Human research was the prime area of study today aboard the International Space Station. Results are helping NASA and its international partners keeps astronauts safe and healthy on long term space missions.
Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover took turns today exploring how weightlessness impacts their hand-eye coordination. The GRASP study, sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), explores how microgravity affects a crew member’s central nervous system. That experiment has been under way at the orbiting lab since 2016, providing researchers critical data and insights on how astronauts adapt to living and working in space.
All seven crew members started the day measuring their body mass with an instrument that follows Newton’s second law of motion to account for the lack of gravity. Known as SLAMMD, or Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device, it applies a known force to an astronaut with the resulting acceleration used to calculate the person’s mass.
New station Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover continued studying how microgravity impacts dexterous manipulation today. Their inputs for the Grip study could help scientists and engineers develop safer, more advanced spacecraft systems and interfaces.
NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker relaxed Monday morning before spending the rest of the afternoon exploring how to manufacture high quality, next generation fiber optic cables in space. Kate Rubins, on her second station mission, studied how water droplets behave in space to help engineers design improved spacecraft fuel and life support systems.
Three Expedition 64 crewmates slept in today following Wednesday’s spacewalk to upgrade the International Space Station for a new Russian module. Meanwhile, the station’s four newest crew members are adjusting to life in space, working science and unloading cargo from the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins had a long day Wednesday as she assisted cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov during their six-hour and 48-minute spacewalk. The trio had an extended sleep shift Thursday having also adjusted their schedules at the beginning of the week to welcome the four astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon.
The extended crew woke up at 7 a.m. EST and jumped right into a busy workday getting familiarized with station systems and working space research. At the end of the day, the quartet also briefed mission controllers and discussed their experience riding in the Crew Dragon vehicle.
Flight Engineers Victor Glover and Soichi Noguchi partnered up Wednesday morning and transferred cargo from Crew Dragon into the station. The duo then split up as Glover participated in the Vection study to understand how astronauts visually perceive and adapt to the space environment. Noguchi spent a good portion of his day inside the Japanese Kibo lab module servicing the Cell Biology Experiment Facility, an incubator that can generate artificial gravity.
The two cosmonauts opened the hatch to the Poisk module‘s airlock to begin the spacewalk at 10:12 a.m. EST. They re-entered the airlock and closed the hatch at 5 p.m. EST.
During the spacewalk, the duo inspected the Poisk airlock for leaks, relocated an antenna from the Pirs module to Poisk, retrieved hardware that measures space debris impacts, and repositioned an instrument used to measure the residue from thruster firings. Additionally, the team retrieved and installed an impact tray on the Zvezda service module and took photos of the plume deflectors. The cosmonauts deferred the task of replacing the fluid flow regulator on the Zarya module to a future spacewalk.
It was the 232nd spacewalk in support of International Space Station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades, the eighth spacewalk of 2020, and the first spacewalk for both Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov.
Ryzhikov, designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1), is wearing a Russian Orlan spacesuit with red stripes, and Kud-Sverchkov is wearing a spacesuit with blue stripes as extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2).
Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Views from a camera on Ryzhikov’s helmet are designated with the number 20, and Kud-Sverchkov’s is labeled with the number 18.
Expedition 64 Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are preparing for their exit from the station’s Poisk docking compartment airlock at approximately 9:30 a.m. EST to begin a spacewalk planned for about six hours to service the International Space Station.
The primary objective during the spacewalk will be to relocate an antenna from the Pirs docking compartment to the Poisk module, the first in a series of tasks that will prepare the Pirs module for decommissioning, undocking, and disposal. The Earth-facing Pirs module will be replaced by the new Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module, named “Nauka,” Russian for “science.”
The cosmonauts will also conduct leak inspections outside the Poisk hatch, replace a fluid flow regulator on the Zarya module, retrieve hardware that measures space debris impacts, and reposition an instrument used to measure the residue from thruster firings.
Coverage of the spacewalk is now underway on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
The newest station crew members are asleep today following a 27-hour-and-half trip from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to the Harmony module’s forward-facing port. Commander Michael Hopkins and Pilot Victor Glover, alongside Mission Specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi, docked on Monday at 11:01 p.m. The hatches were opened two hours later, and the quartet entered the station to begin a six-month research mission.
All seven crewmembers gathered in the Harmony module for a welcoming ceremony and congratulations from NASA and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) mission officials. Afterward, safety briefings were given to the new quartet showing potential lab hazards, emergency equipment locations and escape routes.
This is the first long-duration crew comprised of seven members in space station history. The station has hosted up to 13 visitors before but only for a few days at a time during crew swap operations.
Today, NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins helped Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov get ready for their first spacewalk. The Russian duo will spend about five-and-a-half hours servicing external station hardware and science experiments. Their prime task will be to prepare the station’s Russian segment for the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module due to arrive in 2021.
The crew members first opened the hatch between the space station and the pressurized mating adapter at 1:02 a.m. EST then opened the hatch to Crew Dragon.
NASA TV will continue to provide live coverage through the welcoming ceremony with NASA’s Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Kathy Lueders joining to greet the crew from the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, and JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa joining from the Tsukuba Space Center in Japan. The welcome ceremony is targeted to begin about 1:40 a.m.
About 2 a.m., NASA will host a news conference following the welcome ceremony with the following participants:
Kathy Lueders, associate administrator for human exploration and operations, NASA Headquarters
Johnson Center Director Mark Geyer
Ven Feng, deputy manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
Joel Montalbano, program manager, International Space Station
Following Crew Dragon’s link up to the Harmony module, the astronauts aboard the Resilience and the space station will begin conducting standard leak checks and pressurization between the spacecraft in preparation for hatch opening scheduled for 1:10 a.m.
Hopkins, Glover, Walker, and Noguchi will join the Expedition 64 crew of Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, both of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA.
NASA Television and the agency’s website are continuing to provide live continuous coverage of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Resilience, began the final phase of its approach to the station at 9:22 p.m. Monday and is scheduled to dock at 11 p.m. Crew Dragon is designed to dock autonomously, but the crew onboard the spacecraft and the space station will monitor the performance of the spacecraft as it approaches and docks to the forward port of the station’s Harmony module.
When the hatches open about 1:10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, the Crew-1 astronauts will join Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA, and station Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos, who arrived to the station Oct. 14.