Dragon Attached to Station for Month of Cargo Transfers

Dec. 17, 2017: International Space Station Configuration
Dec. 17, 2017: International Space Station Configuration. Four spaceships are parked at the space station including the SpaceX Dragon space freighter, the Progress 67 and 68 resupply ships and the Soyuz MS-06 crew ship.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was installed on the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 8:26 a.m. EST.

The 13th contracted commercial resupply mission from SpaceX (CRS-13) delivered more than 4,800 pounds of supplies and payloads to the station. Among the research materials flying inside Dragon’s pressurized area, one investigation will demonstrate the benefits of manufacturing fiber optic filaments in a microgravity environment. Designed by the company Made in Space, and sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the investigation will attempt to pull fiber optic wire from ZBLAN, a heavy metal fluoride glass commonly used to make fiber optic glass. Results from this investigation could lead to the production of higher-quality fiber optic products for use in space and on Earth.

Dragon is scheduled to depart the station in January 2018 and return to Earth with more than 3,600 pounds of research, hardware and crew supplies.

Expedition 54-55 Flight Engineers Scott Tingle of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are on their way to the space station after a launch earlier today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2:21 a.m. EST Sunday, Dec. 17 (1:21 p.m. Baikonur time). The trio will orbit the Earth for approximately two days before docking to the space station’s Rassvet module, at 3:43 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19. NASA TV coverage of the docking will begin at 3 a.m. Tuesday.

For more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/.

Astronauts Capture Dragon Loaded With New Science

Dragon Capture
The Dragon resupply ship is pictured just 10 meters away from the space station’s Canadarm2.

While the International Space Station was traveling overhead between  Australia and Papua New Guinea, NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba captured the Dragon spacecraft at 5:57 a.m. EST using the space station’s robotic arm. Ground controllers will now send commands to begin the robotic installation the spacecraft on the station’s Harmony module. NASA Television coverage of installation will begin at 7:30 a.m. Watch online at www.nasa.gov/live.

Dragon is carrying a Space Debris Sensor (SDS) that will measure the orbital debris environment around the space station for two to three years. Once mounted on the exterior of the station, this one-square-meter sensor will provide near-real-time debris impact detection and recording. Research from this investigation could help lower the risks posed by orbital debris to human life and critical hardware.

Also on board is NASA’s Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor, or TSIS-1, that will measure the Sun’s energy input to Earth. TSIS-1 measurements will be three times more accurate than previous capabilities, enabling scientists to study the Sun’s natural influence on Earth’s ozone, atmospheric circulation, clouds and ecosystems. These observations are essential for a scientific understanding of the effects of solar variability on the Earth system.

For more information about the SpaceX CRS-13 mission, visit www.nasa.gov/spacex.

New Crew Launches on Two Day Trip to Station

New Crew Launches on Two-Day Trip to Station
Three Expedition 54 crew members launched aboard the Soyuz MS-07 rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

The Soyuz MS-07 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 2:21 a.m. EST Sunday, Dec. 17 (1:21 p.m. Baikonur time). At the time of launch, the space station flew over south central Kazakhstan, northeast of Baikonur at an altitude of about 260 statute miles. Expedition 54-55 Flight Engineers Scott Tingle of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are now safely in orbit.

The trio will orbit the Earth for approximately two days before docking to the space station’s Rassvet module, at 3:43 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19. NASA TV coverage of the docking will begin at 3 a.m. Tuesday.

While the crew continue on their journey, flight control teams for the space station and SpaceX Dragon are proceeding toward rendezvous and grapple of the Dragon cargo spacecraft this morning. NASA Television coverage will resume at 4:30 a.m. for Dragon arrival. Capture is expected around 6 a.m. Installation of the Dragon to the Harmony module will begin a couple hours later. NASA TV coverage of installation is set to begin at 7:30 a.m.

The Dragon launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Friday, Dec. 15, carrying more than 4,800 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies that will support dozens of the more than 250 investigations aboard the space station.

For more information about the SpaceX CRS-13 mission, visit www.nasa.gov/spacex.

For live coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/.

Touchdown! Veteran Space Travelers Back on Earth

Soyuz Spacecraft Lands
The Soyuz spacecraft carrying Expedition 53 crewmates Sergey Ryazanskiy, Randy Bresnik and Paolo Nespoli is pictured seconds from landing in the steppe of Kazakhstan in below freezing weather. Credit: NASA TV

Three crew members who have been living and working aboard the International Space Station have landed in Kazakhstan.

Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA and Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos landed at 3:37 a.m. EST (2:37 p.m. Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. It is a frigid 10 degrees Fahrenheit on the ground, with the wind chill making it feel like 5 degrees below zero.

Together, the Expedition 53 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, as well as Earth and other physical sciences aboard the orbiting laboratory. Their time aboard marked the first long-term increase in crew size on the U.S. segment of the International Space Station from three to four, allowing NASA to maximize time dedicated to research on the station.

During his time aboard the orbital complex, Bresnik ventured outside the space station for three spacewalks. Along with NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba, Bresnik lead a trio of spacewalks to replace one of two latching end effectors on the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2. They also lubricated the newly replaced Canadarm2 end effector and replaced cameras on the left side of the station’s truss and the right side of the station’s U.S. Destiny laboratory.

Ryazanskiy conducted one spacewalk with fellow cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin in August to deploy several nanosatellites, collect research samples and perform structural maintenance.

Bresnik now has spent 150 days in space on two flights. Ryazanskiy now has 306 days in space on two flights. Nespoli has logged 313 days in space on his three flights.

The Expedition 54 crew continues operating the station, with Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos in command. Along with crewmates Mark Vende Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA, the three-person crew will operate the station until the arrival of three new crew members on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

Scott Tingle of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), are scheduled to launch Sunday, Dec. 17 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. NASA Television will broadcast the launch and docking.

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

Expedition 53 Leaves Station, Begins Ride Home

Soyuz MS-05 Spacecraft
The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft carrying three Expedition 53 crew members backs away from the International Space Station after undocking from the Rassvet module.

Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA and Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos undocked from the International Space Station at 12:14 a.m. EST to begin their trip home.

Deorbit burn is scheduled for approximately 2:45, with landing in Kazakhstan targeted for 3:37 (2:37 p.m. Kazakhstan time). NASA TV coverage will resume at 2:15 for deorbit burn and landing coverage.

At the time of undocking, Expedition 54 began aboard the space station under the command of Roscosmos’ Alexander Misurkin. Along with his crewmates Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA, the three-person crew will operate the station until the arrival of three new crew members Tuesday, Dec. 19.

Sunday, Dec. 17, Scott Tingle of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will launch to the space station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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

Crew Says Goodbye and Closes the Hatch to Ride Home

Expedition 53 Crew Farewell
Cosmonauts (from left) Sergey Ryazanskiy and Alexander Misurkin trade hugs and farewells. Ryazanskiy is departing the station with astronauts Randy Bresnik of NASA and Paolo Nespoli of ESA in the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft.

At 9:02 p.m. EST, the hatch closed between the Soyuz spacecraft and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking. Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos are scheduled to undock their Soyuz at 12:14 a.m. NASA Television will air live coverage of the undocking beginning at 11:45 p.m.

Their landing in Kazakhstan is targeted for approximately 3:37 a.m. (2:37 p.m. Kazakhstan time) and will conclude a 139-day mission aboard the space station, in which they logged 2,224 orbits of the Earth.

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

Crew Set to Say Goodbye and Close Soyuz Spacecraft Hatch

Expedition 52-53 crew members
Expedition 52-53 crew members (from left) Paolo Nespoli of ESA, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos, and Randy Bresnik of NASA are pictured in July 2017 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan before beginning their mission.

Three crew members who have been living and working aboard the International Space Station are set for return to Earth on Thursday. Coverage of the farewell and hatch closure is now underway on NASA TV and the agency’s website. Hatch closure is scheduled for around 9 p.m. EST.

Earlier Wednesday, Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA handed over station command to Roscosmos’ Alexander Misurkin in an official Change of Command ceremony.

Bresnik and Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos will undock their Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft from the space station at 12:14 a.m. Thursday, with landing in Kazakhstan targeted for 3:38 a.m. (2:38 p.m. Kazakhstan time).

Their return will conclude 139 days in space since their launch on July 28.

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

 

Dragon Resupply Mission Now Targeted for Friday Launch

Dragon Delivers BEAM
The Dragon resupply ship is pictured April 10, 2016, after it had been captured with the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Inside Dragon was about 7,000 pounds of cargo including BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Aerospace Module.

NASA and SpaceX are now targeting no earlier than 10:35 a.m. EST Friday, Dec. 15th, for the company’s 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX is taking additional time for the team to conduct full inspections and cleanings due to detection of particles in 2nd stage fuel system. Next launch opportunity would be no earlier than late December.

A Dragon spacecraft will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Dragon is now scheduled to arrive at the space station on Sunday, Dec. 17th.

On Sunday, Scott Tingle of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are also scheduled to launch at 2:21 a.m. (1:21 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station.

NASA Television coverage for launch and arrival activities are as follows:

Friday, Dec. 15

  • 10 a.m. – Launch commentary coverage begins
  • 12 p.m. – Post-launch news conference with representatives from NASA’s International Space Station Program and SpaceX

Sunday, Dec. 17

  • 1:15 a.m. – Soyuz MS-07 launch coverage begins
  • 4:30 a.m. – Dragon rendezvous at the space station and capture coverage begins
  • 7:30 a.m. – Installation coverage begins

Watch live on NASA Television and the agency’s website: www.nasa.gov/live.

Join the conversation online by following @space_station.

Station Gets Ready to Swap Two Crews in Five Days

Expedition 52-53 crew members
Expedition 52-53 crew members (from left) Paolo Nespoli, Sergey Ryazanskiy and Randy Bresnik are suited up for a test run of their Soyuz undocking and landing.

The Expedition 53 crew is getting ready to split up Thursday morning before another crew begins its mission next week. Soyuz Commander Sergey Ryazanskiy will pilot his crew mates Randy Bresnik of NASA and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency in the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft back to Earth after 139 days in space. The trio is scheduled to undock from the Rassvet module at 12:14 a.m. Thursday and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan at 3:38 a.m.

New Expedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin will stay onboard the orbital laboratory with Flight Engineers Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei of NASA until March. The trio have been onboard the station since Sept. 12 and will welcome a new set of crewmates next week when the Soyuz MS-07 crew ship arrives.

The next space travelers to board the station will be veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and new astronauts Scott Tingle of NASA and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. They are the Expedition 54-55 crew and are in Kazakhstan in final training ahead of their launch Sunday at 2:21 a.m. Shkaplerov, flanked by Tingle and Kanai, will take a two-day trip inside the Soyuz to the station before docking Tuesday at 3:43 a.m. for a four-month stay at the station.

NASA and SpaceX Now Target Wednesday for Dragon Launch

Spacex CRS-12 Launch
The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship launches atop a Falcon 9 rocket Aug. 14, 2017, from Kennedy Space Center.

NASA and SpaceX are now targeting no earlier than 11:24 a.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 13th, for the company’s 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX requested additional time for prelaunch ground systems checks.

A media pad photo opportunity scheduled for 11:30 p.m., Dec. 11 has been canceled.

A Dragon spacecraft will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Dragon is now scheduled to arrive at the space station on Saturday, Dec. 16.

NASA Television coverage for launch is as follows:

Wednesday, Dec. 13

  • 10:45 a.m. – Launch commentary coverage begins
  • 12:30 p.m. – Post-launch news conference with representatives from NASA’s International Space Station Program and SpaceX

Saturday, Dec. 16

  • 4:30 a.m. – Dragon rendezvous at the space station and capture
  • 7:30 a.m. – Installation coverage

Watch live on NASA Television and the agency’s website: www.nasa.gov/live.

Join the conversation online by following @space_station.