Russian Port Module is Safely in Orbit Headed for Station

The Russian Prichal Node Module launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Nov. 24th, 2021.
The Russian Prichal Node Module launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Nov. 24th, 2021. Credit: NASA TV.

The five-ton Prichal docking module and its modified, uncrewed Russian Progress delivery spacecraft are safely in orbit headed for the International Space Station following launch at 8:06 a.m. (6:06 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Prichal, named for the Russian word for port or berth, has five available docking ports to accommodate multiple Russian spacecraft and provide fuel transfer capability to the Nauka module.

Progress will transport Prichal for an automated docking with the space station’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module Friday, Nov. 26., at 10:26 a.m. Live coverage on NASA TV of rendezvous and docking will begin at 9:30 a.m.

To make room for Prichal, the recently relocated, uncrewed Progress 78 cargo craft will undock from Nauka at 6:21 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 25, and follow a path to burn up upon reentry in the Earth’s atmosphere. NASA TV will not cover the Progress 78 undocking or reentry.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Crew Packs Cargo Ship for Departure and Preps for Spacewalk

A pair of U.S. spacesuits that will be worn by NASA astronauts Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron are pictured in the station's Quest airlock.
A pair of U.S. spacesuits that will be worn by NASA astronauts Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron are pictured in the station’s Quest airlock.

The Expedition 66 crew is turning its attention to the U.S. Cygnus space freighter as it nears departure this weekend after 100 days berthed to the station’s Unity module. The astronauts are also preparing for a spacewalk to replace a faulty antenna system on the International Space Station.

NASA astronauts Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari and Mark Vande Hei spent Wednesday afternoon packing Cygnus with trash and obsolete gear. ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer continued the cargo loading on Thursday. He will be at the robotics workstation monitoring its departure on Saturday at 11 a.m. EST. Robotics controllers remotely operating the Canadarm2 robotic arm from Earth will command Cygnus’ release live on NASA TV starting at 10:45 a.m.

Cygnus will have one more mission as it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere for a fiery, but safe destruction above the Pacific Ocean. The Kentucky Re-entry Probe Experiment will deploy three capsules from Cygnus to collect and transmit thermal data from sensors embedded in heat shields. The data may help validate thermal protection systems in space and heat shield materials on Earth.

Meanwhile, Marshburn and NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron are due to exit the U.S. Quest airlock soon to swap the S-Band Antenna System with a spare already attached outside the station. Maurer will be at the controls of the Canadarm2 assisting the duo during the planned six-and-a-half hour spacewalk.

Marshburn and Barron were joined by NASA Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Mark Vande Hei inside Quest on Thursday as they tried on their U.S. spacesuits for a fit check. Chari and Vande Hei will be on duty monitoring the two astronauts during the spacewalk and helping them in and out of their spacesuits. A news conference to discuss the spacewalk activities has been scheduled for Monday, Nov. 29.

Science was back on track Thursday with the crew exploring human research, botany, and space physics. Chari and Barron tested how astronauts perceive up and down movements and grip and manipulate objects In microgravity. Vande Hei cleaned up debris around chile peppers growing inside the Advanced Plant Habitat. Finally, station Commander Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos swapped samples inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox for a physics study seeking to improve the production of higher quality semiconductor crystals.

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The Station Crew Welcomed Four New Members

The Expedition 66 crew poses for a photo after SpaceX Crew-3's arrival to station.
The Expedition 66 crew poses for a photo after SpaceX Crew-3’s arrival to station. Credit: NASA TV

Running more than 30 minutes ahead of schedule, the SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts docked to the International Space Station at 6:32 p.m. EST Thursday, Nov. 11, less than 24 hours after launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer opened the hatch of their Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance at 8:25 p.m. and participated in a welcome ceremony with their new Expedition 66 crewmates at 9 p.m.

On board to welcome them were fellow astronaut Mark Vande Hei, Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos. Joining the welcome ceremony from Earth were Kathy Lueders, NASA associate administrator for Space Operations, NASA and Josef Aschbacher, ESA director-general.

The newest crew to the microgravity laboratory is the agency’s third crew rotation mission with SpaceX and will remain on board until April 2022 as a part of Expedition 66.

More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog@commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

Crew Dragon Endurance Docked to the Space Station

Nov. 11, 2021: International Space Station Configuration. Five spaceships are parked at the space station including Northrop Grumman's Cygnus space freighter; the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle; and Russia's Soyuz MS-19 crew ship and Progress 78 and 79 resupply ships.
Nov. 11, 2021: International Space Station Configuration. Five spaceships are parked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter; the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle; and Russia’s Soyuz MS-19 crew ship and Progress 78 and 79 resupply ships.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer arrived at the International Space Station at 6:32 p.m. EST Thursday, Nov. 11. Crew Dragon Endurance docked to the orbital complex while the spacecrafts were flying 260 miles above the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Following Crew Dragon’s link up to the Harmony module, the astronauts aboard the Endurance and the space station will begin conducting standard leak checks and pressurization between the spacecraft in preparation for hatch opening scheduled for approximately 8:10 p.m.

Chari, Marshburn, Barron, and Maurer will join the Expedition 66 crew of Mark Vande Hei of NASA and cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos for a planned six-month mission living and working aboard the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions as part of NASA’s Moon and Mars exploration approach, including lunar missions through NASA’s Artemis program.

The welcome ceremony is at approximately 8:45 p.m. with time subject to change.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission lifted off at 9:03 p.m. on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the agency’s third crew rotation mission.

More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog@commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

Watch SpaceX Crew-3 Arrival Live on NASA TV

The astronauts of SpaceX Crew-3 pose for a portrait in their suits during a training session inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. From left are, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer and NASA astronauts Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron.
The astronauts of SpaceX Crew-3 pose for a portrait in their suits during a training session inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. From left are, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer and NASA astronauts Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron. Credit: SpaceX

NASA Television and the agency’s website are providing live continuous coverage of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission carrying NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer on their way to the International Space Station 

The Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, began the final phase of its approach to the station at 5:02 p.m. EST Thursday and is scheduled to dock at about 6:32 p.m. Crew Dragon is designed to dock autonomously, but the crew aboard 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. 

The hatch opening now is approximately at 8:10 p.m. and the welcome ceremony is at approximately 8:45 p.m. with times subject to change.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission lifted off at 9:03 p.m. on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the agency’s third crew rotation mission.

More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog@commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

Learn more about station activities by following  @space_station  and @ISS_Research  on Twitter as well as the  ISS Facebook  and  ISS Instagram  accounts.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 Ahead of Schedule for Docking

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour is pictured during its approach to the International Space Station on April 24, 2021.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour is pictured during its approach to the International Space Station on April 24, 2021.

NASA Television and the agency’s website are providing live continuous coverage of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station. NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, flying on Crew Dragon Endurance, currently are ahead of the planned mission timeline. The international crew of four now are expected to dock with the microgravity laboratory at approximately 6:33 p.m. EST, today, Thursday, Nov. 11.

Here’s an updated timeline of mission activities:

All times approximate (EST)

3:31 p.m. – Mattias Maurer Downlink Event for Germany

5:06 p.m. – Approach Initiation Burn

6:33 p.m. – Docking

The hatch opening and welcome ceremony also are expected to move ahead in the timeline.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission lifted off at 9:03 p.m. on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the agency’s third crew rotation mission.

More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog@commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

Learn more about station activities by following  @space_station  and @ISS_Research  on Twitter as well as the  ISS Facebook  and  ISS Instagram  accounts.

Successful Launch of Russian Resupply Ship to Station

Russia’s ISS Progress 79 resupply ship blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the space station. Credit: NASA TV
Russia’s ISS Progress 79 resupply ship blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the space station. Credit: NASA TV

The uncrewed Russian Progress 79 is safely in orbit headed for the International Space Station following launch at 8 p.m. EDT (5 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The resupply ship reached preliminary orbit and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned for a two-day rendezvous on its way to meet up with the orbiting laboratory and its Expedition 66 crew members.

After making 33 orbits of Earth on its journey, Progress will dock to the aft port of the station’s Zvezda module at 9:34 p.m. Friday, Oct 29. Live coverage on NASA TV of rendezvous and docking will begin at 8:45 p.m.

Carrying more than three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the Expedition 66 crew, the Progress 79 resupply spacecraft will spend about seven months at the station. The space station was flying over the south Atlantic Ocean at the time of the launch.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Russian Cargo Craft Redocked to Station

Oct. 21, 2021: International Space Station Configuration. Four spaceships are parked at the space station including Northrop Grumman's Cygnus space freighter; the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle; and Russia's Soyuz MS-19 crew ship and ISS Progress 78 resupply ship.
Oct. 21, 2021: International Space Station Configuration. Four spaceships are parked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter; the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle; and Russia’s Soyuz MS-19 crew ship and ISS Progress 78 resupply ship.

The uncrewed Russian Progress 78 spacecraft automatically docked to the International Space Station’s Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module at 12:21 a.m. EDT Friday after undocking from the station’s Poisk module Wednesday night.

The relocation positions Progress 78 to conduct leak checks of the Nauka module’s propellent lines before they are used with the new module’s thrusters for orientation control of the station.

A new Russian cargo freighter, Progress 79, will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27 (5 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, Baikonur time). Progress 79 launch overage on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app will begin at 7:45 p.m.

Loaded with almost three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the station crew, the resupply ship will dock to the aft port of the Zvezda service module at 9:34 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. Live coverage of docking will begin at 8:45 p.m.

For more than 20 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. As a global endeavor, 246 people from 19 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 3,000 research and educational investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

Learn more about station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

NASA TV Live for Russian Cargo Craft Redock to Station

Russia's ISS Progress 78 resupply ship approaches the International Space Station for a docking to the Poisk module two days after lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Russia’s ISS Progress 78 resupply ship approaches the International Space Station for a docking to the Poisk module two days after lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website are providing live coverage as an uncrewed Russian cargo spacecraft arrives at the International Space Station’s Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module.

The Progress 78 spacecraft, which undocked from the station Wednesday, Oct. 20, is scheduled to make an automated docking to the new module at 12:23 a.m. Friday.

The relocation will position Progress 78 to conduct leak checks of the Nauka module’s propellent lines before they are used with the new module’s thrusters for orientation control of the station.

Another Russian cargo freighter, Progress 79, will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27 (5 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, Baikonur time). Progress 79 launch overage on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app will begin at 7:45 p.m.

For more than 20 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. As a global endeavor, 246 people from 19 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 3,000 research and educational investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

Learn more about station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

SpaceX Cargo Dragon Undocked From Station

Sept. 30, 2021: International Space Station Configuration. Four spaceships are parked at the space station including Northrop Grumman's Cygnus space freighter; the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle; and Russia's Soyuz MS-18 crew ship and ISS Progress 78 resupply ship.
Sept. 30, 2021: International Space Station Configuration. Four spaceships are parked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter; the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle; and Russia’s Soyuz MS-18 crew ship and ISS Progress 78 resupply ship.

With NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough monitoring aboard the International Space Station, a SpaceX cargo Dragon spacecraft undocked from the station’s forward port of the Harmony module at 9:12 a.m. EDT.

Cargo Dragon will fire its thrusters to move a safe distance away from the station prior to a deorbit burn later in the day that will begin its re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. The spacecraft will make parachute-assisted splashdown around 11 p.m. off the coast of Florida. NASA Television will not broadcast the splashdown live, but will provide updates on the space station blog..

Splashing down off the coast of Florida enables quick transportation of the science aboard the capsule to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center’s Space Station Processing Facility, delivering some science back into the hands of the researchers hours after splashdown. This shorter transportation timeframe allows researchers to collect data with minimal loss of microgravity effects.

Dragon launched Aug. 29 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy, arriving at the station the following day. The spacecraft delivered more than 4,800 pounds of research investigations, crew supplies, and vehicle hardware to the orbiting outpost.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, on Twitter @Space_Station and @ISS_Research, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.