Science Full Speed Ahead as Station Preps for Cargo Mission

The Moon, pictured on May, 21, 2022, the day before going into its Last Quarter phase, is seen from the space station as it orbited 266 miles above the Pacific Ocean.
The Moon, pictured on May, 21, 2022, the day before going into its Last Quarter phase, is seen from the space station as it orbited 266 miles above the Pacific Ocean.

A muscle study, a robotics test, and space physics hardware were the main research topics aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday. The Expedition 67 crew will also see a Russian cargo craft depart and a new one launch to replace it this week.

Scientists have been exploring how an astronaut’s muscles adapt to weightlessness in order to ensure crews stay healthy in space and can withstand the return to Earth’s gravity. NASA Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines paired up today marking their foot, leg, shoulder, and back muscles for the Myotones study. The duo then took turns scanning the marked areas using the Myotones device and the Ultrasound device to measure the muscle’s biochemical properties. Results may improve health monitoring during spaceflight and treatments for muscle conditions on Earth.

Hines then joined NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins for orbital plumbing work in the Tranquility module’s bathroom. The pair also had a robotics test on their schedule today for the Behavioral Core Measures investigation looking at how working on the surface of Mars might affect a crew member’s performance.

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti serviced sample cartridges from inside the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) located in the Kibo laboratory module. The ELF can safely measure the thermophysical properties of materials at temperatures of over 2,000 degrees Celsius in microgravity.

Roscosmos Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Denis Matveev trained on a computer today for the automated arrival of the ISS Progress 81 (81P) resupply ship set for 9:03 a.m. EDT on Friday. The 81P is due to blast off three-and-a-half hours earlier from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It will replace the trash-filled ISS Progress 79 cargo craft after it undocks from the rear port of the Zvezda service module early Wednesday morning.

Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov deactivated Earth observation gear before conducting a physical evaluation on the advanced resistive exercise device that mimics a workout in Earth’s gravity. The first time space-flyer later studied future planetary piloting and robotic control techniques then explored ways to improve communications between international crews and mission controllers from around the world.


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.

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End of Week Sees Crew Explore How Space Affects Eyes, Brain and Heart

Astronauts (from left) Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines are pictured monitoring the approach of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft on May 20, 2022.
Astronauts (from left) Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines are pictured monitoring the approach of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft on May 20, 2022.

The Expedition 67 crew continued its ongoing human research today with ultrasound eye exams and blood flow measurements in the brain. The orbital residents also explored robotics and space navigation techniques.

The four astronauts aboard the International Space Station took turns Friday morning scanning each other’s eyes using the Ultrasound 2 device. Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Samantha Cristoforetti, and Jessica Watkins gathered in the Columbus laboratory module for the eye scans with real time support from personnel on the ground. Results will help doctors understand how living in weightlessness impacts the eye, the retina, and vision.

Earlier, Hines completed a session that required him to wear electrodes and sensors that measured blood flow in his head and chest. The Cerebral Autoregulation investigation is exploring how the human brain regulates its blood flow in microgravity. Results may benefit astronauts who experience lightheadedness and a change in blood pressure after returning to Earth’s gravity.

Watkins turned on an Astrobee robotic free-flyer inside the Kibo laboratory module testing its autonomous maneuvers ahead of the Kibo Robot Programming Challenge 3 for students. Lindgren worked in the cupola setting up a camera to photograph Moon imagery for a study that may help future Artemis astronauts navigate their way to the lunar surface.

Cristoforetti transferred the AstroPi computer from the Harmony module to the Columbus module during the morning. She then spent the afternoon checking out a robotics control system before terminating lithium-ion battery charging operations on pistol grip tools.

Commander Oleg Artemyev joined Flight Engineer Denis Matveev and spent Friday replacing components on the Zvezda service module’s treadmill vibration isolation system. Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov worked on two different Russian experiments on Friday, one exploring the cardiovascular system’s adaptation to microgravity and the other researching advanced Earth photography techniques.


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.

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Crew Returns to Space Science Day after Starliner Lands

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft descends to Earth underneath parachutes for a landing in New Mexico completing the Orbital Flight Test-2 mission. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft descends to Earth underneath parachutes for a landing in New Mexico completing the Orbital Flight Test-2 mission. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The seven Expedition 67 crew members are resuming their normal schedule of science and maintenance activities following Wednesday’s departure of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft. The orbital residents focused on vein scans, robotics, and a host of other space research onboard the International Space Station today.

NASA and Boeing completed its Orbital Flight Test-2 mission on Wednesday. NASA Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines monitored the crew ship’s arrival last week, conducted cargo and test operations inside the vehicle, then closed the hatch on Tuesday before finally seeing Starliner undock from the Harmony module’s forward port at 2:36 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.

Lindgren started Thursday with a hearing assessment for the Acoustic Diagnostics experiment then setup the Astrobee robotic free-flyers for the Kibo Robot Programming Challenge 3. Hines set up hardware that will measure blood flow in the brain for the Cerebral Autoregulation investigation.

Both astronauts later joined astronauts Jessica Watkins of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) for vein scans on Thursday. The quartet used the Ultrasound 2 device to scan each other’s neck, shoulder and leg veins. Doctors on the ground monitored the downlinked biomedical scans in real time to gain insight into how the astronaut’s bodies are adapting to microgravity.

Watkins and Cristoforetti began their day collecting their blood and urine samples, spinning them in a centrifuge, and stowing the samples in a science freezer for future analysis. The duo then joined Lindgren in checking out the U.S. spacesuits.

The station’s three cosmonauts from Roscosmos also contributed to the array of space research taking place today on the orbiting lab. The trio, including Commander Oleg Artemyev, with Flight Engineers Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov, took turns exploring ultrasound techniques to improve locating landmarks on Earth for photography. Artemyev also completed a session that monitored his cardiac activity for 24 hours. Matveev assisted Korsakov, attached to a variety of sensors, as he worked out on an exercise cycle for a fitness evaluation.

Starliner Lands in New Mexico, Completes Station Mission

Boeing's #Starliner crew ship parachutes to a landing in New Mexico completing the company's Orbital Flight Test-2 mission. Credit: NASA TV
Boeing’s #Starliner crew ship parachutes to a landing in New Mexico completing the company’s Orbital Flight Test-2 mission. Credit: NASA TV

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft completed its touchdown at 6:49 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico, wrapping up the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Starliner settled gently onto its air bags following a parachute-assisted landing that helps set the stage for future crewed landings. The landing followed a deorbit burn at 6:05 p.m., separation of the spacecraft’s service module, and successful deployment of its three main parachutes and six airbags.

NASA and Boeing will host a postlanding news conference at 9 p.m. on NASA TV from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston with:

  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Suni Williams, NASA astronaut
  • Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing

Starliner launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on a flight test to the International Space Station at 6:54 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The uncrewed spacecraft successfully docked to the space station’s Harmony module at 8:28 p.m. Friday, May 20.


More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

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/

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Starliner Fires Engines, Returning to Earth for Landing

Boeing's Starliner crew ship approaches the space station on the company's Orbital Flight Test-2 mission on May 20, 2022.
Boeing’s Starliner crew ship approaches the space station on the company’s Orbital Flight Test-2 mission on May 20, 2022.

NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website continue to provide live coverage of the landing of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

At 6:05 p.m. EDT, the spacecraft began its deorbit burn that puts Starliner on the right path to land at 6:49 p.m. White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico. The service module has successfully separated from the crew module containing Rosie the rocketeer, an anthropometric test device who will help maintain Starliner’s center of gravity from ascent through landing. During OFT-1, Rosie was outfitted with 15 sensors to collect data on what astronauts will experience during flights on Starliner.

At 6:44 p.m. the drogue parachute will be released, pulling out the spacecraft’s three main parachutes at 6:45 p.m. that will slow the capsule to a safe landing on Earth.


More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

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/

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Starliner Nearing Return to Earth

This view from a window on the SpaceX Dragon Freedom crew ship shows Boeing's Starliner crew ship moments away from docking to the station on May 20, 2022.
This view from a window on the SpaceX Dragon Freedom crew ship shows Boeing’s Starliner crew ship moments away from docking to the station on May 20, 2022.

NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website are providing live coverage of the return to Earth for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. The uncrewed Starliner is expected to land at 6:49 p.m. EDT White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico.

If all conditions are “go” for Starliner’s return, the deorbit burn will be conducted at 6:05 p.m. Within minutes, the service module will separate from the crew module to prepare for landing at 6:49 p.m.


More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

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/

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Starliner Undocks from Station, Heads Toward Earth

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 2:36 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 25.
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 2:36 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 25.

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 2:36 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 25, completing about 5-days attached to the microgravity laboratory as part of its uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2. At undocking, Starliner and the space station were flying over Earth south of Bangkok, Thailand.

Starliner will execute a deorbit burn at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, to begin the final phase of its return to Earth, headed for a parachute-assisted landing about 6:49 p.m. at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico. Live coverage for the deorbit burn and landing will begin 5:45 p.m. on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

NASA and Boeing will host a postlanding news conference at 9 p.m. on NASA TV from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston with:

  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Suni Williams, NASA astronaut
  • Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing

Starliner launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on a flight test to the International Space Station at 6:54 p.m. Thursday, May 19, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The uncrewed spacecraft successfully docked to the space station’s Harmony module at 8:28 p.m. Friday, May 20.


More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

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/

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Starliner Prepares to Undock and Head for U.S. Landing

Rosie the Rocketeer, Boeing's anthropometric test device, is pictured in the commander's seat of the company's CST-100 Starliner crew ship for the Orbital Flight Test-2 mission at the International Space Station.
Rosie the Rocketeer, Boeing’s anthropometric test device, is pictured in the commander’s seat of the company’s CST-100 Starliner crew ship for the Orbital Flight Test-2 mission at the International Space Station.

NASA and Boeing are providing live coverage of the undocking of the company’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft from the International Space Station.

Undocking of the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 is targeted about 2:36 p.m. EDT with live coverage on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Starliner will execute a deorbit burn at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, to begin the final phase of its return to Earth, headed for a parachute-assisted landing about 6:49 p.m. at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico. Live coverage for the deorbit burn and landing will begin 5:45 p.m.

NASA and Boeing will host a postlanding news conference at 9 p.m. on NASA TV from the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston with:

  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Suni Williams, NASA astronaut
  • Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing

Starliner launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on a flight test to the International Space Station at 6:54 p.m. Thursday, May 19, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The uncrewed spacecraft successfully docked to the space station’s Harmony module at 8:28 p.m. Friday, May 20.


More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

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

Starliner’s Hatch Closed, Preps for Wednesday Departure

Astronauts (from left) Jessica Watkins, Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren, and Samantha Cristoforetti wave following Starliner farewell remarks from NASA leadership on Tuesday. Credit: NASA TV
Astronauts (from left) Jessica Watkins, Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren, and Samantha Cristoforetti wave following Starliner farewell remarks from NASA leadership on Tuesday. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronauts living aboard the International Space Station closed the hatch of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft at 3 p.m. EDT Tuesday, May 25. The uncrewed spacecraft is scheduled to autonomously undock from the space station to begin the journey home at 2:36 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 25. NASA and Boeing are targeting 6:49 p.m. for the landing and conclusion of Orbital Flight Test-2, wrapping up a six-day mission testing the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system.

Teams are targeting White Sands Space Harbor at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico as the primary landing site, with a backup White Sands opportunity Friday, May 27. The spacecraft will return with more than 600 pounds of cargo, including Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System reusable tanks that provide breathable air to station crew members. The tanks will be refurbished on Earth and sent back to station on a future flight.

NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website will continue provide live coverage of the upcoming return activities for OFT-2 Wednesday, Thursday, May 25, as Starliner prepares to undock and return to Earth. Return coverage on NASA TV is as follows and all times are subject to change based on mission operations (all times are Eastern):

Wednesday, May 25

2 p.m. – TV coverage begins for the 2:36 p.m. undocking. NASA will break coverage after the spacecraft exits joint operations with the space station.

5:45 p.m. – Coverage begins for 6:05 p.m. deorbit burn and 6:49 p.m. landing in the western United States.

9 p.m. – Return to Earth news conference on NASA TV from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston:

  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Suni Williams, NASA astronaut
  • Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing

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 Broadcasts Starliner’s Undocking and Landing on Wednesday

Boeing's CST-100 Starliner crew ship approaches the International Space Station above the south Pacific on May 20, 2022.
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner crew ship approaches the International Space Station above the south Pacific on May 20, 2022.

NASA will provide live coverage of the upcoming return activities for the agency’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2). As part of the uncrewed flight test, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft will depart from the International Space Station for a landing in the western United States.

The spacecraft is scheduled to autonomously undock from the space station to begin the journey home at 2:36 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 25. NASA and Boeing are targeting 6:49 p.m. for the landing and conclusion of OFT-2, wrapping up a six-day mission testing the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system.

The return and related activities will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

In advance of Starliner’s return, commercial crew astronauts at the space station will speak with NASA leadership and make farewell remarks prior to closing the hatch to the uncrewed spacecraft.

Teams are targeting White Sands Space Harbor at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico as the primary landing site, with a backup White Sands opportunity Friday, May 27. The spacecraft will return with more than 600 pounds of cargo, including Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System reusable tanks that provide breathable air to station crew members. The tanks will be refilled on Earth and sent back to station on a future flight.

NASA’s Boeing OFT-2 return coverage on NASA TV is as follows and all times are subject to change based on mission operations (all times are Eastern):

 Tuesday, May 24

12:20 p.m. – NASA Administrator event on Starliner’s flight test with commercial crew astronauts at station

12:55 p.m. – Starliner farewell ceremony

1:30 p.m. – Hatch closure TV coverage begins for 1:55 p.m. hatch closing

 Wednesday, May 25

2 p.m. – TV coverage begins for the 2:36 p.m. undocking. NASA will break coverage after the spacecraft exits joint operations with the space station.

5:45 p.m. – Coverage begins for 6:05 p.m. deorbit burn and 6:49 p.m. landing in the western United States.

9 p.m. – Return to Earth news conference on NASA TV from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston:

  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Suni Williams, NASA astronaut
  • Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing

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