Launch Update

The Soyuz MS-10 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 4:40 a.m. EDT Thursday, October 11 (2:40 p.m. in Baikonur). Shortly after launch, there was an issue with the booster. Teams have confirmed the spacecraft separated from the booster and are in contact with the crew as the capsule returns in a ballistic decent mode.

U.S., Russian Crew Counting Down to Thursday Morning Launch

Expedition 57 crew members Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos (left) and Nick Hague of NASA
Expedition 57 crew members Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos (left) and Nick Hague of NASA (right) pose for pictures in front of their Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft.

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos are preparing for their launch to the International Space Station. Their journey to the station will begin with a lift off at 4:40 a.m. EDT Thursday (2:40 p.m. in Baikonur). Live launch coverage will begin at 3:30 a.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website. At the time of launch, the space station will be flying over NE Kazakhstan at 254 statute miles.

The two will join Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency, NASA Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Prokopyev, who arrived at the station in June.

The crew members of Expedition 57 will continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the International Space Station, humanity’s only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory.

Below is the crew’s launch timeline in EDT:

EDT               L-Hr/M/Sec   Event

7:40:17pm     9:00                Crew wakeup at Cosmonaut Hotel
10:40:17pm   6:00                Crew departs Cosmonaut Hotel
10:55:17pm   5:45                Batteries installed in booster
11:25:17pm   5:15                Crew arrives at Site 254
11:40:17pm   5:00                Tanking begins
12:10:17am   4:30                Crew suit up
12:35:17am   4:05                Booster loaded with liquid Oxygen
1:10:17am    3:30                Crew meets family members on other side of the glass
1:35:17am    3:05                First and second stage oxygen fueling complete
1:40:17am    3:00                Crew walkout from 254 and boards bus for the launch pad
1:45:17am    2:55                Crew departs for launch pad (Site 1)
2:05:17am    2:35                Crew arrives at launch pad (Site 1)
2:15:17am    2:25                Crew boards Soyuz; strapped in to the Descent module
3:05:17am    1:35                Descent module hardware tested
3:20:17am    1:20                Hatch closed; leak checks begin
3:30:00am   1:10:17          NASA TV LAUNCH COVERAGE BEGINS
3:40:17am    1:00                Launch vehicle control system prep; gyro activation
3:45:00am     :55:17          NASA TV: Crew pre-launch activities B-roll played)
3:55:17am      :45:00          Pad service structure components lowered
3:56:17am      :44:00          Clamshell gantry service towers retracted
4:03:17am      :37:00          Suit leak checks begin; descent module testing complete
4:06:17am      :34:00          Emergency escape system armed
4:25:17am      :15:00          Suit leak checks complete; escape system to auto
4:30:17am       :10:00          Gyros in flight readiness and recorders activated
4:33:17am       :07:00          Pre-launch operations complete
4:34:17am       :06:00          Launch countdown operations to auto; vehicle ready
4:35:17am      :05:00          Commander’s controls activated
4:36:17am       :04:00          Combustion chamber nitrogen purge
4:36:51am      :03:26        ISS flies directly over the Baikonur Cosmodrome
4:37:17am      :03:00          Propellant drainback
4:37:32am      :02:45          Booster propellant tank pressurization
4:38:47am       :01:30          Ground propellant feed terminated
4:39:17am      :01:00          Vehicle to internal power
4:39:42am      :00:35          First umbilical tower separates
Auto sequence start
4:39:47am      :00:30          Ground umbilical to third stage disconnected
4:40:02am      :00:15          Second umbilical tower separates
4:40:05am      :00:12          Launch command issued
Engine Start Sequence Begins
4:40:07am      :00:10          Engine turbo pumps at flight speed
4:40:12am       :00:05         Engines at maximum thrust
4:40:17am      :00:00        LAUNCH OF SOYUZ MS-10 TO THE ISS
4:49:02am      +8:45         THIRD STAGE SHUTDOWN; SOYUZ ORBITAL INSERTION

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

New Crew Less Than A Day From Launching to Station

xpedition 57 crew members Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos (left) and Nick Hague of NASA
At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 57 crew members Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos (left) and Nick Hague of NASA (right) pose for pictures in front of their Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft Sept. 26 during final pre-launch training.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are in Kazakhstan less than a day away from launching to the International Space Station. They will blast off atop the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft Thursday at 4:40 a.m. EDT for a six-hour ride to their new home in space.

They will meet their Expedition 57 crew mates aboard the orbiting lab after their Soyuz crew ship docks to the Poisk module at 10:44 a.m. Commander Alexander Gerst and Flight Engineers Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Sergey Prokopyev will greet the new duo when the Soyuz hatch opens around 12:45 p.m.

The five-person crew will gather inside the Zvezda service module for a traditional crew greeting ceremony as family and mission officials on the ground offer their well-wishes. Shortly afterward, the two new crewmates will participate in a safety briefing then begin several days of familiarization with station systems.

NASA TV begins its live broadcast Thursday at 3:30 a.m. as the crew counts down to its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. NASA TV will be back on the air at 10 a.m. four orbits later as the Soyuz spacecraft approaches the station for docking. Finally, live coverage of the hatch opening and crew greeting begins at 12:15 p.m.

Rocket Rolls Out to Launch New Crew on Thursday

Launch pad gantry arms close around the Soyuz rocket
At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, launch pad gantry arms are seen closing around the Soyuz rocket in this long exposure photograph, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018.

The next rocket that will launch NASA’s Nick Hague and Roscosmos’ Alexey Ovchinin to the International Space Station stands ready at its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The duo will liftoff atop the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft Thursday at 4:40 a.m. EDT for a six-hour ride to their new home in space.

Hague and Ovchinin have been in final preparations at the launch site for two weeks of fit checks, Soyuz tests, procedure reviews and other traditional activities. This will be Hague’s first flight and Ovchinin’s second to the orbital lab.

Three Expedition 57 crew members aboard the space station await their new crewmates. Commander Alexander Gerst and Flight Engineers Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Sergey Prokopyev will greet the new duo Thursday when they aim to dock at 10:44 a.m. and open the Soyuz hatch around 1:10 p.m.

In the meantime, the orbiting trio today continued juggling a variety of science to improve life on Earth and maintenance to keep the station in tip-top shape. Gerst set up a microscope to observe the structure of protein molecules. Auñón-Chancellor brought in a small satellite deployer from outside the Kibo laboratory module after it deployed three CubeSats on Monday. Prokopyev worked on computers and life support gear throughout the station’s Russian segment.


Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Station Crew Back on Earth After 197 Days in Space

The Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft
The Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft that is carrying Expedition 55/56 crew members Ricky Arnold, Drew Feustel and Oleg Artemyev is pictured seconds away from landing under a parachute in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA TV

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

Expedition 56 Commander Drew Feustel and Flight Engineer Ricky Arnold of NASA, along with Flight Engineer and Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos landed at 7:44 a.m. EDT (5:44 p.m. in Kazakhstan) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

The crew completed hundreds of experiments during its 197-day expedition. Highlights included an investigation to study ultra-cold quantum gases using the first commercial European facility for microgravity research, and a system that uses surface forces to accomplish liquid-liquid separation.

The crew also welcomed five cargo spacecraft that delivered several tons of supplies and research experiments. The 14th SpaceX Dragon arrived in April, shortly after the three crew members did, bringing supplies and equipment, and the 15th Dragon arrived in July. The ninth Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft arrived in May before the end of Expedition 55. A Russian Progress completed a record rapid rendezvous of less than four hours in August. And, the seventh Japanese Konotouri cargo craft arrived just a week before the Expedition 56 trio departed for home.

Both Feustel and Arnold participated in dozens of educational events while in space as part of NASA’s Year of Education on Station, reaching more than 200,000 students in 29 states. Feustel now has logged more than 226 days in space on three spaceflights, and Arnold more than 209 days on two missions.

The duo ventured outside the space station on three spacewalks to effect maintenance and upgrades during Expeditions 55 and 56. Their work included replacing and upgrading external cameras, including those that will facilitate the approach and docking of the Boeing Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon commercial crew spacecraft when they begin launching soon from American soil. The spacewalkers also replaced components of the space station’s cooling system and communications network, and installed new wireless communication antennas for external experiments. Feustel has accumulated 61 hours and 48 minutes over nine career spacewalks, and ranks third overall among American astronauts. Arnold has 32 hours and 4 minutes over five career spacewalks.

Artemyev conducted one spacewalk with fellow cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev to manually launch four small technology satellites and install an experiment called Icarus onto the Russian segment of the space station. The spacewalk timed out at 7 hours and 46 minutes, the longest in Russian space program history. Artemyev now has spent 366 days in space on his two flights.

Expedition 57 continues station research and operations with a crew comprised of Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos. Gerst assumed command of the station as Feustel prepared to depart.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are scheduled to launch Oct. 11 for a same-day arrival, increasing the crew size to five.

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


Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Expedition 56 Trio Undocks For Trip Home

Soyuz MS-08 Spacecraft
The Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft that is returning three Expedition 56 crew members back to Earth is pictured from a space station camera just before to undocking from the Poisk module. Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 56 Commander Drew Feustel and Flight Engineer Ricky Arnold of NASA, along with Flight Engineer and Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos undocked from the International Space Station at 3:57 a.m. EDT to begin their trip home.

Deorbit burn is scheduled for approximately 6:51 a.m., with landing in Kazakhstan targeted for 7:45 a.m. (5:45 p.m. Kazakhstan time). NASA TV coverage will resume at 6:30 a.m. for deorbit burn and landing coverage.

At the time of undocking, Expedition 57 will begin formally aboard the station, with Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA’s Serena Aunon-Chancellor and Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev comprising a three-person crew for one week.

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


Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Crews Say Farewell, Close Soyuz and Station Hatches

Expedition 55-56 crew members Ricky Arnold, Oleg Artemyev and Drew Feustel
Expedition 55-56 crew members Ricky Arnold, Oleg Artemyev and Drew Feustel pose for a picture March 5, 2018 in front of their Soyuz spacecraft that launched them to space March 21, 2018.

At 1:06 a.m. EDT, the hatches were closed between the Soyuz spacecraft and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking. Expedition 56 Commander Drew Feustel and Flight Engineer Ricky Arnold of NASA, along with Flight Engineer and Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, are scheduled to undock their Soyuz at 3:57 a.m.

Their landing in Kazakhstan is targeted for approximately 7:45 a.m. (5:45 p.m. Kazakhstan time) and will conclude a 197-day mission spanning 3,152 orbits of Earth and a journey of 83.4 million miles.

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


Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Crews Switch Command as Trio Readies for Departure

Expedition 56 Crew Members
The six-member Expedition 56 crew gathers together for a team portrait. In the front row, from left, are NASA astronauts Serena Auñon-Chancellor, Commander Drew Fuestel and Ricky Arnold. Behind them, from left, are Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Oleg Artemyev. At the top of the group is astronaut Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency).

A European astronaut has taken command of the International Space Station for the second time since 2009. Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) accepted control of the orbital lab today from NASA astronaut and Expedition 56 Commander Drew Feustel.

Feustel is returning to Earth Thursday at 7:45 a.m. EDT with fellow crew members Ricky Arnold and Oleg Artemyev ending a 197-day stay in space. The trio will undock Thursday at 3:57 a.m. in their Soyuz MS-08 crew ship leaving behind German astronaut Gerst to begin his command with Expedition 57 Flight Engineers Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Sergey Prokopyev.

This is Gerst’s second stay aboard the space station and his first command. He is the second European to command the outpost after Belgian astronaut Frank De Winne.

NASA TV’s live coverage of the Expedition 56 departure activities begins Thursday at 12:30 a.m. when the homebound trio says goodbye and the Soyuz hatches close at 12:55 a.m. NASA TV will come back on air at 3:30 a.m. for the undocking and then return at 6:30 a.m. for the deorbit burn and landing coverage.


Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

U.S., German Astronauts Swapping Command Before Homecoming

Astronauts Drew Feustel and Alexander Gerst
Expedition 56 Commander Drew Feustel (left) of NASA will hand over command of the station to German astronaut Alexander Gerst of ESA.

A NASA astronaut will swap command of the International Space Station with a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Wednesday at 10:10 a.m. live on NASA TV. Expedition 56 Commander Drew Feustel will be handing the station “keys” over to German astronaut Alexander Gerst during the traditional change of command ceremony.

Expedition 57 officially starts Thursday at 3:57 a.m. EDT when Feustel and Flight Engineer Ricky Arnold undock in the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft commanded by cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev. Gerst, ESA’s second astronaut to command the station, is remaining onboard to lead Expedition 57 Flight Engineers Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Sergey Prokopyev. The homebound trio will parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan at 7:45 a.m. (5:45 p.m. Kazakhstan time) just two orbits after undocking and 197 days in space.

Astronaut Nick Hague from NASA’s astronaut class of 2014 and veteran station cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin will be the next crew to blast off to the space station. The duo will launch Oct. 11 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and take a six hour ride to their new home in space.

Amidst the crew departure activities today the station residents also worked space science and lab maintenance. Auñón-Chancellor worked on botany research inside the Plant Habitat located in the Columbus lab module. Gerst worked on hardware for the mobiPV study that is researching ways to increase productivity between astronauts and mission controllers. Departing astronauts Arnold and Feustel cleaned up their crew quarters.