Author Archives: Mark Garcia

Medical Training Ahead of Third Spacewalk

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Astronaut Joe Acaba

Astronaut Joe Acaba poses in between two U.S. spacesuits inside the Quest airlock. He will wear one of those spacesuits on a spacewalk scheduled for Oct. 20, 2017.

The Expedition 53 crew trained for a medical emergency in space today after spending the morning on weekly housecleaning tasks. Afterward, two astronauts reviewed procedures and checked their tools ahead of Friday’s spacewalk.

Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin joined NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba for a routine training session to handle a medical emergency aboard the International Space Station. The trio reviewed medical hardware, chest compression techniques and individual roles and responsibilities.

Afterward, Acaba moved on to spacewalk preparations with Commander Randy Bresnik. The spacewalkers are due to begin a 6.5 hour spacewalk Friday at 8:05 a.m. EDT. NASA TV will cover the spacewalking activities live beginning at 6:30 a.m.

This will be the third spacewalk this month and consists of repackaged tasks that include the replacement of a camera assembly on the newly installed Latching End Effector, the installation of an HD camera on the starboard truss, the replacement of a fuse on Dextre’s payload platform and the removal of thermal insulation on two electrical spare parts housed on stowage platforms.

Astronauts Prep for Spacewalk and Check Science Gear

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Astronaut Mark Vande Hei

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei is pictured tethered to the outside of the U.S. Destiny laboratory module during a spacewalk on Oct. 10, 2017.

Two NASA astronauts are getting ready to go on their mission’s third spacewalk on Friday. In the midst of those preparations, the Expedition 53 crew also worked on science gear exploring a wide variety of space phenomena.

Commander Randy Bresnik is preparing to go on the third spacewalk this month with NASA astronaut Joe Acaba. Astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Mark Vande Hei will assist the spacewalking duo in and out of their spacesuits on Friday.

The spacewalkers will replace a camera light on the Canadarm2’s newly-installed Latching End Effector and install a high-definition camera on the starboard truss. Other tasks include the replacement of a fuse on Dextre’s payload platform and the removal of thermal insulation on two electrical spare parts housed on stowage platforms.

Bresnik started his day working on a specialized camera that photograph’s meteors entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Acaba finally wrapped up the day configuring a microscope inside the Fluids Integrated Rack.

Nespoli, from the European Space Agency, set up the new Mini-Exercise Device-2 (MED-2) for a workout session today. Researchers are exploring the MED-2 for its ability to provide effective workouts while maximizing space aboard a spacecraft.

Russian Spacecraft Delivers Station Supplies

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Russian 68P Cargo Craft

The Russian 68P cargo craft is pictured just meters away from docking to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

Traveling about 252 miles over eastern China, the unpiloted Russian Progress 68 cargo ship docked at 7:04 a.m. EDT to the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station.

For more information about the current crew and the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station

Cargo Mission Launches Carrying Food, Fuel and Supplies to Station

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The Russian Progress 68 cargo craft lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA TV

Carrying almost three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the International Space Station crew, the unpiloted Russian Progress 68 cargo spacecraft launched at 4:46 a.m. EDT (2:46 p.m. local time in Baikonur) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

At the time of launch, the International Space Station was flying about 250 miles over the south Atlantic Ocean north of the Falkland Islands .

Less than 10 minutes after launch, the resupply ship reached preliminary orbit and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned. The Expedition 53 crew will monitor key events during Progress 68’s approach and docking.

Following a 34-orbit, two-day trip, Progress will arrive at the Pirs docking compartment of the International Space Station for docking on Monday, Oct. 16, at 7:09 a.m. NASA TV coverage of rendezvous and docking will begin on NASA’s website at 6:15 a.m

To join the conversation about the space station and Progress 68 online, follow @space_station on Twitter.

Station Cargo Mission and Spacewalk Rescheduled

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Astronaut Mark Vande Hei

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei is pictured attached to the outside of the space station during a spacewalk on Oct. 10, 2017.

Roscosmos has rescheduled the launch of the Russian Progress 68 cargo spacecraft for Saturday, Oct. 14 at 4:46 am EDT (2:46 p.m. local time in Baikonur). The spacecraft is carrying almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 53 crew aboard the International Space Station.

Launch coverage on NASA TV will begin at 4:15 a.m. Following a 34-orbit, two-day trip, Progress will arrive at the Pirs docking compartment of the International Space Station for docking on Monday, Oct. 16, at 7:09 a.m., with NASA TV coverage beginning at 6:15 a.m.

In addition, NASA has rescheduled the Expedition 53 crew’s third and final spacewalk in the current series to next Friday, Oct. 20. Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Joe Acaba will begin the spacewalk at approximately 8:05 a.m., and NASA TV coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m.

The tasks for the crew members to conduct have been adjusted. Bresnik and Acaba will replace a fuse on Dextre’s enhanced orbital replacement unit temporary platform; install an enhanced HD camera on the Starboard 1 lower outboard truss; remove thermal insulation on two spare units to prepare those components for future robotic replacement work, if required; and replace a light on the Canadarm2’s new latching end effector installed during the first spacewalk Oct. 5. The final lubrication of the new end effector and the replacement of a camera system on the Destiny Lab will be deferred for a future spacewalk.

To join the conversation about the space station activities online, follow @space_station on Twitter.

 

Launch of Russian Cargo Mission Scrubbed

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Progress 68 Rocket

The Progress 68 resupply rocket stands at it launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Roscosmos

Launch of the Russian Progress 68 cargo craft has been scrubbed for today. The next launch attempt will be no earlier than Saturday Oct. 14 at 4:46 am EDT (2:46 p.m. local time in Baikonur). Following a 34-orbit, two-day trip, Progress 68 would arrive at the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station for docking on Monday, Oct. 16. Roscosmos technicians in Baikonur are analyzing the cause of the scrubbed launch.

To join the conversation about the space station and Progress 68 online, follow @space_station on Twitter.

Spacewalk Review Ahead of Thursday’s Cargo Delivery

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Progress 68 Rocket

The Russian Progress 68 resupply rocket stands at it launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Roscosmos

Two astronauts checked in with ground engineers today after completing the second of three spacewalks yesterday that are planned for this month. Meanwhile, a Russian cargo ship stands at its launch pad ready to blast off Thursday morning on a short delivery trip to the International Space Station.

Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei called down to Mission Control today to discuss the elements of Tuesday’s successful spacewalk. During the excursion, they began the lubrication process on the Canadarm2’s newly-installed latching end effector and swapped out a degraded video camera. Today, the spacewalkers are servicing their spacesuits’ water system and recharging the batteries.

Bresnik will conduct another spacewalk Oct. 18 with NASA astronaut Joe Acaba to finalize the servicing on the Canadarm2 robotic arm. The duo will also perform some electrical maintenance work and replace another degraded video camera. NASA TV will broadcast the third and final spacewalk on Oct. 18 beginning at 6:30 a.m.

Three tons of food, fuel and supplies are loaded inside a Russian resupply ship (ISS Progress 68) ready to lift off to the orbital complex Thursday at 5:32 a.m. The 68P will take just two orbits around Earth and dock to the station less than three-and-a-half hours later. This will be the shortest delivery mission for a Progress mission which usually takes a near six-hour trip, and in the past has taken up to two days to assist in the resupply of the complex.

Astronauts Back Inside Station After Second Spacewalk

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Astronaut Mark Vande Hei

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei wraps up lubrication work on the latching end effector of the Canadarm2 robotic arm.

Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei of NASA completed a 6 hour, 26 minute spacewalk at 2:22 p.m. EDT. The two astronauts lubricated components of the new latching end effector they installed in the previous spacewalk on the Canadarm2 robotic arm and replaced a faulty camera system.

They also completed a variety of additional tasks, including replacing a smudged lens cover and removing two handrails from outside the tranquility module in preparation for a future wireless antenna installation.

This was the second of three spacewalks planned for October. Bresnik will also lead the next spacewalk Oct. 18 joined by Flight Engineer Joe Acaba to continue the lubrication of the new end effector and to replace another camera system on the Destiny Lab.

Today’s spacewalk was the fourth for Bresnik’s career and the second for Vande Hei. The Oct. 18 spacewalk will mark the third of Acaba’s career.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.

Two Astronauts Begin Second Spacewalk of Mission

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NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik

NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik (bottom center) is dwarfed by a set of basketball court-sized solar arrays and the Earth in the background during a spacewalk on Oct. 5, 2017.

Two NASA astronauts switched their spacesuits to battery power this morning at 7:56 a.m., EDT aboard the International Space Station to begin a spacewalk planned to last about 6.5 hours. Live coverage is available on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei of NASA will lubricate components of the new latching end effector they installed on the Canadarm2 robotic arm in their first excursion Oct. 5. They will also replace a faulty camera system in the 204th spacewalk in support of assembly and maintenance in station history. This is the fourth spacewalk of Bresnik’s career and the second for Vande Hei.

A third spacewalk to continue the lubrication of the new end effector and to replace another camera system on the Destiny Lab is planned for Bresnik and Flight Engineer Joe Acaba of NASA Oct. 18.

Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates on the station and crew activities. For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.

Spacewalkers Going Outside Second Time in Less Than a Week

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Spacewalkers Mark Vande Hei and Randy Bresnik

Spacewalkers Mark Vande Hei and Randy Bresnik are pictured Oct. 5, 2017, working outside the International Space Station.

Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei of NASA will head outside the International Space Station at approximately 8 a.m. EDT Tuesday to begin a 6.5-hour spacewalk. Live coverage will be available on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 6:30 a.m.

During Tuesday’s spacewalk, Bresnik and Vande Hei will lubricate the Canadarm2 Latching End Effectors (LEE) that the spacewalkers replaced Oct. 5. Canadarm2 has two identical Latching End Effectors used to grapple visiting cargo vehicles and payloads, provide data and telemetry to the rest of the Canadian-built Mobile Base System and the unique capability to “walk” from one location on the station’s truss to another. The Canadarm2 grappling mechanism that was replaced last week experienced a stall of its motorized latches last month.

This will be the 204th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance, and the second of three spacewalks planned for October.

Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates on the station and crew activities. For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.

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