Crew Off-Duty for Thanksgiving and Preps for Dragon Cargo Mission

A bright blue, South Atlantic Ocean is pictured as the International Space Station soared nearly 270 miles above, just off the coast of Argentina.
A bright blue, South Atlantic Ocean is pictured as the International Space Station soared nearly 270 miles above, just off the coast of Argentina.

The seven-member Expedition 64 crew from the United States, Russia and Japan will take the day off on Thanksgiving before ending the week with a day full of microgravity research. In the meantime, the crew spent Wednesday on a wide array of space science while getting the International Space Station ready for an upgraded SpaceX Dragon resupply ship.

NASA Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Shannon Walker worked throughout Wednesday readying the station’s Tranquility module for a new commercial airlock from NanoRacks. Dubbed Bishop, the airlock will be delivered on the next SpaceX Dragon cargo mission targeted to launch on Dec. 5. The Bishop airlock will enable private industries to increase research opportunities in the vacuum of space.

Planned for Dec. 6, this will be the first automated docking of the Cargo Dragon to the space-facing port on the Harmony module. Previous Cargo Dragon vehicles were captured with the Canadarm2 robotic arm maneuvered by astronauts. Robotics controllers then took over and remotely installed Dragon to Harmony’s Earth-facing port.

The GRASP human research experiment, sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), was back on the science schedule Wednesday. Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover wore virtual reality goggles and responded to virtual stimuli to help doctors understand how the central nervous system, specifically hand-eye coordination, adapts to weightlessness.

JAXA astronaut and Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi started his day servicing the Kibo laboratory module’s Cell Biology Experiment Facility, a specialized incubator that can generate artificial gravity. Later, he joined Kate Rubins and examined her eyes using optical coherence tomography.

The orbiting lab’s two cosmonauts, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, continued studying ways to make space workouts more effective. The duo later joined Rubins and practiced chest compressions, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, in the event of a medical emergency aboard the space station.

Crew Explores How Space Impacts Nervous System and Exercise

A pair of docked Russian spaceships, (from left) the Soyuz MS-17 crew ship and the Progress 76 cargo craft, are pictured as the International Space Station orbited above the Atlantic Ocean during an orbital sunset.
A pair of docked Russian spaceships, (from left) the Soyuz MS-17 crew ship and the Progress 76 cargo craft, are pictured as the International Space Station orbited above the Atlantic Ocean during an orbital sunset.

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.

Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, the two Expedition 64 cosmonauts, participated in a Russian exercise study today. The duo worked out on a treadmill in the Zvezda service module while attached to a variety of sensors. Observations could lead to improved crew training techniques and more effective work outs on the way to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins readied an external exposure experiment this morning that will be placed outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. Afterward, she resumed her work exploring the behavior of water droplets that may lead to more advanced fuel and life support systems.

Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, on his third space mission, set up hardware for a fiber optics study then organized stowage space in the Kibo lab. Flight Engineer Shannon Walker of NASA spent most of Tuesday on maintenance servicing spacesuit batteries and working on stowage tasks in the Tranquility module.

Advanced Science in Full Gear Today as Cosmonauts Relax

Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Shannon Walker of NASA installs an airborne particulate monitor in the Tranquility module.
Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Shannon Walker of NASA installs an airborne particulate monitor in the Tranquility module.

Five Expedition 64 astronauts had their day packed with microgravity research while the two cosmonauts had a light duty day aboard the International Space Station following last week’s spacewalk.

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.

Astronaut Soichi Noguchi of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) removed a CubeSat deployer from the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock during Monday morning. During the afternoon, he configured life support hardware in the Harmony module.

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.

The two station cosmonauts worked on a pair of docked Russian Progress cargo ships, but otherwise relaxed Monday. Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov are winding down several days of cleaning their spacesuits and stowing their tools following Wednesday’s six-hour and 48-minute spacewalk.

Expanded Crew Syncs Schedule and Steps Up Space Research

Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi of JAXA is pictured inside the cupola with the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle visible behind his left shoulder. Credits: NASA
Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi of JAXA is pictured inside the cupola with the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle visible behind his left shoulder. Credits: NASA

The seven-member Expedition 64 crew has synched up its schedule following a busy week that saw the arrival of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission and a Russian spacewalk.

The International Space Station’s four newest crew members are fitting in a variety of space research today. The quartet also continues to get up to speed with station systems and procedures.

Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover, the SpaceX Crew Dragon commander and pilot, respectively, researched how their dexterous manipulation is affected by microgravity. The Grip study may influence the development of future space systems and interfaces as NASA plans missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, now on his third space mission, set up the Avatar-X robotic camera experiment then worked on a specialized incubator that can generate artificial gravity. NASA astronaut Shannon Walker, who last served aboard the station in 2010, installed an air-particle monitor in the Tranquility module and later continued her ceramic manufacturing research.

The two Expedition 64 cosmonauts, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, cleaned their Russian Orlan spacesuits today following Wednesday’s spacewalk. The duo spent six hours and 48 minutes readying the station’s Russian segment for the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins collected radish leaf samples being grown inside the Advanced Plant Habitat. Rubins then switched over to lab maintenance, checking water tanks and filters in the Destiny laboratory module’s life support rack.

Space Science Ramps Up as Spacewalkers Sleep In

SpaceX Crew-1 Pilot and Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Victor Glover is pictured inside the Crew Dragon vehicle.
SpaceX Crew-1 Pilot and Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Victor Glover is pictured inside the Crew Dragon vehicle.

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.

Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins, who is also the Crew Dragon commander, explored water droplets to help engineers design improved spacecraft fuel and life support systems. Flight Engineer Shannon Walker studied ceramic manufacturing to boost the aviation industry and the commercialization of space.

Cosmonauts Wrap Up Spacewalk at Station

An external station camera captures spacewalkers (from left) Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov readying the orbiting lab for a new Russian module.
An external station camera captures spacewalkers (from left) Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov readying the orbiting lab for a new Russian module.

Expedition 64 Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos have completed a spacewalk lasting 6 hours and 48 minutes.

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.

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

Cosmonauts Begin Spacewalk to Ready Station for New Module

(From left) Expedition 64 Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, both cosmonauts representing Roscosmos, are embarking on their first spacewalk.
(From left) Expedition 64 Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, both cosmonauts representing Roscosmos, are embarking on their first spacewalk.

Expedition 64 Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos began a spacewalk when they opened the hatch of the Poisk mini-research module‘s airlock of the International Space Station at 10:12 a.m. EST.

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.

NASA TV Broadcasts Russian Spacewalk at Station Today

Cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov is pictured wearing a Russian Orlan spacesuit during a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station in August of 2014.
Cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov is pictured wearing a Russian Orlan spacesuit during a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station in August of 2014.

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.

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

New Crew Sleeps as Cosmonauts Prep for Wednesday Spacewalk

The four Commercial Crew astronauts (front row from left) Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi are welcomed aboard the station. In the back row from left are, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.
The four Commercial Crew astronauts (front row from left) Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi are welcomed aboard the station. In the back row from left are, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.

The Expedition 64 crew expanded to seven members overnight after four Commercial Crew astronauts docked the SpaceX Crew Dragon to the International Space Station. Now two cosmonauts are gearing up for a spacewalk set to start Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. EST.

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.

NASA TV coverage of the spacewalk will begin Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. This will be the first spacewalk for the duo and the first spacewalk staged from the Poisk module. The Pirs docking compartment is being decommissioned to make room for the Nauka module.

Hatches Open, Crew Dragon Astronauts Join Expedition 64

The expanded seven-member Expedition 64 crew with Flight Engineers Kate Rubins, Victor Glover and Soichi Noguchi, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.
The expanded seven-member Expedition 64 crew with (from left) Flight Engineers Kate Rubins, Victor Glover and Soichi Noguchi, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon have arrived at the International Space Station. Crew-1 joins 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.

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

Follow along with mission activities and get more information at: https://blogs.nasa.gov/station/. Learn more about commercial crew and space station activities by following @Commercial_Crew, @space_station, and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the Commercial Crew Facebook, ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.