SpaceX Dragon Rendezvous and Docking Waved Off for Today

spacex dragon 9

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft waved off its planned rendezvous with the International Space Station at 3:25 a.m. EST. Dragon’s onboard computers triggered the abort after recognizing an incorrect value in navigational data about the location of Dragon relative to the space station. Flight controllers immediately began planning for a second rendezvous attempt on Thursday, Feb. 23.

The spacecraft is in excellent shape with no issues, and the crew aboard the space station is safe. The next rendezvous attempt is targeted for Thursday morning. NASA TV coverage will begin at 4 a.m. with grapple expected around 6 a.m. Installation coverage will begin at 8 a.m. Watch live on NASA TV and online at:

Astronauts Begin Second Spacewalk to Upgrade Power Systems

Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet
Astronauts Shane Kimbrough (left) and Thomas Pesquet are today’s spacewalkers. credit: NASA

Two astronauts switched their spacesuits to battery power this morning at 6:22 a.m. EST aboard the International Space Station to begin a spacewalk planned to last about six-and-a-half hours.

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will install adapter plates and hook up electrical connections for the remaining three of six new lithium-ion batteries installed on the station’s starboard truss. Kimbrough is designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing the suit bearing red stripes. Pesquet is designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing the suit with no stripes.

The new channel lithium-ion batteries installed Friday, Jan. 6 during the first spacewalk with Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA are functioning properly and all electrical loads are being routed normally to systems through that power channel.

Earlier this week, the robotic ground controllers used the Canadian-built “Dextre” Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator to move the three new lithium-ion batteries for today’s spacewalk into their slots in the Integrated Electronics Assembly. Engineers also moved one of the old nickel-hydrogen battery onto the HTV External Pallet for disposal and two others to one of Dextre’s arms for temporary stowage.

In all, nine old nickel-hydrogen batteries will be stowed on the external pallet for disposal when the HTV is deorbited to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere later this month. The power channel for the last of the new batteries will be activated during the spacewalk after adapter plates are moved into place on the Integrated Electronics Assembly.

Watch the spacewalk on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates online. Learn more about the International Space Station online, including additional information about the current crew members.

Second Power Upgrade Spacewalk Starts Friday Morning

Astronaut Assists Spacewalkers
Astronaut Thomas Pesquet (center) assists spacewalkers Peggy Whitson (left) and Shane Kimbrough in the U.S. Quest airlock on Jan. 6, 2017.

Expedition 50 astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet are ready for their mission’s second spacewalk that starts Friday at 7 a.m. EST. The duo will wrap up power maintenance work to connect new lithium-ion batteries and install adapter plates. Kimbrough and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson started that work last Friday during a six-hour, 32-minute spacewalk.

Both spacewalks complement the ongoing robotics work that started at the end of December. Ground controllers have been remotely-operating the Canadarm2 robotic arm and Dextre robotic hand to remove and stow the old nickel-hydrogen batteries and the install the new batteries.

The three cosmonauts have been staying focused on their set of Russian space research and lab maintenance. Station veterans Andrey Borisenko and Oleg Novitskiy collected blood samples for a pair human research studies looking at bone loss and stress responses caused by living in space. First-time station resident Sergy Ryzhikov explored chemical reactions caused by jet engine exhaust in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Crew Heads Into Thanksgiving With Human Research

Astronauts Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough
Astronauts Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough pause for a portrait inside the space station.

Six International Space Station crew members are heading in to the Thanksgiving holiday with human research activities and orbital lab maintenance.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson is the most experienced crew member in space right now getting ready to spend her third holiday season on orbit. Today, she stowed the tools used for space plumbing work done on Tuesday putting the Waste and Hygiene Compartment, the station’s toilet, back in service after a leak was discovered.

She and her new crewmates, Oleg Novitskiy from Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency, are in their first week aboard the space station. They are getting used to their new home in space and familiarizing themselves with station emergency gear and procedures today. Whitson is beginning her third mission aboard the orbital complex while Novitskiy is starting his second mission. Pesquet is on his first mission and is France’s fourth astronaut to visit the space station.

The rest of the crew members, including Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineers Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, are beginning their second month in space.

Today’s science work included collecting breath samples to help doctors understand how living in space affects bone marrow and blood cells. A new device that indirectly measures an astronaut’s intracranial pressure is being checked out today while the crew is also conducting eye exams.

New Crew Launches on Two-Day Trip to Station

The Soyuz MS-02 Rocket Launches
The Soyuz MS-02 rocket launches on time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA TV

The Soyuz MS-02 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 4:05 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 19 (2:05 p.m. Baikonur time). At the time of launch, the space station was flying 252 statute miles over the south Atlantic, east of Brazil. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are now safely in orbit.

Over the next two days, the trio 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.

To learn more about the International Space Station, visit: For launch coverage and more information about the mission, visit: Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram at: and on Twitter @Space_Station.

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Cygnus Training Under Way Before Launch Set

Hurricane Matthew
Hurricane Matthew (eye at top center) was pictured from the space station on the afternoon of Oct. 3, 2016. Credit: @Space_Station

The Expedition 49 crew is getting ready for the mid-October arrival of the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft. The trio is also exploring human research and setting up a student Earth observation experiment.

First-time astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi are brushing up on the robotic capture techniques necessary to grapple the Cygnus cargo craft. The Cygnus private space freighter is targeted to launch from Virginia between Oct. 9 and 13 and arrive at the International Space Station about 2-1/2 days later.

The duo will be inside the cupola at the robotics controls monitoring Cygnus’ arrival then capturing it with the 57.7 foot long Canadarm2. Ground controllers will then take over robotic operations and remotely attach Cygnus to the Unity module. Cygnus is delivering crew supplies, scientific research and hardware to the station crew members.

Before the pair began training today, Rubins sampled the station’s water for microbes and stowed the Hard to Wet Surfaces research gear. Onishi tested his fine motor skills on a mobile tablet device and logged his diet for the ENERGY experiment.

Commander Anatoly Ivanishin set up the Sally Ride EarthKAM experiment inside a Harmony module window today. The Earth imagery gear allows students to take pictures of Earth from space and share them on the internet.

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Watch NASA TV Thursday for Live Spacewalk Coverage

Astronaut Kate Rubins
Astronaut Kate Rubins is seen taking taking photographs with the Japanese Kibo lab module behind her during a spacewalk on Aug. 19.

Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA will begin a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station at about 8:10 a.m. EDT Thursday. NASA TV coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m.

Williams and Rubins will retract a thermal radiator that is part of the station’s cooling system. The radiator is a backup that had been deployed previously as part of an effort to fix an ammonia coolant leak. They’ll also tighten struts on a solar array joint, and install the first of several enhanced high-definition television cameras that will be used to monitor activities outside the station, including the comings and goings of visiting cargo and crew vehicles.

Follow @space_station on Twitter and #spacewalk for updates online. For more information about the International Space Station, including current residents, visit:

SpaceX Dragon Splashes Down in Pacific Ocean

Baja California
The SpaceX Dragon splashed down on time off the Pacific coast of Baja Calfornia completing its ninth cargo mission. This photograph of Baja California and the Mexican coastline was taken Aug. 22, 2016 from the International Space Station.

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo craft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 11:47 a.m. EDT, approximately 326 miles west of Baja California, marking the end of the company’s ninth contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA.

Following splashdown, Dragon will be recovered from the ocean and put on a ship for transportation to a port near Los Angeles, where some cargo including research will be removed and returned to NASA within 48 hours. Dragon will be prepared for a return journey to SpaceX’s test facility in McGregor, Texas, for processing. Dragon is currently the only space station resupply spacecraft able to return a significant amount of cargo to Earth at this time.

Dragon is returning more than 3,000 pounds of NASA cargo and science samples from a variety of technological and biological studies about the International Space Station. Results from the Heart Cells study, which investigated how heart muscle tissue contracts, grows and changes in microgravity, may help advance the study of heart disease and development of drugs and cell replacement therapy on Earth and on future space missions. Other experiments returning include tomato “space seeds” that were flown to station and will be planted on Earth as part of STEM education program with NanoRacks; Multi-Omics, which looked at impacts of space on astronauts’ immune systems; and OASIS, which studied the behavior of liquid crystals in microgravity, including their overall motion and merging of crystal layers.

Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crew members, at:

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Spacewalk Concludes After Commercial Crew Port Installation

Kate Rubins Works Outside Station
Spacewalker Kate Rubins works outside the International Space Station with the SpaceX Dragon space freighter just below her. Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins concluded their spacewalk at 2:02 EDT. During the five-hour and 58-minute spacewalk, the two NASA astronauts successfully installed the first of two international docking adapters (IDAs).

The IDAs will be used for the future arrivals of Boeing and SpaceX commercial crew spacecraft in development under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Commercial crew flights from Florida’s Space Coast to the International Space Station will restore America’s human launch capability and increase the time U.S. crews can dedicate to scientific research, which is helping prepare astronauts for deep space missions, including the journey to Mars.

Space station crew members have conducted 194 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 1,210 hours and 46 minutes working outside the station.

Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crews, at:

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Hatches Between Dragon and the Station are Open

SpaceX docked

The hatches between Dragon and station were opened at 2:27 p.m. EDT Wednesday, July 20. The crew entered to document the interior and will begin unloading cargo this afternoon.

The spacecraft delivered nearly 5,000 pounds of science, hardware and supplies, including instruments to perform the first-ever DNA sequencing in space, and the first of two identical international docking adapters (IDA). The IDAs will provide a means for commercial spacecraft to dock to the station in the near future as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station Aug. 29 when it will return critical science research back to Earth. It is the second cargo spacecraft to arrive on station this week. On Monday, July 18, a Russian ISS Progress 64 cargo craft docked to the Pirs docking compartment of the space station at 8:22 p.m., where it will remain for about six months.
For more information on the SpaceX CRS-9 mission, visit: For more information about the International Space Station, visit: