware for an upcoming visual function study. NASA astronaut Kayla Barron assisted Marshburn with the blood collection work. The duo also began packing station gear to be returned to Earth on the next SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission due to launch Dec. 21.

Barron also partnered with fellow NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari continuing cleanup activities in the U.S. Quest airlock following Barron’s spacewalk with Marshburn on Dec. 2. Chari also serviced radiation research hardware before auditing cargo packed in the Harmony module.

Working inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox, NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei studied ways to harness nanoparticles for a space manufacturing study. ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer conducted blood pressure checks for the Vascular Aging study then spent the afternoon on maintenance work in the Columbus laboratory module.

Station Commander Anton Shkaplerov from Roscosmos worked on cargo transfers from the docked ISS Progress resupply ship. Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov checked out Russian electronics and life support gear.

The orbiting lab’s three recent station visitors, cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and Japanese spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano, are due to return to Earth on Dec. 19. Three-time space visitor, Misurkin started gathering items to be packed inside the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship the trio will undock and land in. The other two space guests researched how microgravity affects the way blood flows from the limbs to the head.


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Ten Residents Aboard Station Wrap Up Week with Space Biology

NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Kayla Barron are pictured in front of the International Space Station's Advanced Plant Habitat.
NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Kayla Barron are pictured in front of the International Space Station’s Advanced Plant Habitat.

Space biology led the research schedule for the seven-member Expedition 66 crew aboard the International Space Station on Friday. The orbiting lab’s three guests also spent their day on a variety of Russian space experiments.

NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Kayla Barron partnered up throughout the day replacing components inside the Advanced Plant Habitat. Three-time station resident Thomas Marshburn of NASA prepared the Mouse Habitat Unit for upcoming rodent research.

Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) collected his blood sample and analyzed it using the Bio-Analyzer. At the end of the day, he joined Marshburn for retina scans conducted by NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari using specialized imaging hardware with support from doctors on the ground.

Station commander and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov worked on a pair of studies exploring how weightlessness affects the cardiovascular system and microbes then charged batteries inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov continued servicing and photographing bacteria samples for the Microvir space virus investigation.

Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, commander of the 11-day Soyuz MS-20 mission, serviced samples for a Russian microbiology study and had an Earth photography session. The two spaceflight participants from Japan, Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano, contributed to a study that explores how space affects the circulatory system.


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

New Visitors Adapt to Station During Space Biology, Physics Research

The Soyuz MS-20 crew ship, carrying cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano, approaches the space station.
The Soyuz MS-20 crew ship, carrying cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano, approaches the space station.

Three individuals are adapting to life aboard the International Space Station following Tuesday’s launch and docking aboard a Russian crew ship. The seven-member Expedition 66 crew is back on science duty today while helping the new space travelers get up to speed with station systems and safety procedures.

10 people are living on the orbiting lab today after the arrival of three space travelers on Wednesday. Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin commanded the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship flanked by spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano during its six-hour and 2-minute trip from Kazakhstan to the orbiting lab’s Poisk module. The station guests will stay in space until Dec. 19 when they will undock from Poisk, reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and parachute to a landing back in Kazakhstan.

The seven station crew members, comprised of four NASA astronauts, an ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and two Roscosmos cosmonauts, joined their guests just before lunchtime to review emergency roles and responsibilities. All 10 lab residents spent an hour going over evacuation routes, communication procedures and other activities in response to different emergency scenarios.

Today’s microgravity research incorporated biomedical science and space physics. NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron kicked off the day with blood and urine sample collections. At the end of the day, ESA Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer scanned the eyes of Thomas Marshburn from NASA using the orbiting lab’s Ultrasound 2 device. Vande Hei also set up the Fluids Integrated Rack for a space physics study that may improve thermal systems for Earth and other planetary environments.

Station Commander Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos worked throughout Tuesday on a Russian biotechnology study exploring how microbes grow in weightlessness and their impact on space systems. Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov photographed bacteria samples grown for the Microvir space virus investigation.


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe