The six-member Expedition 45 crew focused on human research and physics Tuesday as NASA prepares for deep space missions and learns how to live in space for longer periods. Two astronauts are also getting ready for a pair of maintenance spacewalks beginning at the end of the month.
Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren teamed up in the morning for the Body Measures experiment, a study that explores how microgravity affects a crew member’s body measurements over time. Lindgren then moved on to researching smart materials under magnetic conditions, potentially improving the design and strength of buildings and bridges on Earth. Kelly also explored how a long-term spaceflight influences spacecraft piloting abilities.
Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui sampled the station’s water quality, worked on life support maintenance and replaced cable ropes on an exercise device. Yui also swapped out gear on a pair of U.S. spacesuits that Kelly and Lindgren will wear on two upcoming spacewalks, the first on Oct. 28 and the second on Nov. 6.
Veteran cosmonauts Sergey Volkov and Oleg Kononenko worked on two different crystal experiments, one of which studies liquid crystals and another that explores crystal magnetism. One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko worked on Russian maintenance tasks and monitored his blood pressure and heartbeat. He also took his turn, along with Kononenko, on the same Pilot experiment Kelly participated in Tuesday.
Payload controllers are exploring why two Cubesats were unable to deploy this week from the Kibo lab module so they can be released later. Meanwhile, the six-member Expedition 45 crew is finalizing cable work for the next Cygnus cargo mission, unloading cargo from a new Progress 61 (61P) resupply ship and conducting human research.
NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren is completing cable connections and routing today in the Unity module, the first U.S. module delivered to space and installed in 1998. The Unity’s Earth-facing port, which will be powered by the cables, will host the Orbital ATK Cygnus commercial space freighter due to arrive in early December.
Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui assisted Lindgren with the Unity cable work before reviewing procedures for the SPHERES Vertigo experiment that uses a pair of bowling ball-sized satellites. Commander Scott Kelly replaced electronic gear inside a science freezer before attaching instruments and sensors to himself for the Sprint exercise study.
Cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Mikhail Kornienko continued cargo transfers from the 61P. Kononenko also worked on science hardware that monitors chemical reactions in Earth’s upper atmosphere. Kornienko joined veteran cosmonaut Sergey Volkov to process blood samples for the Neiroimmunitet study before working on the Algometriya medical monitoring experiment. Volkov then moved on to more science including the ongoing crystal magnetism experiment, the Calcium bone loss study and the Seismoprognoz earthquake study.
The deployment of this week’s final two Cubesats from the Kibo lab module is on hold today. Also, the crew is preparing a pair of spacesuits for an Oct. 28 maintenance spacewalk.
More Cubesats were released overnight and this morning from a deployer mechanism attached to the Kibo lab module. However, the final pair of Cubesats failed to deploy today due to interference with a latch on the deployer. Payload controllers are investigating the issue to determine a future release date of the Cubesats. This week’s Cubesats due for release included 14 Dove sats from Planet Labs and two European Cubesats.
NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren are scheduled for a pair of spacewalks in late October and early November to upgrade systems on the outside of the International Space Station. The duo resized their spacesuits and unpacked gear from the U.S. Quest airlock. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui assisted the duo as he scrubbed suit cooling loops and dried out suit fans and vent loops.
The three cosmonauts — Flight Engineers Sergey Volkov, Oleg Kononenko and Mikhail Kornienko — worked on science, maintenance and cargo transfers. Volkov studied micrometeoroid impacts, Earth observation techniques and crystal magnetism. Kononenko unloaded gear from the new Progress 61 resupply ship. Kornienko assisted with the Progress unpacking and worked on Russian maintenance tasks.
The astronauts in the U.S. segment of the International Space Station continued more cable work and life support maintenance. The cosmonauts conducted a wide array of Russian science experiments studying human research and physics.
More Cubesats were deployed today from a deployer mechanism attached to Japan’s Kibo lab module. Wednesday will be the last day for this series of Cubesat deployments. In all, 16 Cubesats will be deployed this week researching a variety subjects including navigation, communications and Earth observations.
Expedition 45 Commander Scott Kelly teamed up with Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui today to reroute cables from the Tranquility and Harmony modules to the Unity module. The cable work will set up Unity, the first U.S. station module, to receive the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft due in early December.
Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Oleg Kononenko spent Tuesday morning working on a Russian treadmill in the Zvezda service module. Kornienko then moved on to the Interactions study of crews working with ground support while Kononenko studied chemical reactions in Earth’s upper atmosphere.
Flight Engineer Sergey Volkov participated in a pair of experiments, Cardiovector and Cosmocard, researching the adaptation of the human blood circulation system to microgravity. After some life support maintenance work, he moved on to more science exploring magnetics.
The crew is working high-end maintenance today, while preparing for an upcoming spacewalk and an early December cargo mission. CubeSats are also being deployed this week from the Kibo laboratory module.
Commander Scott Kelly checked on a power supply problem with the humanoid Robonaut. Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui installed cables in the Unity module where the Orbital ATK Cygnus commercial space freighter is scheduled to arrive in early December. Yui earlier charged spacesuit batteries that Kelly and Lindgren will use on a spacewalk planned for Oct. 28.
Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Oleg Kononenko continued unloading cargo from the new Progress 61 resupply ship which arrived last Thursday. Sergey Volkov, on his third space station mission, worked throughout the Russian segment on maintenance tasks. The trio also had time set aside for ongoing Russian science investigations exploring magnetics and chemical reactions in Earth’s upper atmosphere.
A small satellite deployer attached to Japan’s Kibo module will be busy this week as 16 CubeSats will be released into orbit through Wednesday. The Cubesats are exploring such things as navigation, communications and Earth observations.
The hatches were opened today to the new space delivery from Russia’s Progress resupply craft. The Expedition 45 crew also worked on orbital lab maintenance and on science to improve life on Earth and in space.
The Progress 61 space freighter arrived at the International Space Station Thursday evening delivering more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies six hours after its launch from Kazakhstan. The vehicle is docked to the Zvezda service module and ready for two months of cargo transfer activities. Japan’s delivery space ship, the Kounotori HTV-5, finished its five-week stay at the space station Monday morning.
The six station residents were busy throughout the U.S. and Russian segments on a wide variety of activities. Commander Scott Kelly performed high-tech plumbing work as he replaced gear in the Water Processing Assembly. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren built a custom tool for lubricating the tip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm, which he and Kelly will do on a spacewalk at the end of October. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui installed a Cubesat deployer, and then worked on plant science.
Cosmonauts Sergey Volkov and Oleg Kononenko opened the Progress hatch and began checking inventory and unloading the cargo craft today. One-Year Crew member Mikhail Kornienko, Kelly’s partner, checked the station’s air quality and worked on Russian life support systems.
Traveling about 252 miles over the North Atlantic, the unpiloted ISS Progress 61 Russian cargo spacecraft docked to the rear port of the Zvezda Service Module on the International Space Station at 6:52 p.m. EDT.
The spacecraft is delivering more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies, including 1,940 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water, and 3,397 pounds of spare parts and experiment hardware for the members of the Expedition 45 crew currently living and working in space.
The cargo includes a resupply of a Neurolab research kit necessary for the Russian Pilot-T investigation that tests performance during simulated manual space station docking. Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly have previously participated in this experiment. It measures performance during a docking training test aboard the space station. This third generation device is used to measure skin conductance, finger temperature, and pulse wave transit time. These measurements will help researchers draw conclusions about changes in blood pressure and heart rate and other complex information related to the cardiovascular and nervous systems during mission-relevant operations. The investigation also assesses voice to help scientists better understand the stress ceilings of each test subject. Investigators plan to include EEG measurements in future iterations.
Researchers will also use biological sample kits delivered by the Progress spacecraft to obtain samples of blood, saliva or urine. The ongoing collection of biological samples from crew members help scientists determine if immune system impairment caused by spaceflight increases the possibility for infection or poses a significant health risk during life aboard the space station.
In addition to these studies, seven categories of human health research are ongoing during the One-Year Mission of Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko. Researchers expect these investigations to yield beneficial knowledge on the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges faced by astronauts during long-duration spaceflight.
Beginning at 6:15 p.m. EDT today, NASA Television will provide live coverage of the docking of a Russian Progress spacecraft carrying more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 45 crew aboard the International Space Station.
ISS Progress 61 is on track to complete a four-orbit rendezvous, and is scheduled to automatically link up to the rear port of the Zvezda service module at 6:54 p.m. The Expedition 45 crew will monitor key events during the spacecraft’s automated rendezvous and docking.
Carrying more than three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the International Space Station crew, the unpiloted ISS Progress 61 cargo craft launched at 12:49 p.m. EDT (10:49 p.m. local time in Baikonur) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
At the time of launch, the space station was flying above Southeast Kazakhstan.
Less than nine minutes after launch, the resupply ship reached preliminary orbit and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned. The Russian cargo space craft will make four orbits of Earth before docking to the rear port of the Zvezda Service Module at 6:54 p.m.
Beginning at 6:15 p.m., NASA Television will air live coverage of Progress 61’s arrival to the space station.
Following a fast-track, four-orbit journey, Progress 61 is scheduled to automatically link up to the rear port of the Zvezda Service Module at 6:54 p.m. It will remain docked to the station for about two months.
Expedition 45 crew members will monitor key events during Progress 61’s automated rendezvous and docking.