The Expedition 43 crew kicked off a new week by focusing on a number of biological experiments.
The crew participated in the Sprint study which evaluates the use of high intensity, low volume exercise training to minimize loss of muscle, bone, and cardiovascular function in crew members during long-duration missions.
Crew members also took part in Ocular Health checkouts as scientists search to better understand the vision changes some astronauts experience during spaceflight. They also collected samples for the Microbiome experiment which investigates the impact of space travel on both the human immune system and an individual’s microbiome.
Station commander Terry Virts did some troubleshooting on the Japanese airlock in preparation for the upcoming Robotics Refueling Mission-2 (RRM-2) operations. RRM-2, a joint study between NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, investigates satellite repair and servicing techniques in space. Operators on the ground use the station’s special purpose dexterous manipulator, better known as Dextre, on the end of the Canadarm2, for fine robotics manipulation. Engineers are looking to determine whether it’s possible to refuel satellites and test electrical connections robotically.
The Russian ISS Progress 57 cargo spacecraft separated from the International Space Station at 2:41 a.m. EDT while the spacecraft were flying 257 miles above northwestern China.
After its departure, the spacecraft will move away from the orbiting laboratory to a safe location where it will remain until commanded to reenter Earth’s atmosphere Sunday morning, April 26. The intense heat of reentry will cause the vehicle to burn up over the Pacific Ocean.
The departure of the Progress 57 vehicle clears the Pirs docking port for the arrival of the new ISS Progress 59 cargo ship. It will launch to the station at 3:09 a.m. Tuesday morning, April 28, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a resupply mission to deliver another two tons of provisions for the station crew members.
The unpiloted Progress 57 Russian cargo ship delivered more than two tons of food, fuel and supplies for the space station crew in October 2014 and is now filled with trash. After its departure, the spacecraft will move away from the orbiting laboratory to a safe location where it will remain until commanded to reenter Earth’s atmosphere. The intense heat of reentry will cause the vehicle to burn up over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday morning.
Another Russian cargo ship, Progress 59 is scheduled to launch at 3:09 a.m. Tuesday, April 29, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstanj. The launch, and subsequent docking with the station at 9:06 a.m., will be carried live on NASA TV.
The Expedition 43 lab assistants conducted biomedical science in the International Space Station on Wednesday. Meanwhile, controllers on the ground will remotely maneuver the Canadarm2 outside the station to experiment with the possibility of servicing satellites on orbit for longer missions.
The crew participated in a wide variety of life science studies. The Myco experiment, which analyzes nose, throat and skin samples, examines how microorganisms on the space station can affect a crew member’s allergies and illnesses. Another study, Interactions, explores how crews from different cultures learn to work with each other. More Rodent Research work took place, as the astronauts readied samples for return to Earth and checked out the rodents’ habitat.
Crew members also underwent medical exams, checking vital signs such as temperature and blood pressure. Later there were crew eye checks as doctors on the ground explore how microgravity affects vision.
The Robotics Refueling Mission, a joint study between NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, investigates satellite repair and servicing techniques in space. Operators on the ground use the station’s special purpose dexterous manipulator, better known as Dextre, on the end of the Canadarm2, for fine robotics manipulation. Engineers are looking to determine whether it’s possible to refuel satellites and test electrical connections robotically.
As Expedition 43 unloads crew supplies from the SpaceX Dragon, another cargo craft is being readied for its undocking. Meanwhile, new research is underway with some of the science gear hauled into space aboard Dragon.
Russia’s ISS Progress 57 space freighter is being packed with trash and discarded gear. It will undock from the Pirs docking compartment early Saturday morning for a fiery descent into the Pacific Ocean.
NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Terry Virts studied the effects of microgravity on living organisms for the Rodent Research experiment. They are looking at mice and how their body systems change in space. The results may promote the development of new drugs tackling the effects of aging and disease on Earth.
NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Scott Kelly opened the hatches and floated into the new SpaceX Dragon space freighter Saturday morning, beginning five weeks of cargo transfers. The sixth Dragon cargo mission for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract delivered a wide variety of crew supplies and science gear to support dozens of new and ongoing microgravity experiments.
The crew unloaded new Rodent Research gear that will allow scientists to study the effects of microgravity on biological mechanisms in mice. Results may promote the development of new drugs tackling the effects of aging and disease on Earth.
A pair of new POLAR science freezers were unloaded from Dragon. The freezers store science samples at -80° C and allow the transport of those samples back to Earth.
Blood pressure checks and vision testing were on the schedule Monday as part of the Ocular Health study which observes the effects of long-term spaceflight on crew members. A trio of cosmonauts looked at cardiac activity in space and studied the radiation emitted from Russian spacecraft propulsion systems.
The Expedition 43 crew’s delivery arrived Friday aboard the SpaceX Dragon space freighter. Dragon was captured at 6:55 a.m. EDT after a two-day trip and a slow methodical approach. Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti guided the Canadarm2 and grappled the Dragon as it floated just 10 meters away from the International Space Station.
The crew will open the hatches to Dragon, which is berthed to the Harmony module, Saturday morning and begin 5 weeks of cargo transfer activities. Aside from crew supplies, Dragon brought new science gear including items for the Rodent Research-2 experiment and the station’s first espresso machine, the ISSpresso, which will provide espresso, tea, consommé and other hot beverages.
A Russian resupply ship is targeted to launch and dock to the space station in less than two weeks. The ISS Progress 59 will blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome April 28 at 3:09 p.m. and dock to the Poisk module less than six hours later.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was berthed to the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 9:29 a.m. EDT while the two spacecraft were traveling above the coast of Sierra Leone. The hatch between the newly arrived spacecraft and the Harmony module of the space station is scheduled to be opened Saturday.
The spacecraft is loaded with more than 4,300 pounds of supplies, science experiments, and technology demonstrations, including critical materials to support about 40 of more than 250 science and research investigations during the station’s Expeditions 43 and 44. The capsule is scheduled to spend five weeks attached to the station.
Following its capture, the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship is being maneuvered by ground controllers operating the International Space Station’s robotic arm for installation onto the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module.
Expedition 43 Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency is at the robotic work station in the orbiting complex’s cupola. Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts of NASA is assisting her.
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While the International Space Station was traveling 257 statute miles over the Pacific Ocean just east of Japan, Expedition 43 Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency, with the assistance of Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts of NASA, successfully captured the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft with the station’s robotic arm at 6:55 a.m. EDT.
Operations to berth Dragon to the space station begin at approximately 9:40 a.m. NASA TV coverage will resume at 9:15 a.m. at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv