A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down at 10:30 a.m. EDT Friday, June 30, off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, marking the return of the company’s 28th contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. The spacecraft carried approximately 3,600 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo back to Earth.
Scientific hardware and samples returning on the mission include the GRIP – Dexterous Manipulation in Microgravity chair used in the ESA (European Space Agency)-sponsored neurology experiments GRIP and GRASP (Gravitational References for Sensimotor Performance: Reaching and Grasping). GRIP studies how microgravity affects the manipulation of objects, while GRASP provides further insight into how the central nervous system adapts to the microgravity environment. The experiments have been on the space station almost six years, and the final in-orbit tests were completed in early 2023.
Following commands from ground controllers at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, the company’s Dragon cargo spacecraft undocked at 12:30 p.m. EDT from the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module. At the time of undocking the station was flying at an altitude about 260 miles northeast of the Indian Ocean west of Indonesia.
After re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will make a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida on Friday, June 30. NASA will not broadcast the splashdown, but updates will be posted on the agency’s space station blog.
Dragon arrived at the station June 6 as SpaceX’s 28th Commercial Resupply Services mission for NASA, delivering more than 7,000 pounds of research investigations, crew supplies, and station hardware, including two IROSAs, or International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Arrays. The spacecraft was launched June 5 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Following commands from ground controllers at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, Dragon will undock at 12:30 p.m. EDT from the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module and fire its thrusters to move a safe distance away from the station.
After re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will make a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida about 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 30. NASA will not broadcast the splashdown, but updates will be posted on the agency’s space station blog.
Mission managers have given the go for the undocking of the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station on Thursday. As Dragon nears its departure, the Expedition 69 crew also worked on advanced science hardware while conducting cardiac research and immunity studies.
Flight Engineers Woody Hoburg, Stephen Bowen, and Sultan Alneyadi took turns on Wednesday loading some of the 3,600 pounds of cargo that will return to Earth inside Dragon. The trio will get back together on Thursday for final cargo activities as they pack critical research samples inside Dragon’s return science freezers before closing its hatch.
Dragon is scheduled to undock from the Harmony module’s space-facing port at 12:05 p.m. EDT on Thursday. It will parachute to a splashdown off the coast of Florida early Friday morning for retrieval by SpaceX and NASA personnel. NASA TV will cover Dragon’s undocking and departure beginning at 11:45 a.m. on the agency’s app and website. NASA will not broadcast the splashdown, but updates will be posted on the agency’s space station blog.
Bowen began his day in the Kibo laboratory module setting up the NanoRacks CubeSat deployer that will soon be placed into the vacuum of space outside Kibo’s airlock. The deployer will release six different nanosatellites into Earth orbit for Earth observations, communication studies, materials research, and a technology demonstration. NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio activated the Astrobee robotic free-flyers during the afternoon and performed software test runs on the devices with assistance from ground controllers.
Hoburg from NASA and Alneyadi from UAE (United Arab Emirates) partnered together in the afternoon for maintenance duties inside the Quest airlock. The duo secured airlock closeout panels and stowage platforms inside Quest.
Human research was a top priority on Wednesday for the cosmonauts working in the orbital outpost’s Roscosmos segment. Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin assisted Commander Sergey Prokopyev as he attached sensors to himself monitoring how living in microgravity affects his blood pressure and his cardiovascular health. Petelin stowed research hardware then downloaded data collected for a study that observes how the human immune system adapts to long-term weightlessness.
Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev set up a camera inside the Poisk module and pointed it out a window to photograph the external condition of the Roscosmos segment of the space station. He also spent some time working on ventilation systems inside the Nauka science module.
A U.S. cargo craft is being packed and readied for its undocking from the International Space Station and its retrieval on Earth at the end of the week. The Expedition 69 crew members also focused their Tuesday research activities on space botany, robotics, and human research.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is nearing the end of its stay at the orbital lab and is scheduled to undock at 12:05 p.m. EDT on Thursday. NASA TV will begin its live undocking and departure coverage at 11:45 a.m. on the agency’s app and website.
NASA Flight Engineers Frank Rubio, Woody Hoburg, and Stephen Bowen along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) Flight Engineer Sultan Alneyadi worked throughout Tuesday continuing to load Dragon with some of the 3,600 pounds of cargo that will return to Earth. Dragon is due to splash down off the coast of Florida about 2:30 a.m. on Friday for retrieval by NASA and SpaceX personnel. Dragon arrived at the station on June 6 packed with over 7,000 pounds of new science experiments, crew supplies, and lab hardware.
While Rubio spent most of Tuesday on Dragon cargo transfers, he also had time for hardware inspections inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox in the afternoon. Bowen swapped out life support components and charged wearable medical monitoring gear. Bowen and Hoburg also spent an hour before lunchtime reviewing Dragon Endeavour crew spacecraft departure procedures.
Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin collected his saliva and hair samples for a study that will analyze them to understand how the human immune system adapts to microgravity. Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev primarily focused their activities on maintenance on Tuesday. The two cosmonauts worked in the Zvezda service module as Prokopyev worked on ventilation systems while Fedyaev checked its power supply and oxygen generator.
Space botany, microbiology, and future piloting techniques were the main experiments aboard the International Space Station on Monday. The Expedition 69 crew members are also readying a cargo vehicle for its departure and continuing to clean up after last week’s spacewalk.
Following a busy period of spacewalks at the orbital outpost, the station’s residents returned their attention to microgravity research on Monday benefitting humans living on and off the Earth.
NASA Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen started his day installing research hardware on an experiment platform and placing it inside Kibo’s airlock for exposure to the vacuum of space. Afterward, Bowen analyzed slides containing incubated microbe samples collected from the station’s air and surfaces.
UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi swapped out hardware inside the Materials Science Laboratory, a physics research facility, and prepared it for calibration inside the Destiny laboratory module. Alneyadi also loaded sample-packed science freezers inside the SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle for retrieval back on Earth at the end of the week.
NASA astronaut Frank Rubio took the day off Monday relaxing and taking time out for exercising.
Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin took turns on Monday wearing a sensor-packed cap and practicing futuristic piloting techniques. The Pilot-T study takes place on a computer and monitors how a crew member might react and control spacecraft or robots on a planetary mission.
Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev spent Monday morning collecting air samples from the Zvezda, Nauka, and Poisk modules. In the afternoon, Fedyaev checked laptop computer hardware and serviced ventilation systems inside Nauka.
The Expedition 69 crew is wrapping its work week loading a cargo vehicle for its upcoming return to Earth and cleaning up following Thursday’s spacewalk. Other activities scheduled for the International Space Station residents on Friday included a robotics competition and life support maintenance.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle will end its stay at the orbital outpost on June 29 after delivering two roll-out solar arrays and several tons of science gear, crew supplies, and station hardware on June 6. NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg began finalizing the cargo work inside the Dragon cargo spacecraft on Friday. At the end of the day, NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio joined Hoburg transferring research samples from the station’s science freezers into Dragon’s science transport freezers.
Earlier in the day, Bowen and Rubio worked together servicing power systems and life support gear. The duo started their work in the Destiny laboratory module replacing a remote power controller module that controls the flow of power throughout the orbital outpost. After lunchtime, the duo rejoined each other in the Harmony module swapping out hardware that circulates, cools, and dehumidifies air in the space station’s U.S. segment.
UAE (United Arab Emirates) Flight Engineer Sultan Alneyadi assisted the NASA astronauts with the cargo packing job then worked on orbital plumbing tasks throughout the morning on Friday. In the afternoon, Alneyadi powered up and activated the Astrobee robotic free-flyers located inside the Kibo laboratory module. Afterward, the UAE astronaut monitored the Astrobees as they performed maneuvers controlled by competition-winning algorithms written by students on Earth.
The orbital lab’s three cosmonauts slept in on Friday following a six-hour and 24-minute spacewalk the day before to replace science and communications hardware on the station’s Roscosmos segment. The spacewalk was Commander Sergey Prokopyev’s and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin’s fifth together. After they woke up mid-morning, the trio, including Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev, spent the rest of the day stowing spacewalk tools, cleaning spacesuits, and reorganizing the Poisk airlock.
Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin concluded their spacewalk June 22 at 4:48 p.m. EDT after 6 hours and 24 minutes.
Prokopyev and Petelin completed their major objectives, which were to retrieve several experiment packages from the Zvezda and Poisk modules and install communications equipment outside the International Space Station.
This was the seventh spacewalk in Prokopyev’s career, and the fifth for Petelin. It was the ninth spacewalk at the station in 2023 and the 266th spacewalk for space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.
Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin began a spacewalk at 10:24 a.m. EDT to retrieve several experiment packages from the Zvezda and Poisk modules and install communications equipment outside the International Space Station.
Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.
Prokopyev is wearing an Orlan spacesuit with red stripes, while Petelin is wearing the suit with blue stripes. This is the seventh spacewalk in Prokopyev’s career, and the fifth for Petelin. It is the ninth spacewalk at the station in 2023 and the 266th spacewalk for space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.
NASA coverage is underway for today’s spacewalk with Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin. The duo will retrieve several experiment packages from the Zvezda and Poisk modules and install communications equipment. Coverage of the spacewalk is on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.
Prokopyev and Petelin will exit out of the Poisk module about 10:20 a.m. EDT. Prokopyev is wearing the Orlan spacesuit with red stripes, while Petelin is wearing the suit with blue stripes.
This will be the seventh spacewalk in Prokopyev’s career, and the fifth for Petelin. It will be the ninth spacewalk at the station in 2023 and the 266th spacewalk for space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.