Human Research Inside and Small Satellites Released Outside

A Cubesat is ejected from a deployer mechanism on the outside of Japan's Kibo laboratory module.
A Cubesat is ejected from a deployer mechanism on the outside of Japan’s Kibo laboratory module.

Human research studies continued on the orbital laboratory today, aiming to help scientists understand the long-term effects of living and working in space as NASA prepares for the Journey to Mars. Also, more small satellites were deployed outside the Kibo laboratory module.

The One-Year Crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko continued the Fluid Shifts study with eye checks Thursday. The experiment studies pressure inside the head and visual impairment some astronauts have reported experiencing on long-term missions. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren performed ultrasound scans for the Sprint exercise study to help keep astronauts in shape while living in space.

Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui was inside the Kibo lab monitoring the deployment of two sets of nanosatellites outside the lab module. The nanosatellites were delivered aboard the “Kounotori” HTV-5 resupply ship last month some of which will aid in air and vessel navigation, meteorology and meteor shower observation.

Cosmonauts Sergey Volkov, Oleg Kononenko and Kornienko worked on their complement of Russian research and maintenance. The trio explored new tools and techniques to locate pressure leaks inside the station. They also looked at ways to improve the performance of cosmonauts on such things as spacecraft piloting tasks.

 

Watch Live Coverage Now of Soyuz Spacecraft Landing

Soyuz spacecraft
A Soyuz spacecraft is seen as it lands March 12, 2015 carrying three Expedition 42 crew members.

NASA Television is providing live coverage of tonight’s return to Earth of International Space Station Expedition 44 crew member Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos and visiting crew members Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency. The crew undocked from the station at 5:29 p.m. EDT, and they are on track for landing in their Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft at 8:51 p.m., southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Watch on NASA TV at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

At this time, no concerns or issues are being worked. The timeline through landing is:

EDT                            EVENT

7:59 p.m.                    Soyuz TMA-16M deorbit burn (4 minutes, 42 seconds duration)
8:26 p.m.                    Soyuz module separation (altitude 87 miles)
8:28 p.m.                    Soyuz atmospheric entry (altitude 62 miles)
8:37 p.m.                    Command to open parachute (6.7 miles)
8:51 p.m.                   Expedition 44 Soyuz TMA-16M landing southeast of Dzhezkazgan,                                     Kazakhstan

Follow the conversation on Twitter using @space_station and the hashtag #ISS.

Japanese HTV-5 Cargo Mission Launches and Reaches Orbit

Japan's H-IIB Rocket Launches
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s H-IIB rocket launched at 7:50 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. Credit: JAXA

Right on schedule, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s H-IIB rocket launched at 7:50 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Aug. 19 from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. At the time of launch, the space station was flying 250 miles above the Atlantic Ocean east of Brazil.

Approximately 15 minutes after launch, the HTV-5 cargo spacecraft successfully separated from the rocket and began its five-day rendezvous with the International Space Station. The spacecraft is carrying more than 9,500 pounds of research and supplies for the six-person station crew, including the CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET) investigation, an astrophysics mission that will search for signatures of dark matter and provide the highest energy direct measurements of the cosmic ray electron spectrum.

JAXA and NASA teams adjusted the cargo manifest to deliver additional food supplies and critical components lost in the failure of the seventh SpaceX commercial resupply services mission. The delivery will ensure the crew has plenty of food through the end of 2015. HTV-5 is delivering two multifiltration beds that filter contaminants from the station’s water supply, a Fluids Control and Pump Assembly used for urine processing to support water recycling, a Wring Collector used in conjunction with the on-orbit toilet, a Respiratory Support Pack used in space to provide breathing assistance to an astronaut in the event lung function were impaired and space suit support equipment used during spacewalks.

On Monday, Aug. 24, JAXA Flight Engineer Kimiya Yui will use the Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture the unpiloted HTV spacecraft at approximately 6:55 a.m. NASA TV coverage Friday will begin at 5:15 a.m. NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren will provide assistance as necessary. The HTV will spend five weeks attached to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module on the international outpost.

Follow the conversation on Twitter via @Space_Station and the hashtag #HTV5. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect

Japan Looks To Wednesday Launch While Crew Works Science

Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren
Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren talk about living and working on the International Space Station with the CBS Radio Network. Credit: NASA TV

Japan has set Wednesday at 7:50 a.m. (11:50 a.m. UTC) as the launch time for its fifth “Kounotori” cargo mission to the International Space Station. Meanwhile, the six orbiting crew members focused on advanced microgravity research today.

Japan’s fifth H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5) will take a five day trip to the station after its launch. It will arrive early Monday morning when it will be captured with the Canadarm2 and berthed to the Harmony module.

The HTV-5 will deliver more than 4.5 tons of research and supplies, including water, spare parts and experiment hardware. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui continued robotics training for the HTV-5 arrival next week.

The crew also participated in examinations for the ongoing Ocular Health study. Robonaut, the experimental humanoid robot, was powered up today so the crew could observe its mobility operations.

 

Japanese Cargo Mission Set for Monday Launch

The Kounotori-4 Launches
The H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 4 with the Kounotori-4 (HTV-4) onboard lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center on Aug. 3, 2013 at 3:48 p.m. EDT (7:48 pm UTC; Aug. 4, 4:48 a.m. Japan time).

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has delayed the launch of an H-IIB rocket with the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)-5 onboard due to unfavorable weather forecast for the original launch date of Sunday, Aug. 16. The new launch date is set for Monday, Aug. 17 at 8:35 a.m. EDT from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan.

Loaded with more than 4.5 tons of supplies, including water, spare parts and experiment hardware for the six-person space station crew, the unpiloted cargo craft, named Kounotori, Japanese for “white stork,” will travel four days to reach the station on Friday, Aug. 21.

Live coverage of the launch begins will begin at 7:45 a.m. on NASA Television and https://www.nasa.gov/ntv.  Join the conversation on Twitter by following @Space_Station and the hashtag #ISSCargo. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect.

Biomedical Studies and Russian Spacewalk Preps for International Crew

Astronaut Kjell Lindgren
Astronaut Kjell Lindgren floats through the Destiny lab module.

The International Space Station crew worked a variety of biomedical experiments in the midst of preparations for Monday’s spacewalk. Meanwhile on the ground, a new Soyuz crew is getting ready for its launch next month to the orbital laboratory.

The orbiting crew took part in studies observing how the human body adapts to weightlessness during long duration missions in space. Scientists are looking at how astronauts interact with touch-based technologies and repair sensitive equipment for the Fine Motor Skills experiment. The crew also participated in ultrasound scans for the Sprint study to help doctors explore new experiment techniques for improving crew productivity.

A pair of cosmonauts are getting the station’s Russian segment and their tools ready for Monday’s six-hour spacewalk. They will replace external experiments and photograph the exterior condition of the Russian modules.

Back on Earth, three new Soyuz crew members are conducting mission simulations before their departure to the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site on Aug. 18. Soyuz Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Engineers Andreas Mogensen and Aidyn Aimbetov will launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft Sept. 2.

Station Crew Begins Week with Russian and U.S. Spacesuit Work

NASA Astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly
NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly work inside the U.S. Destiny lab module. Credit: NASA TV

A pair of cosmonauts is getting ready for a spacewalk on the Russian side of the International Space Station. Meanwhile, a NASA astronaut checked out a U.S. spacesuit after last week’s maintenance work.

Commander Gennady Padalka and One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko will exit the Pirs docking compartment next Monday for six hours of experiment replacement work and photographic inspections of the Russian modules. They checked their Orlan spacesuits today for leaks and reviewed their spacewalk tasks and procedures.

One-Year crew member Scott Kelly worked throughout Monday scrubbing the loops of a spacesuit and testing its systems. His fellow NASA astronaut, Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren, worked on an IMAX camera ahead of upcoming high definition, 3-D filming of the Earth.

Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko worked on Russian maintenance and science experiments. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui collected biological samples for stowage in a science freezer and checked out communications gear ahead of the Aug. 16 launch of Japan’s fifth HTV-II resupply spacecraft.

Station Avoids Satellite Fragment, Spacewalk Preps Start

The new Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft
The new Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft is pictured docked to the Rassvet module.

The International Space Station moved out of the way of a piece of satellite debris late Saturday night. There were no impacts to crew safety or operations. The maneuver may replace one of three reboosts planned for the orbital laboratory ahead of the Sept. 2 launch of the Expedition 45/Visiting Taxi Crew.

Commander Gennady Padalka and One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko are getting ready for an Aug. 10 spacewalk. They will work outside for six hours replacing experiments and equipment and photographing the condition of the station’s Russian segment.

The six-member Expedition 44 crew also moved full speed ahead with more science and maintenance work. One-Year crew member Scott Kelly worked on the Twins experiment that compares his adaptation in space with his Earth-bound brother and ex-astronaut Mark Kelly. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren tended to lettuce plants being grown for the Veggie study then moved on to U.S. spacesuit maintenance.

Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui looked at how microorganisms can affect a crew member’s immune system in space for the Microbiome study. Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko worked on unpacking gear from the new Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft, stowing discarded gear in the ISS Progress 58 space freighter and updating the station’s inventory management system.

New Crew Arrives at Station After Short Soyuz Trip

International Space Station configuration
The International Space Station configuration with the new Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft docked to the Rassvet module. Credit: NASA

The Soyuz TMA-17M vehicle docked to the International Space Station at 10:45 p.m. EDT, over the ocean near Ecuador.

Aboard the space station, Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos, as well as Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos will welcome Soyuz crew members Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) when the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened.

Watch the hatch opening and welcome ceremony live on NASA TV beginning at 11:45 p.m.: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Soyuz and New Crew Go for Docking Tonight

Soyuz spacecraft
The Soyuz spacecraft is composed of three modules. Credit: NASA

During the launch of the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft at 5:02 p.m. EDT (3:02 a.m. on July 23 Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the port solar array on the vehicle did not deploy as planned. The starboard solar array did deploy along with all navigational antennas, is functioning normally, and is fully providing power to the spacecraft. The flight of the Expedition 44 crew to the International Space Station is proceeding nominally and the crew is in excellent condition. The Soyuz vehicle will dock to the station as planned after a 4-orbit rendezvous at 10:46 p.m. EDT (02:46 GMT).