NASA TV Covering Release of Japanese Cargo Ship

HTV-5 and Aurora
Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo of an aurora, with Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-5 cargo ship in the foreground, taken from the International Space Station to Instagram with the caption, “Day 154. #Aurora’s purple glow adds mystery to the nightscape. Good night from @ISS! #YearInSpace #space #iss #solarstorm #northernlights #goodnight.”

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the unberthing of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) H-II Transport Vehicle-5 (HTV-5) from the International Space Station beginning at 11 a.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 28. Release from the station’s Harmony module is scheduled for 11:20 a.m.

Watch the unberthing live on NASA Television or at:

The unpiloted cargo ship delivered about five tons of supplies and experiments to the station in August.

Several hours after the unberthing, the cargo ship will fire its engines to begin a controlled deorbit and entry through Earth’s atmosphere, where it will burn up over the Pacific Ocean.

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Long-Term Human Research As Crew Prepares to Swap Supply Ships

Station Crew Members Oleg Kononenko and Kjell Lindgren
Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko (foreground) receives a haircut from fellow Expedition 45 crew member Kjell Lindgren.

The Expedition 45 crew, including the One-Year Crew duo, worked on a variety of human research to help future crews persevere on longer missions in deep space. The crew is also getting ready for a pair of international cargo ships departing and arriving next week.

Scientists on the ground are exploring how microgravity affects humans living and working in space as NASA prepares for the Journey to Mars. Astronauts living on the International Space Station for months at a time, including the One-Year Crew, provide excellent subjects for long-term microgravity human research.

The crew today looked at cardiovascular health for the Cardio-Ox study and documented nutritional activity. Blood and urine samples were also drawn and stored in a science freezer for later analysis. Station Commander Scott Kelly continued more Twins research as doctors compare the human body in space with a human body on Earth, in this case ex-astronaut Mark Kelly, the commander’s twin brother.

Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-5 space freighter is due for release Monday morning ending its month-long stay at the station’s Harmony module. The HTV-5 is still being packed with trash and disposable gear for a fiery destruction over the Pacific Ocean. The next shipment of new research, gear, food and fuel is being prepared as Russia’s readies its ISS Progress 61 resupply ship for an Oct. 1 launch.

Eye Checks, Fitness Research and Spacewalk Preps for Space Station Crew

JAXA Astronaut Kimiya Yui
ISS044E088545 (09/05/2015) — JAXA astronaut Kimiya Yui iss seen with a packet of almonds while floating inside of the Japanese Experiment Module.

The six-member space station crew is conducting human research to prepare future astronauts for long-term missions beyond low-Earth orbit including NASA’s Journey to Mars. The orbital residents are also getting ready to release a cargo craft Monday while getting ready for a late October spacewalk.

Space station Commander Scott Kelly, who is comparing his body to his ground-based twin brother ex-astronaut Mark Kelly, collected and stored a urine sample for the Twins study. He also scanned his legs with an ultrasound for the Sprint fitness study with some assistance from Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui.

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren partnered with Yui for ultrasound scans of the eyes and an echocardiogram of the heart for the Ocular Health study. The duo then moved on to tool collection for a planned October 28 spacewalk by Kelly and Lindgren before loading trash into Japan’s HTV-5 resupply ship due to leave the station Monday at 11:20 a.m. EDT.

Space Cargo Deliveries Coming and Going on Station Next Week

Crew Members Work in Unity Module
ISS044E089152 (09/05/2015) — NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly (left,) JAXA astronaut Kimiya Yui (center) and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov (right) take some time off inside the station’s Unity module and set up the onboard projector.

Crew members practiced an emergency evacuation drill and conducted long-term biomedical research today onboard the International Space Station. Japan’s fifth resupply ship is also being loaded with trash before its mission ends early next week.

Station Commander Scott Kelly teamed up with his fellow One-Year Crew member Mikhail Kornienko and cosmonaut Sergey Volkov to review the procedures they would use to evacuate the station in the unlikely event of an emergency. Kelly then moved on to exploring fluid physics and more Twins studies. Kornienko, Volkov including cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko worked on Russian science and systems maintenance.

Meanwhile, astronauts Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindgren are preparing a Japanese cargo craft, the “Kounotori” HII Transfer Vehicle-5, for its release and destructive entry Monday over the Pacific Ocean. Another cargo craft, Russia’s ISS Progress 61 (61P), is being readied for its Oct. 1 launch and six-hour delivery mission to the station’s Zvezda service module. Kornienko and Volkov practiced the telerobotic rendezvous techniques they would use if it became necessary to manually dock the 61P.

Long-Term Human Research for Crew before Japanese Mission Ends

Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko
Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko works on the OASIS experiment inside the Destiny laboratory’s Microgravity Science Glovebox. Credit: NASA TV

Japan’s resupply ship, the “Kounotori” HII Transfer Vehicle-5 (HTV-5), will end its stay at the International Space Station next Monday. A new Russian Progress cargo mission will launch to replenish the crew Oct. 1. While the HTV-5 is winding down its mission, the six-member Expedition 45 is conducting human research and lab maintenance.

First time space-flyers Kjell Lindgren from NASA and Yui Kimiya Yui from Japan checked each other’s eyes today for the Ocular Health study. Lindgren then moved on to a six-month inspection of the treadmill inside the Unity module while Kimiya replaced bacteria filters in the Destiny lab module.

Station Commander Scott Kelly started his workday swabbing his body to collect microorganism samples for the Microbiome study. Kelly later cleaned a science freezer before measuring the acoustic levels inside the space station.

There are three veteran cosmonauts onboard the station with a combined 8 missions, including the current mission, on the orbital lab. Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko worked in the Microgravity Science Glovebox for the OASIS liquid crystal experiment. Flight Engineer Sergey Volkov with One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko studied how living in space affects a crew member’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems for the DAN experiment.

One-Year Crew Conducts Human Research Before October Shipment

"Goodnight Earth"
Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo taken from the International Space Station to Twitter on Sept. 5, 2015 with the caption, “#goodnight #Earth! Make me proud and I’ll try and do the same. #YearInSpace”.

With the second half of their mission underway, a pair of One-Year Crew members continued a series of biomedical experiments this week. The six-member Expedition 45 crew is also getting ready for a new space shipment due early next month.

Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko have been teaming up for a variety of human research studies in space since March. Scientists are observing the effects of living in space on long-term crew members. This week the duo explored head pressure and visual impairment some station astronauts have experienced to help NASA prepare future crew members for the Journey to Mars.

The next cargo mission, ISS Progress 61 (61P), to the International Space Station is scheduled to launch Oct. 1 and dock six hours later to the rear docking port of the Zvezda service module. A pair of cosmonauts practiced the techniques Friday they would use in the unlikely event it became necessary to use the Zvezda’s telerobotically operated rendezvous system to manually dock the 61P.

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.


Scientists Study One-Year Crew to Prepare For Journey to Mars

Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo of Spain taken from the International Space Station on Instagram with the caption, "Color palette of the #Spanish coast is an appealing morning view.
Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo of Spain taken from the International Space Station on Instagram with the caption, “Color palette of the #Spanish coast is an appealing morning view. #GoodMorning from @ISS! #YearInSpace #colors #colorful. #earth #space #spacestation #iss #morning”.

View the best pics taken by the One-Year-Crew

One-Year Crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko just completed the half-way point of their 342-day mission. The duo, who are scheduled to come home March 3, 2016, are participating in numerous life science experiments. Scientists from around the world want to learn how the human body adapts to long-term space missions so NASA can prepare for the Journey to Mars. Read more about the One-Year Crew’s midway point.

Kelly and Kornienko participated in the Fluid Shifts study Wednesday morning performing ultrasound scans on themselves. The long-running human research program explores brain pressure and visual impairment some astronauts have experienced due to microgravity affecting the direction of fluids in their bodies.

Kelly later joined Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui transferring cargo to and from Japan’s “Kounotori” H-II Transfer Vehicle-5 (HTV-5) resupply ship. The HTV-5 will end its mission at the International Space Station Sept. 28 when it will be robotically released from the Harmony module for a fiery destruction over the Pacific Ocean.

One-Year Crew Reaches Midway Point Aboard Station

Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo of an aurora taken from the International Space Station to Twitter on August 15, 2015.
Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo of an aurora taken from the International Space Station to Twitter on August 15, 2015 with the caption, “Another pass through #Aurora. The sun is very active today, apparently. #YearInSpace”.

View more pics from the One-Year Crew

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko clocked in for their 171st day aboard the International Space Station since arriving on March 27. The pair, set to come home March 3, 2016, are spending 342 days in space to help researchers better understand how the human body reacts and adapts to long duration spaceflight. Read more about the One-Year Crew’s midway point.

Meanwhile, a pair of first-time astronauts transferred gear to Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-5 cargo craft. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren and Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui conducted robotics work inserting an experiment platform into the side of the HTV-5 after the research it had delivered was installed on the outside of the Kibo lab module. The HTV-5 resupply mission will end Sept. 28 and the cargo craft will be released for a destructive entry over the Pacific Ocean.

Three Soyuz Crew Members Wrap Up Mission on Space Station

Soyuz TMA-16M crew
Soyuz TMA-16M crew members (from left) Andreas Mogensen, Aidyn Aimbetov and Gennady Padalka rest outside their spacecraft and are surrounded by support personnel after landing in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA TV

Three crew members from the International Space Station returned to Earth on Friday. The landing in Kazakhstan wrapped up a 168-day mission for one cosmonaut and a brief 10-day visit for two, as well as returned a cache of samples from several NASA human research experiments aboard the station.

Expedition 44 commander Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and visiting crew members Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency touched down at 8:51 p.m. EDT (00:51 UTC, 6:51 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. Russian recovery teams will help the crew exit the Soyuz vehicle and adjust to gravity after their stay in space.

Padalka arrived at the International Space Station on March 27 along with one-year mission crew members NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos. Padalka spent 168 days in space during Expeditions 43 and 44, traveling more than 71 million miles. This completes Padalka’s fifth trip to space for a total of 879 days in space, the most by any human.

Mogensen and Aimbetov spent 10 days in space, delivering a new Soyuz spacecraft that will return Kelly and Kornienko and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov in March. They arrived with Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov, who will return to Earth with Kelly and Kornienko in March 2016. It was the first flight to space for both Mogensen and Aimbetov, who made 160 orbits of Earth and traveled more than four million miles during their 10 days in space as visiting crew members. During their short time in orbit, they participated in a number of experiments on behalf of their respective space agencies, focusing on the areas of human research, Earth observation and technology development. They arrived with Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov, delivering a new Soyuz spacecraft in which Volkov, Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth in March 2016.

NASA experiments returning on the spacecraft include blood samples for NASA’s Twins Study, a unique research demonstration using Kelly and his twin brother, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, to understand the effects of long duration spaceflight and further NASA’s use of personalized medicine in space. Additional samples for the Salivary Markers and Microbiome studies also returned to Earth.

One item, the Skinsuit, was tested in orbit by ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen. Some astronauts’ spines have been shown to lengthen as much as 7 cm in weightlessness, which can cause pain. The Skinsuit was demonstrated in microgravity to see if it may help astronauts counteract potential back problems in microgravity. The specially designed overalls simulate gravitational forces from Earth by constricting the body from shoulders to feet.

Testing this clothing item in space may help astronauts with any back pain they experience on long-duration missions. Further, the Skinsuit has potential use for older adults with spine issues and people suffering from low-back pain on Earth. It also could be used as a support item for people with conditions like cerebral palsy, a disorder affecting movement, muscle tone and/or posture.

Samples from one Rodent Research study are returning with this Soyuz flight, as well. These types of experiments examine how microgravity affects animals, providing information relevant to human spaceflight, discoveries in basic biology and knowledge that will have direct impact toward human health on Earth.

Remaining aboard the orbiting laboratory to continue important research and station maintenance during Expedition 45 are Kelly, Kornienko, Volkov, NASA’s Kjell Lindgren, Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos, and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.