Advanced Housekeeping Keeps Station in Tip-Top Shape

The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship relocates from the Rassvet module to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module on Sept. 28, 2021. Credits: NASA
The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship relocates from the Rassvet module to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module on Sept. 28, 2021. Credits: NASA

The Expedition 65 crew focused on a variety of advanced housekeeping activities today aboard the International Space Station. There was also time for robotics research, crew departure preparations, and filmmaking activities.

Five station astronauts had their hands full on Friday working on everything from electronics, cleaning, plumbing, and setting up temporary crew quarters. Some of the crewmates also had time to continue ongoing research, which is the main mission of the orbiting lab.

NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough installed computer networking gear and connected cables inside the Unity module. Over in the Tranquility module, NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Megan McArthur reorganized stowed items to make space for upcoming operations inside the NanoRacks Bishop airlock.

Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) replaced components on the water recovery system located inside the Kibo laboratory module. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide stayed busy in the Columbus laboratory module checking out science computers and then outfitting crew alternate sleep accommodations.

McArthur also turned on an Astrobee robotic free-flyer and tested its maneuvering abilities using a perching arm. Kimbrough removed a science freezer from the Cygnus space freighter and installed it in the Kibo lab. Vande Hei called down to NASA nutritionists and discussed his views about the station’s food menu.

The station’s three cosmonauts worked on the docked Soyuz crew ships and their complement of Russian space research. Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov practiced Earth descent techniques inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship, and then tried on the lower body negative pressure suit that prevents fluids from pooling toward a crew member’s head in microgravity. Veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov checked on life support and computer components inside the Soyuz MS-19.

All three cosmonauts also participated in filmmaking activities in the station’s Russian segment with spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko. The two space station guests will return to Earth on Oct. 16 with Novitskiy as he leads the pair to a parachute landing in Kazakhstan inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship.

Eye Checks, Science Work and Departure Preps Keeping Crew Busy

The seven-member Expedition 65 crew posed for a portrait aboard the space station on Oct. 4, 2021.
The seven-member Expedition 65 crew posed for a portrait aboard the space station on Oct. 4, 2021.

The Expedition 65 crew had a busy day on Thursday with eye checks, space science, and Soyuz crew departure preparations on the schedule. The 10 residents aboard the International Space Station also joined each other in the afternoon to review emergency procedures.

NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Shane Kimbrough swapped roles as crew medical officer today during a series of eye exams. Vande Hei kicked off the first session Thursday morning using an ultrasound device scanning the eyes of fellow astronauts Kimbrough, Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Akihiko Hoshide, and Commander Thomas Pesquet. Kimbrough took charge in the afternoon measuring fluid pressure in his crewmates eyes then using near-infrared imaging gear to examine their retinas.

Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) started his day replacing electrical components inside the Cell Biology Experiment Facility, an incubator with an artificial gravity generator. Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) installed a research device that will enable the observation of fluid physics and materials science experiments at high temperatures.

Veteran cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Anton Shkaplerov checked computers and electronics gear inside the docked Soyuz MS-18 and Soyuz MS-19 crew ships. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov joined Novitskiy and Shkaplerov and also assisted the two spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko with their filmmaking activities today.

Novitskiy will command the Soyuz MS-18 back to Earth in just over a week with the two filmmakers. Shkaplerov will complete his mission at the end of March next year inside the Soyuz MS-19 leading Vande Hei and Dubrov back home after their near year-long mission.

All 10 residents aboard the station joined each other for an hourlong session in the afternoon to review their roles and responsibilities in the unlikely event of an emergency on the station. They located safety gear, ensured the crew vehicles were ready for an evacuation, and practiced communication and coordination with mission control centers around the world.

Astronauts, Cosmonauts and Filmmakers Work Together on Station

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet wears augmented reality goggles that assist crew members with science experiments and orbital maintenance tasks.
Astronaut Thomas Pesquet wears augmented reality goggles that assist crew members with science experiments and orbital maintenance tasks.

Ten people are living and working aboard the International Space Station today following the arrival of three Russian crewmates on Tuesday morning. The five astronauts, three cosmonauts, and two spaceflight participants will work together on science, maintenance, and filmmaking activities until the departure of the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship on Oct. 16.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei joined new Expedition 65 Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and spent the first half of the day on communications work. The duo connected cables and configured components on a newly-installed router in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module. The pair split up in the afternoon as Vande Hei worked on Cygnus space freighter cargo transfers and Pesquet inspected U.S. spacesuit gloves.

The other two NASA Flight Engineers, Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, assisted Vande Hei with cargo work inside Cygnus which has been attached to the Harmony module since August. McArthur also serviced a variety of hardware throughout the day including a cordless vacuum cleaner, science rack light bulbs and a carbon dioxide monitor. Kimbrough worked on, then activated and checked out the Tranquility module’s treadmill.

Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency was in the cupola during the morning photographing tiny satellites deployed outside the Kibo laboratory module. The Japanese astronaut, who swapped station command with Pesquet on Monday, also assisted McArthur with the vacuum work then moved on to ventilation work inside Tranquility.

Four-time station visitor Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos got right to work Wednesday following his three-and-half ride to the orbiting lab on Tuesday. He unpacked cargo delivered aboard the new Soyuz MS-19 crew ship and worked on video gear and a Russian science experiment with fellow cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy. Novitskiy then began collecting station hardware for return to Earth inside the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft.

Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov worked on water transfers from the docked ISS Progress 78 resupply ship then moved on to hardware checks inside the Rassvet module. Dubrov also helped the new spaceflight participants, Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko, adapt to life on the station as the pair begin several days of movie filming work.

Russian Soyuz Trio Meets Expedition 65 Crew

The three new residents aboard the station (front row, from left) are Russian actress Yulia Peresild, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, and Russian Producer Klim Shipenko. In the back, are Expedition 65 crew members Shane Kimbrough, Oleg Novitskiy, Thomas Pesquet, Megan McArthur, Pyotr Dubrov, Mark Vande Hei, and Akihiko Hoshide.
The three new residents aboard the station (front row, from left) are Russian actress Yulia Peresild, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, and Russian Producer Klim Shipenko. In the back, are Expedition 65 crew members Shane Kimbrough, Oleg Novitskiy, Thomas Pesquet, Megan McArthur, Pyotr Dubrov, Mark Vande Hei, and Akihiko Hoshide. Credit: NASA TV

The hatches between the International Space Station and the newly arrived Soyuz spacecraft officially opened at 11 a.m. EDT. The arrival of three new crew members to the existing seven people already aboard for Expedition 65 temporarily increases the station’s population to 10.

This is the fourth flight into space for Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov. Actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko are making their first flights into space and will spend 12 days on the space station, filming segments for a movie titled “Challenge” under a commercial agreement between Roscosmos and Moscow-based media entities.

Peresild and Shipenko will return to Earth with Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy Oct. 16 (Oct. 17 Kazakhstan time) on the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft, which is currently docked at the space station, for a parachute-assisted landing on the Kazakh steppe. Shkaplerov will remain aboard the station through next March, returning with NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, and Roscosmos cosmonaut and Pyotr Dubrov on the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft. The return of Vande Hei and Dubrov will mark the end of a 355-day mission. Vande Hei will have completed the longest single spaceflight by an astronaut in U.S. history.

Expedition 65 Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, and Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency have been aboard since arriving April 23, 2021, on the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour. Endeavor and its crew are currently planned to return early-to-mid November.

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 Soyuz Crew Docks to Station, Hatches Open Soon

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-18 and MS-19 crew ships and ISS Progress 78 resupply ship.
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-18 and MS-19 crew ships and ISS Progress 78 resupply ship.

The Soyuz spacecraft carrying Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko docked to the International Space Station at 8:22 a.m. EDT while both spacecraft were flying about 260 miles above Earth to the north of the Philippine islands.

When the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened following standard pressurization and leak checks, the trio will join Expedition 65 Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronauts Mark Vande HeiShane Kimbrough and Megan McArthurAki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov.

Watch the hatch opening on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app beginning at 9:30 a.m. for hatch opening targeted for about 10 a.m.

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 Trio in Orbit Racing to Station This Morning

The Soyuz MS-19 rocket with three Russian crewmates aboard ascends into space shortly after launching under clear blues skies in Kazakhstan.
The Soyuz MS-19 rocket with three Russian crewmates aboard ascends into space shortly after launching under clear blues skies in Kazakhstan.

Nearly nine minutes after a successful launch at 4:55 a.m. EDT of the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko safely reached orbit. They have begun a two-orbit, three-hour flight to reach the International Space Station and join the Expedition 65 crew. At the time of launch, the station was flying about 260 miles over southwest Kazakhstan.

The spacecraft’s docking to the station’s Rassvet module is expected to take place at 8:12 a.m., with NASA TV coverage on the agency’s website, and the NASA app beginning at 7:30 a.m.

About two hours after docking, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open. The trio will then join Expedition 65 Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronauts Mark Vande HeiShane Kimbrough and Megan McArthurAki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. Coverage of the hatch opening will begin at 9:30 a.m.

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 Soyuz Crew Launching to Station Today Live on NASA TV

The Soyuz MS-19 crew with (from left) Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, producer Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild.
The Soyuz MS-19 crew with (from left) Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, producer Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild.

Live launch coverage is underway on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app for the targeted lift off at 4:55 a.m. EDT (1:55 p.m. Baikonur time).

Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko will the launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station, where they will film segments for a movie. The launch will mark the expansion of commercial space opportunities to include feature filmmaking.

Their Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft will make a fast-track, two-orbit journey to dock to the station’s Rassvet module. They will join Expedition 65 Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronauts Mark Vande HeiShane Kimbrough and Megan McArthurAki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov.

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.

International Astronauts to Swap Command; Soyuz Crew Launches on Tuesday

European astronaut Thomas Pesquet takes command of the space station from Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide today.
European astronaut Thomas Pesquet takes command of the space station from Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide today.

Expedition 65 Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will hand over command of the International Space Station today to ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet. Pesquet will command the station until he departs with Hoshide and NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough in mid-to-late November.

The four crewmates have been living on the orbital lab since April when they arrived aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour. The quartet will return to Earth next month inside Endeavour and parachute to a splashdown off the coast of Florida completing a six-month stay in space.

About 12 hours after Pesquet takes command of the orbiting lab, three Russian crewmates will launch toward the space station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov will ride inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship in between spaceflight participants Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild.

The trio will lift off inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship at 4:55 a.m. EDT on Tuesday and orbit the Earth twice before docking to the Rassvet module less than three-and-a-half hours later. Shkaplerov will stay in space until April while Shipenko and Yulia Peresild will return to Earth about 12 days later. The two spaceflight participants will ride back to Earth and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship with Roscosmos Flight Engineer Oleg Novitskiy.

NASA TV starts its live coverage of the change of command ceremony today at 3:20 p.m. EDT on the NASA app and the agency’s website. NASA TV will be back on the air on Tuesday at 4:15 a.m. broadcasting the launch, docking and crew greeting at the space station of the new Russian trio.

The seven residents aboard the station today started the work week servicing a variety of research hardware. Kimbrough cleaned the Life Science Glovebox today following two weeks of rodent research activities. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei swapped fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack and also helped McArthur organize food to open up more space on the station.

Hoshide installed the Tele-Luminescence Analysis System that observes tissues and genes in small animals in the Kibo laboratory module. Pesquet set up the Fluidics experiment for a couple of runs today to better understand how fuels behave in spacecraft fuel tanks.

Russian Crew Ship Rolls Out; Station Keeps Up Science and Spaceship Tasks

The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship is pictured docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.
The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship is pictured docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

Russia rolled out its Soyuz rocket in Kazakhstan early Friday morning that will launch three crewmates to the International Space Station next week. On the other side of the Earth, the SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle completed its mission Thursday night after splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean.

The next mission to the orbiting lab is due to blast off on Tuesday at 4:55 a.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov will command the near three-and-a-half hour ride to the station’s Rassvet module aboard the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship. Sitting to either side of Shkaplerov during the short flight will be Russian spaceflight participants Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild.

NASA TV starts its live coverage of the Soyuz launch on Tuesday at 4:15 a.m. on the NASA app and the agency’s website. NASA TV will be back on the air at 7:30 a.m. broadcasting the docking set for 8:12 a.m. and again at 9:30 a.m. for the hatch opening planned for 10:05 a.m.

Back on orbit, the seven-member Expedition 65 crew juggled a variety of science activities and maintenance tasks. The orbital residents also worked on U.S. crew ship inspections and Russian cargo transfers.

NASA Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough swapped roles as crew medical officer on Friday morning. The duo took turns scanning each other’s neck, shoulder, and leg veins with the Ultrasound 2 device. In the afternoon, Kimbrough took charge again and examined the eyes and retinas of NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei using near infrared imaging gear. Doctors on the ground assisted the astronauts in real time during the vein scans and eye checks.

Kimbrough and McArthur also partnered up during the afternoon inspecting life support systems inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour. The pair along with astronauts Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) are due to return to Earth aboard Endeavour in November.

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy is packing up and gathering items, getting ready for his return to Earth on Oct. 18 inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship. Novitskiy will be parachuting to a landing in Kazakhstan with the two spaceflight participants Shipenko and Peresild. Vande Hei and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov, who launched to space with Novitskiy in April, will stay on the station for another five months.

Dubrov, meanwhile, worked on cargo transfers inside the ISS Progress 78 resupply ship today. The first-time space flyer also joined Novitskiy before lunchtime testing a specialized suit, the lower body negative suit, that counteracts the space-caused pooling of fluids toward the human head.

Dragon Heads Home, Crew Ship Nears Launch as Research Continues

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle is pictured approaching the station on Aug. 30 for an autonomous docking to the Harmony module's forward international docking adapter.
The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle is pictured approaching the station on Aug. 30 for an autonomous docking to the Harmony module’s forward international docking adapter.

A U.S. resupply ship departed the International Space Station on Thursday morning and will return to Earth in the evening. A Russian rocket is scheduled to roll out on Friday to prepare for next week’s launch with the crew members to the orbiting lab.

NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough was on duty monitoring the SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle during its automated undocking from the Harmony module’s forward international docking adapter today at 9:12 a.m. EDT. It will orbit Earth for several more hours before parachuting to a splashdown off the coast of Florida later tonight. NASA and SpaceX personnel will be on support boats ready to retrieve the cargo craft containing station hardware and completed science experiments for analysis.

The next mission to the orbiting lab will blast off on Tuesday at 4:55 a.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz MS-19 crew ship will carry veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov leading spaceflight participants Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild. The Russian trio will dock to the station’s Rassvet module less than three-and-a-half hours after launch.

Meanwhile, microgravity science activities are ongoing aboard the space station today. Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) swapped samples inside the Fluids Science Laboratory to study the dynamics of granular materials in weightlessness. Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration installed a deployer loaded with small satellites inside the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock.

NASA Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei spent their day on botany and biology studies. McArthur cleaned up debris and took photographs of Hatch chile plants growing inside the Plant Habitat. Vande Hei started his morning processing blood samples in a centrifuge then spent the afternoon stowing biological samples in a science freezer for the Food Physiology experiment.

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy monitored his blood pressure while wearing the lower body negative pressure suit that counteracts the effect of microgravity pulling fluids toward the human head. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov photographed microbe samples swabbed from station surfaces to understand the risk to spacecraft and future human missions.