The nine-member International Space Station crew participated in a wide variety of advanced microgravity science throughout the orbital laboratory. Three of those crew members are also getting ready to return to Earth at the end of the week.
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who is now the station commander, worked in the Japanese Kibo laboratory to set up gear that will deploy two small satellites outside the lab module next week. Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren spent the afternoon troubleshooting the humanoid Robonaut 2 which could assist future crews with routine or dangerous tasks.
The homebound trio including Gennady Padalka, the world’s most experienced orbital crew member, and first time space visitors Andreas Mogensen and Aidyn Aimbetov are getting ready to leave the space station Friday evening. They will undock in the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft Friday at 5:29 p.m. EDT and land in Kazakhstan just three-and-a-half hours later.
Padalka continued ongoing Russian science studying plasma physics while Mogensen, from the European Space Agency, worked in the Columbus lab module on exercise gear. Aimbetov, representing Kazakhstan, participated in various tasks for his space agency, Kazcosmos.
Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka handed command of the International Space Station to astronaut Scott Kelly Saturday. The following day a docked Russian resupply ship fired its engines raising the orbital laboratory’s altitude to prepare for upcoming Soyuz and Progress missions.
Visiting crew members Andreas Mogensen and Aidyn Aimbetov joined Padalka for a Soyuz descent drill as they prepare for Friday evening’s landing inside the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft. When Padalka lands he will have accumulated 879 days in space over five missions, four on the space station and one on Russia’s Mir, a world record. This is the first mission for Mogensen and Aimbetov.
Meanwhile, the international crew of nine has been conducting advanced microgravity science to benefit life on Earth and future crews. NASA astronauts Kelly and Kjell Lindgren tested the humanoid Robonaut. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui checked out rodent research gear. New Flight Engineer Sergey Volkov worked with Mogensen on the Muscle Atrophy Research Exercise System.
Soyuz crew members Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos, Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency joined their Expedition 44 crewmates when the hatches between the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft and the International Space Station officially opened at 6:15 a.m. EDT. Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos, as well as Flight Engineers Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos, and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) welcomed the new crew members aboard their orbital home, marking the first time since 2013 that nine people have been aboard the orbiting laboratory.
The crew will support several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science — research that impacts life on Earth.
The trip enables Roscosmos to rotate a crew member and a Soyuz spacecraft. Volkov will remain aboard the station for the next six months, returning in March 2016 with one-year mission crew members Kelly and Kornienko in the Soyuz TMA-18M. Padalka, who launched in March with Kelly and Kornienko in the Soyuz TMA-16M, will return to Earth in that spacecraft on Sept. 11 with Mogensen and Aimbetov, leaving Kelly in command of Expedition 45. Lindgren, Kononenko and Yui will remain aboard the station until late December. Each Soyuz remains in orbit for about six months.
To join the online conversation about the International Space Station on Twitter, follow the hashtag #ISS. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect.
The Soyuz TMA-18M vehicle docked to the International Space Station’s Poisk module at 3:39 a.m. EDT, above eastern Kazakhstan.
Aboard the space station, Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos, as well as Flight Engineers Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos, and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will welcome Soyuz crew members Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos, Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency when the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened.
This Soyuz flight carries with it equipment to be used in research investigations planned aboard the orbiting laboratory. One item, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Skinsuit, will help astronauts counteract potential back problems in microgravity. Some astronauts’ spines have been shown to lengthen as much as 7 cm in weightlessness, which can cause pain. The Skinsuit resembles overalls that are specially designed to simulate gravitational forces from Earth to constrict the body from shoulders to feet. ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen will test the suit for the first time in space as part of his space station mission.
Testing this clothing item in space may help astronauts with any back pain they experience on long-duration missions. Further, the Skinsuit has potential use for older adults with spine issues and people suffering from low-back pain on Earth. It also could be used as a support item for people with conditions like cerebral palsy, a disorder affecting movement, muscle tone and/or posture.
Several investigations aboard the space station employ dosimeters to gather information about space radiation to manage exposure and provide protection to crew members, and more dosimeters are traveling to the station on this Soyuz. The Area Passive Dosimeter for Life-Science Experiments in Space (Area PADLES) investigation helps researchers collect data to design radiation monitoring equipment for astronauts. This knowledge may improve design for spacecraft structures that shield internal occupants from radiation. Scientists also may use the data to develop protection devices for people who work in medical or industrial areas with potential radiation exposure.
Aboard their Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft, Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos, Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency are scheduled to dock at 3:42 a.m. EDT to the International Space Station. NASA Television coverage of the docking can also be seen online at: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.
NASA TV will then resume at 5:45 a.m. to cover hatch opening between the two spacecraft as well as the welcome ceremony.
The three will join Expedition 44 Flight Engineers Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos, and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). With their arrival to the station on Friday, Sept. 4, nine people will be aboard the orbiting laboratory for the first time since 2013.
To join the online conversation about the International Space Station on Twitter, follow the hashtag #ISS.
The six Expedition 44 crew members worked on a wide variety space research Thursday. They will welcome three extra crew members early Friday morning temporarily increasing the International Space Station’s population to nine residents.
The International Space Station’s newest astronauts, Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindgren, worked on life science. Yui installed a new Mouse Habitat Unit in the Kibo laboratory. The mice will be delivered on a future cargo mission. Lindgren took body measurements before exploring the physics of a cup for drinking in space.
A veteran cosmonaut and two first time crew mates are on their way to the space station to swap spaceships. Soyuz Commander Sergey Volkov will dock the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft to the Poisk module Friday at 3:42 a.m. EDT. Volkov will stay in space until March. His fellow crew members Andreas Mogensen from Denmark and Aidyn Aimbetov from Kazakhstan will return to Earth Sept. 11 with station Commander Gennady Padalka inside the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft.
Three crew members are orbiting Earth getting ready to dock to the International Space Station early Friday in their Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft. Meanwhile, the six residents on the orbital laboratory are exploring human research and maintaining life support systems.
Soyuz Commander Sergey Volkov and first-time space flyers Andreas Mogensen from Denmark and Aidyn Aimbetov from Kazakhstan launched today at 12:37 a.m. EDT beginning a two-day trip to the space station’s Poisk module. Volkov will stay in space till March. Mogensen and Aimbetov will return home Sept. 11 with record-setting cosmonaut Gennady Padalka in the older Soyuz TMA-16M spaceship.
Long-term microgravity research is the station’s primary mission as scientists and astronauts learn to live in space for extended periods. A pair of One-Year Crew members, Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko, studied how microgravity affects a crew member’s ability to perform specific tasks as well as fatigue due to disruption of a normal sunrise/sunset schedule.
Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui worked on science hardware as he reconfigured the Cell Biology Experiment Facility inside the Kibo laboratory module. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren participated in an experiment exploring techniques for monitoring a crew member’s pulmonary system.
The Soyuz TMA-18M launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 12:37 a.m. EDT Wednesday (10:37 a.m. in Baikonur). At launch, the station was flying 250 miles above south-central Kazakhstan, having passed over the Baikonur Cosmodrome less than a minute before liftoff. Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos, Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency are now are safely in orbit.
They are on a two-day course to dock to the station at 3:42 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 4. NASA TV coverage of docking will begin at 3 a.m.
With the arrival of Volkov, Mogensen and Aimbetov, nine people will be aboard the orbiting laboratory for the first time since 2013. The three will join Expedition 44 Flight Engineers Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos, and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
At 2:40 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, NASA TV will provide a live broadcast as Padalka hands over command of the space station to Kelly. Expedition 45 begins on Sept. 11 when Padalka, Mogensen and Aimbetov undock from the orbiting outpost in the Soyuz spacecraft designated TMA-16M and return to Earth. The Soyuz TMA-16M carried Padalka, Kelly, and Kornienko to space in March. Because each Soyuz remains in orbit for about six months, the spacecraft swap is necessary during the one-year mission.
Below is the timeline for the remainder of the crew’s trip to the orbiting laboratory.
Wednesday Sept. 2, 2015
EDTEVENT 4:12 am DV-1 rendezvous burn (37 mph / 55 fps)
4:52 am DV-2 burn (25 mph / 36 fps) 11:00 am NASA TV: “Space Station Live” (daily program)
Thursday Sept. 3, 2015
EDTEVENT 1:39 am DV-3 burn (4.4 mph / 6.5 fps) 11:00 am NASA TV: “Space Station Live” (daily program)
Friday Sept. 4, 2015
EDTEVENT 1:15 am Automated Rendezvous & Docking (AR&D) start 1:35 am US Motion Control Sys handover to Russian segment
1:35:08 am AR&D Impulse 1 (65.5 mph / 96 fps)
1:40 am Station maneuvers to docking attitude
1:58 am AR&D Impulse 2 (2.9 mph / 4.2 fps)
2:01:05 am Range 124 miles – establish Soyuz VHF-2 voice link
2:01:30 am Soyuz Kurs-A (Active) activation
2:03:30 am Service Module (Zvezda) Kurs-P (Passive) activation
2:20 am AR&D Impulse 3 (91.8 mph / 134.7 fps)
2:27 am Range 49.7 miles – Valid Kurs-P range data
2:48 am Range 9.3 miles (49,212 ft) – Kurs-A & -P short test
2:56 am Range 4.9 miles (26,247 ft) – Soyuz TV activation
2:58 am SCAN & RapidScat inhibit–NLT (3.7 miles / 19,685 ft) 3:00 am NASA TV: DOCKING COVERAGE BEGINS 3:03 am AR&D Impulse 4 (16 mph / 23 fps)
3:04 am AR&D Ballistic Targeting Point
3:08 am AR&D Impulse 5 (13 mph / 19 fps)
3:10 am AR&D Impulse 6 (4.6 mph / 6.8 fps)
3:13 am Sunrise
3:13 am Fly-around mode start
3:23 am Station keeping start 3:31 am Final approach start
3:42 am Docking to MRM2–“Poisk”
250 miles up & above eastern Kazakhstan
Station to free drift
3:55 am Soyuz & Poisk hooks closed
Station maneuvers to LVLH attitude
4:13 am Sunset
4:35 am Russian to US Motion Control System handover 5:45 am NASA TV: HATCH/WELCOME COVERAGE
6:15 am Hatch opening & welcome ceremony
Includes VIP & family calls from Baikonur
8:00 am NASA TV: Docking, hatches & welcome highlights 11:00 am NASA TV: “Space Station Live” (daily program)