High-Flying Research as Cargo and Crew Missions Ready for Launch

Japanese Astronaut Kimiya Yui
Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui soars through the Destiny lab module.

The six-member Expedition 44 crew participated in a wide array of science today as Japan counts down to Wednesday morning’s launch of its fifth resupply mission. Meanwhile, three new Soyuz taxi crew members flew to the launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome to finalize their mission preparations.

The majority of the station crew members had their blood pressure and vision checked today for the long-running Ocular Health study. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui had his legs scanned with an ultrasound for the SPRINT exercise study. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren explored fluid physics and surface tension for the Capillary Beverage experiment.

Back on Earth, veteran station cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and first time Soyuz Flight Engineers Andreas Mogensen and Aidyn Aimbetov are getting ready for their 10-day mission to the International Space Station. The trio will launch Sept. 2 inside the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Volkov will stay in space until next year. Mogensen and Aimbetov will return Sept. 11 with Gennady Padalka who has been in space since March.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is getting ready to roll out its H-IIB rocket this afternoon at the Tanegashima Space Center. JAXA is scheduled to launch the “Kounotori” HTV-5 cargo craft at 7:50 a.m. EDT (11:50 a.m. UTC) Wednesday for a five day trip to the space station. The HTV-5 will deliver more than 4.5 tons of research and supplies, including water, spare parts and experiment hardware.

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.

 

Launch of Japanese Cargo Mission Slips Due to Weather

Japan's third "Kounotori" HTV
Japan’s third HTV was captured with the Canadarm2 in July 2012.

Inclement weather forecast at the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan has again caused a postponement of the launch of a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) H-IIB rocket. The new launch date is set for Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 7:50 a.m. EDT.

The rocket will send JAXA’s H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)-5 on a five-day trip to reach the International Space Station on Monday, Aug. 24. The unpiloted cargo craft, named Kounotori, Japanese for “white stork,” is loaded with more than 4.5 tons of research and supplies, including water, spare parts and experiment hardware for the six-person space station crew.

Live coverage of the launch begins will begin Wednesday at 7 a.m. on NASA Television and https://www.nasa.gov/ntv.  Join the conversation on Twitter by following @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.

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.

Pair of International Space Ships Coming and Going This Weekend

Astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly
Astronauts Kjell Lindgren (left) and Scott Kelly talk to middle and high school students at Alamo College in San Antonio, TX. Credit: NASA TV

Russia will undock its ISS Progress 58 spacecraft Friday morning for a fiery atmospheric entry over the Pacific Ocean. Japan will launch its fifth “Kounotori” HTV cargo ship (HTV-5) Sunday morning from the Tanegashima Space Center.

New astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui trained for next week’s arrival of the HTV-5. They will be in the cupola to capture the HTV-5 with the Canadarm2 and berth it to the Harmony node Thursday morning.

Earlier, cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko joined Yui to set up free-floating SPHERES microsatellites for a competition that introduces students to programming vehicles to fly in space. One-Year Crew member Scott Kelly worked on plumbing tasks in the station’s Water Recovery System.

Cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko are still cleaning up after Monday’s spacewalk. They stowed the tools and hardware used to rig new equipment and photograph the external condition of the station’s Russian segment.

Station Power Back Up as Crew Trains for Japanese Cargo Mission

Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kimiya Yui
ISS044E033352 (08/05/2015) — NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (left) assists Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Kimiya Yui (right) with measurements for the ongoing Ocular Health study.

The International Space Station experienced a temporary power loss Tuesday night while backup systems maintained power to critical systems. Power was restored quickly and there were no impacts to station operations and the six-member crew was always safe.

Astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui are training for the robotic capture next week of Japan’s fifth “Kounotori” HTV cargo ship (HTV-5). The HTV-5 will launch from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center Sunday morning and take a four day trip to the station. The duo will be inside the cupola Aug. 20 to capture the HTV-5 with the Canadarm2. Lindgren also checked on U.S. spacewalk tools while Yui cleaned and inventoried gear inside the Japanese Kibo lab module.

Cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko are cleaning up after Tuesday’s 5-hour, 31-minute spacewalk. The cosmonauts also talked to Russian spacewalk specialists on the ground Wednesday about the previous day’s external activities.

Cosmonauts Working Outside for Russian Spacewalk

Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko
Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko is seen working outside the International Space Station in a Russian Orlan spacesuit. Credit: NASA TV

International Space Station Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian Federal Space Agency began a planned approximately 6-hour spacewalk from the Earth-facing Pirs Docking Compartment at 10:20 a.m. EDT.

Padalka will be designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1) and Kornienko will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2). Both will wear Russian Orlan spacesuits bearing blue stripes. Their suits are equipped with NASA helmet cameras to provide close-up views of the work they are performing outside the station.

This is the 188th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance.

The spacewalking duo will install devices called gap spanners on the hull of the station that will facilitate the movement of crew members on future spacewalks. They also will clean residue off of the windows of the Zvezda Service Module, install fasteners on communications antennas, replace an aging antenna used for the rendezvous and docking of visiting vehicles at Russian docking ports, and photograph a variety of locations and hardware on Zvezda and nearby modules. An experiment designed to measure the space environment first deployed in 2013 will be retrieved and brought inside for its return to Earth.

Flight controllers at the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, outside of Moscow, are providing primary support for the spacewalk and coordinating with Mission Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

NASA Television is providing live coverage of the spacewalk at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

NASA TV Provides Live Coverage of Today’s Spacewalk

Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka
Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka takes a photograph during a spacewalk three years ago.

NASA Television will provide live coverage of a Russian spacewalk conducted from the International Space Station beginning at 9:45 a.m. EDT. The spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 10:14 a.m. and run about six hours.

Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian Federal Space Agency will venture outside the orbiting outpost where they will rig new equipment on the Russian segment of the complex and conduct a detailed photographic inspection of its exterior.

Watch the spacewalk live on NASA Television or at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

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

Science Work, Spacewalk Preps as New Crew Readies for Launch

Typhoon Soudelor
ISS044E030713 (08/05/2015) — Typhoon Soudelor photographed from the International Space Station on Aug. 5, 2015 while the storm was traveling in the western Pacific. The Soyuz TMA-17M (left) and the Progress 60 (right) cargo craft are visible.

The Expedition 44 crew members continued a wide variety of science experiments Friday as a pair of cosmonauts prepared for a spacewalk Monday morning. On the ground, a new Soyuz crew is preparing for their mission to swap a pair of station residents in September.

One-Year crew member Scott Kelly set up free-floating microsatellites for the long-running SPHERES-Slosh experiment which observes how liquids such as rocket fuel behave in space. New station residents Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui explored vision changes in space as they scanned each other’s eyes with an ultrasound and measured their blood pressure for the Ocular Health study.

Spacewalkers Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko tested their spacesuits Friday. The cosmonauts will spend 6-1/2 hours upgrading hardware, retrieving an external experiment and photographing the exterior condition of the Russian modules.

In Russia, three new Soyuz crew members completed a series of mission simulations ahead of their departure to the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site in Kazakhstan. Veteran cosmonaut Sergei Volkov will command the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft when he launches Sept. 2 with fellow crew members Andreas Mogensen and Aidyn Aimbetov. Volkov will swap places with Padalka who will return to Earth Sept. 12 with Mogensen and Aimbetov.

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.