Expedition 49 Flight Engineers Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Kate Rubins of NASA successfully captured Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft with the station’s robotic arm at 7:28 a.m. EDT. NASA TV coverage of operations to install Cygnus to the space station’s Unity module begins at 9 a.m.
Three new crew members are aboard the International Space Station. The hatches on the space station and Soyuz MS-02 opened at 8:20 a.m. EDT, marking the arrival to the orbiting laboratory for NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
Their Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft docked with the station’s Poisk module at 5:52 a.m. At the time of docking, the space station was flying 251 miles over southern Russia.
The trio join Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos and Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, who have been aboard the complex since July. The incoming crew will spend a little more than four months together aboard the space station, returning to Earth in late February.
The crew members will contribute to more than 250 research experiments ongoing aboard the space station, in diverse fields such as biology, Earth Science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos have arrived at the International Space Station. Their Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft docked with the station’s Poisk module at 5:52 a.m. EDT. At the time of docking, the space station and Soyuz were flying 251 miles over southern Russia.
When hatches between the Soyuz and space station open at about 8:30 a.m. EDT, the three crew members will join Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos and Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
To learn more about the International Space Station, visit:
Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi are having a light day today ahead of the arrival of three new crewmates Friday morning. The duo also is waiting for Sunday morning’s cargo delivery aboard the Cygnus resupply ship.
NASA TV will broadcast the Soyuz MS-02 space ship docking to the International Space Station beginning Friday at 5:15 a.m. EDT. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko will dock to the Poisk module, beginning their Expedition 49-50 mission which will last until February.
Two days later on Sunday morning, the Cygnus resupply craft from Orbital ATK will arrive with more than 5,100 pounds of cargo, including gear to support dozens of science investigations. Onishi and Rubins will be stationed in the cupola at the controls of the Canadarm2 robotic arm to grapple Cygnus following its journey to the complex.
Though the Orbital ATK Cygnus resupply ship launched first Monday night from Virginia, it is taking a slower approach to the station and will arrive Sunday. Mission managers decided to let the Cygnus take its time on orbit and let the new crew members arrive first. Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi will command the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 to capture Cygnus while NASA astronaut Kate Rubins backs him up. Ground controllers will then remotely control the robotic arm to install Cygnus to the Unity module for a month-long stay.
The next big mission event will be the departure of Rubins, Onishi and cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin. The Expedition 49 crew members have been in space since July and will return to Earth Oct. 29. Ivanishin is packing the Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft with cargo and preparing the vehicle for its undocking and landing in Kazakhstan.
The next three crew members bound for the International Space Station are on schedule to launch this morning from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Live launch coverage will begin at 3:15 a.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos will launch at 4:05 a.m. EDT (2:05 p.m. Baikonur time). The trio will spend a little more than four months together aboard the space station, returning to Earth in late February.
The crew will lift off in a Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft and over two days will orbit the Earth 34 times before docking to the space station’s Poisk module at 5:59 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21. NASA TV coverage of the docking will begin at 5:15 a.m.
The original launch date of Sept. 23 was postponed due to a technical issue with the Soyuz spacecraft, which Roscosmos repaired.
Check out the NASA TV schedule online for information on how to watch live and replays.
A U.S. cargo craft full of science gear and crew supplies is on its way to the International Space Station after a successful launch. Orbital ATK’s Cygnus resupply ship blasted off Monday night from Virginia on a mission to replenish the space station crew.
On the other side of the world in Kazakhstan, a Soyuz rocket is set to launch three Expedition 49-50 crew members to their new home in space early Wednesday morning. The new crew will arrive Friday morning and dock to the Poisk module after two days of flight tests on the upgraded Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko will live in space until late February.
Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi were back at work Tuesday on life science experiments, helping doctors understand the effects of living in space. Rubins scanned Onishi’s arteries with an ultrasound for the Cardio Ox study that explores heart health. Onishi also participated in another pair of heart studies including Biological Rhythms 48 Hours, and Vascular Echo. Rubins tested the station’s water supply to improve the safety of future space missions.
Commander Anatoly Ivanishin worked on his share of Russian space research and is also getting ready to return at the end of the month. He will return home with Rubins and Onishi inside the Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft ending a four-month mission.
The Cygnus spacecraft’s solar arrays have deployed.
The cargo ship will rendezvous with the International Space Station on Sunday, Oct. 23. It will be grappled at approximately 7:05 a.m. by Expedition 49 Flight Engineers Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Kate Rubins of NASA. After Cygnus’ capture, ground controllers will command the station’s arm to rotate and install it on the bottom of the station’s Unity module. It is scheduled depart the space station on Nov. 18.
Science investigations aboard Cygnus on their way to the space station also include commercial and academic payloads in myriad disciplines, including:
Saffire II, the second in a series of experiments to ignite and study a large-scale fire inside an empty Cygnus resupply vehicle after it leaves the space station and before it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere to improving understanding of fire growth in microgravity and safeguarding future space missions.
Cool flames, an investigation into a phenomenon where some types of fuels initially burn very hot and then appear to go out — but actually continue to burn at a much lower temperature with no visible flames.
Controlled Dynamics locker- equipment that can minimize fluctuations and disturbances in the microgravity environment that can occur onboard a moving spacecraft that can enable a new class of research experiments.
NanoRacks Black Box- a platform that can provide advanced science capabilities and is specially designed for near-launch payload turnover of autonomous payloads including use of robotics, new automated MixStix and NanoLab-style research.
Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus cargo spacecraft lifted off at 7:45 p.m. EDT and is on its way to the International Space Station. At the time of launch, the space station was traveling at an altitude of about 250 miles, over northwest Australia.
An hour and half after launch, commands will be given to deploy the spacecraft’s UltraFlex solar arrays.
Launch coverage will continue on NASA TV at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv until shortly after spacecraft separation then resume at about 9:05 p.m. for solar array deployment, which is expected to last about 30 minutes.
A post-launch news conference will follow and is scheduled to begin on NASA TV at approximately 10:00 p.m.
The countdown has begun for Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket, with the Cygnus cargo spacecraft on top, and is progressing smoothly today. There are no technical concerns with the rocket or spacecraft and weather is 100 percent “go.”
Liftoff is scheduled to occur during a five minute window beginning at 7:40 p.m. EDT from the Mid-Atlantic Spaceport’s Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
Cygnus is loaded with about 5,100 pounds of science investigations, food, supplies and hardware for the space station and its crew.
When Cygnus arrives to the space station, on Sunday, Oct. 23, Expedition 49 Flight Engineers Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Kate Rubins of NASA will grapple the spacecraft. They will use the space station’s robotic arm to take hold of the Cygnus, dubbed the S.S. Alan Poindexter. After Cygnus’ capture, ground controllers will command the station’s arm to rotate and install it on the bottom of the station’s Unity module.
The Cygnus spacecraft will spend about 5 weeks attached to the space station. Cygnus will remain at the space station until November, when the spacecraft will depart the station and initiate the second spacecraft fire safety investigation, Saffire-II, and then dispose of approximately several tons of trash during its fiery reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.
Orbital ATK CRS-5 Countdown & Launch Highlights
The countdown uses both a range countdown clock (L Minus Clock) and a software sequencer (T Minus Clock). The launch countdown is initiated with the Range Clock at L minus 6 hours 15 minutes and is a running clock. The T Minus Clock is initiated at T minus 3 hours 10 minutes (sequencer start-up) and stops with built-in holds.
1:10 pm Report to stations
1:25 pm Open Checklist, begin countdown
3:10 pm Poll to Readiness for LV External Power On
3:55 pm Poll to initiate Loading Sequencer Timeline
4:00 pm Loading Sequencer Start
5:40 pm Enter into 20-minute built-in hold at T-1 hour, 30 minutes (L-2 hours)
6:00 pm Resume the count at T-1 hour, 30 minutes (L-1 hour, 40 minutes)
6:05 pm Start propellant loading at T-1 hour, 25 minutes (L-1 hour, 35 minutes) 6:45 pmNASA TV COVERAGE BEGINS
7:22 pm Enter into final 10-minute hold at T-8 minutes (L-18 minutes)
7:30 pm Poll for readiness to proceed with the final countdown (L-10 minutes)
7:32 pm Start final countdown at T-8 minutes
7:37 pm Initiate Auto Sequence Handoff for the Terminal Count (T-3:30) 7:40 pm LAUNCH
7:44 pm MECO on Antares first stage
7:44 pm Stage 1 Sep
7:44 pm Fairing Sep
7:44 pm Interstage Sep
7:44 pm Second stage ignition
7:47 pm Stage 2 Burnout/orbit insertion
7:49 pm Cygnus Sep from second stage
9:05 pm NASA TV Commentary resumes for Solar Array Deploy
~9:10 pm Solar Array Deployment Begins
~9:40 pm Solar Array Deployment Ends
~9:45 pm Commentary ends
~10:00 pm Post-launch news conference