Medical and Life Science Work as Station Crew Swap Approaches

CubeSat Deployer
ISS040-E-103506 (19 Aug. 2014) — In the grasp of the Japanese robotic arm, the CubeSat deployer is about to release a pair of NanoRacks CubeSat miniature satellites. The Planet Labs Dove satellites that were carried to the International Space Station aboard the Orbital Sciences Cygnus commercial cargo craft are being deployed between Aug. 19 and Aug. 25. The station’s Kibo laboratory is at top right. A blue and white part of Earth and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the scene.

NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore worked throughout Tuesday inside Japan’s Kibo laboratory to remove a Cubesat deployer from the laboratory’s airlock. The deployer experienced problems in August, when some of the mini satellites did not deploy as expected and later deployed spontaneously. Wilmore’s Expedition 41/42 crewmates Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev worked throughout the day on maintenance and a variety of Russian physical and medical science experiments.

› Read more about the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer

The homebound Expedition 40/41 trio, consisting of Soyuz Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineers Alexander Gerst and Reid Wiseman, is counting down to its Nov. 9 departure inside the Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft. They are packing gear to be returned home while they continue science and maintenance on the U.S. side of the International Space Station.

Back on Earth, the new Expedition 42/43 crew is getting ready for its launch to the space station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Nov. 23. Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov will be joined by NASA astronaut Terry Virts and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti aboard a Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft to begin a 5-1/2 month mission aboard the orbital laboratory.

› Read more about Expedition 41
› Read more about Expedition 42

Alexander Gerst
European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst talks with members of the German Parliament and German space officials gathered in Berlin. Credit: NASA TV

Station Trio Prepares for Departure amid Ongoing Science

Max Suraev and Alexander Gerst
Expedition 41 crew members Max Suraev and Alexander Gerst check procedures in the Destiny laboratory.

Expedition 41 Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman and Alexander Gerst are in their final week aboard the International Space Station. All three homebound crew members spent time on Monday preparing for their departure. Expedition 41 will end Nov. 9 when it undocks inside the Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft at 7:29 p.m. EST.

Gerst also drew his blood samples for stowage in a science freezer and he also worked on the Zebrafish Muscle experiment in the Kibo laboratory. Wiseman worked on plumbing tasks, then set up cameras for the Sally Ride EarthKAM experiment.

› Read more about Zebrafish Muscle
› Read more about Sally Ride EarthKAM

Meanwhile, NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore, who is staying in space until March, checked for leaks and worked on a fan in a U.S. spacesuit. His Expedition 41/42 crewmate Elena Serova sampled the station’s air and surfaces for microbes. Cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev transferred cargo from the ISS Progress 57 spacecraft then assisted Wiseman with the EarthKAM study.

Fourteen years ago on Nov. 2 the first International Space Station crew, Expedition 1, docked to the young orbital laboratory in their Soyuz TM-31 spacecraft. The space station at the time consisted of just three modules — the Unity node, the Zarya cargo module and the Zvezda service module. Commander William Shepherd and Flight Engineers Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko returned home aboard space shuttle Discovery after 141 days in space.

› Read more about the first station crew

Reid Wiseman
Astronaut Reid Wiseman talks to reporters from CBS Radio Network and Baltimore’s WJZ-TV

Station Prepares for November Crew Swap

Astronauts Talk to Blue Angels
Expedition 41 astronauts (from left) Reid Wiseman, Barry Wilmore and Alexander Gerst talk to the Blue Angels pilots who visited Mission Control Center in Johnson Space Center Friday morning. Credit: NASA TV

The Expedition 41 trio of Reid Wiseman, Alexander Gerst and Max Suraev are returning home November 9. They checked their Sokol suits, which are worn during a Soyuz launch and entry, for leaks and started preparing for their departure.

NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore, who will be in space until March, worked on the Zebrafish Muscle experiment in Japan’s Kibo lab module. Cosmonaut Elena Serova participated in Crew Medical Officer training then moved on to a variety of science and maintenance tasks. Alexander Samokutyaev worked on cargo transfers from the new ISS Progress 57 resupply ship and preventative maintenance in the Pirs docking compartment.

› Read about the Zebrafish Muscle experiment

Another space station crew is in Star City, Russia, counting down to its Nov. 23 launch to the orbital laboratory. Today is also the 14th anniversary of the launch of Expedition 1, the first crew to live and work aboard the International Space Station.

› Read about Expedition 42
› Read about Expedition 1

Expedition 41 Opens Progress Hatch as Orbital Sciences Conducts Investigation

Alexander Gerst
European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst talks to German journalists.

Cosmonauts Max Suraev and Alexander Samokutyaev opened the hatch to the ISS Progress 57 space freighter which arrived Wednesday morning. Suraev also joined NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman for descent training in advance of their Nov. 9 landing in the Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft.

Flight Engineers Barry Wilmore and Alexander Gerst scrubbed cooling loops in the U.S. spacesuits throughout the day. Gerst also changed the water in the Kibo laboratory’s Aquatic Habitat.

Orbital Sciences Corp. has completed an initial assessment of its launch facility in Virginia after Tuesday night’s catastrophic failure of the Antares rocket.

› Visit NASA’s Orbital Sciences page for the latest information

New Progress Resupply Craft Arrives at Station

Traveling about 261 miles over the Atlantic Ocean, the unpiloted ISS Progress 57 Russian cargo ship docked at 9:08 a.m. EDT to the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station.

The craft is delivering almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies, including 1,940 pounds of propellant; 48 pounds of oxygen; 57 pounds of air; 926 pounds of water; and 2,822 pounds of spare parts, supplies and experiment hardware for the six members of the Expedition 41 crew currently living and working in space. Progress 57 is scheduled to remain docked to Pirs for the next six months.

For more information about the current crew and the International Space Station, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/station.

Progress Arrives at Station
The ISS Progress 57 is moments from docking to the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station.

Watch NASA TV for Live Coverage of Progress Arrival at Station

Beginning at 8:30 a.m. EDT, NASA Television will provide live coverage of the docking of a Russian Progress spacecraft carrying nearly three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 41 crew aboard the International Space Station.

Docking of ISS Progress 57 to the Pirs Docking Compartment of the space station is scheduled for 9:09 a.m.

Watch the docking live on NASA TV or at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Launch of ISS Progress 57 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan occurred at 3:09 a.m. (1:09 p.m. local time in Baikonur) this morning. The spacecraft will remain docked to the station for six months.

The Expedition 41 crew will monitor key events during Progress 57’s automated rendezvous and docking.

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Progress 57 on Twitter, follow the hashtags #ISS and #ISScargo. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect.

Progress Approaches Station
An ISS Progress resupply vehicle approaches the International Space Station in January 2012.

Progress Cargo Craft on Way to Station

Progress 57 Launches
The ISS Progress 57 space freighter launches on time from Kazakhstan for a six-hour trip to the International Space Station.

Carrying more than 5,700 pounds of food, fuel, and supplies for the International Space Station crew, the unpiloted ISS Progress 57 cargo craft launched at 3:09 a.m. EDT (1:09 p.m. local time in Baikonur) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

At the time of launch, the International Space Station was flying about 261 miles over southern Russia, just north of the border with Kazakhstan.

Less than 10 minutes after launch, the resupply ship reached preliminary orbit and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned. The Russian cargo craft will make four orbits of Earth during the next six hours before docking to the orbiting laboratory at 9:09 a.m.

Beginning at 8:30 a.m., NASA Television will provide live coverage of Progress 57’s arrival to the space station’s Pirs Docking Compartment. Watch live on NASA TV and online at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Progress 57 on Twitter, follow the hashtags #ISS and #ISScargo.

Watch NASA TV for Live Progress Launch Coverage

At 2:45 a.m. EDT, NASA Television will provide live coverage of the launch of a Russian Progress spacecraft carrying nearly three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the Expedition 41 crew aboard the International Space Station.

Launch of ISS Progress 57 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is planned for 3:09 a.m. (1:09 p.m. local time in Baikonur).

Watch the launch live on NASA TV or at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Following a four-orbit, six-hour trip, Progress 57 is scheduled to arrive at the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station at 9:09 a.m. It will remain docked to the station for about six months.

The Expedition 41 crew will monitor key events during Progress 57’s automated rendezvous and docking.

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Progress 57 on Twitter, follow the hashtags #ISS and #ISScargo. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect.

Progress Resupply Vehicle
An ISS Progress resupply vehicle approaches the International Space Station Feb. 11, 2013.

Orbital Sciences Executing Contingency Procedures

The Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Antares rocket lifted off to start its third resupply mission to the International Space Station, but suffered a catastrophic anomaly shortly after liftoff at 6:22 p.m. EDT.

The Orbital Sciences team is executing its contingency procedures, securing the site and data, including all telemetry from the Antares launch vehicle and Cygnus spacecraft.

Before launch the Orbital team was not tracking any issues.

No injuries have been reported, and Orbital reports that all personnel around the Wallops Flight Facility launch site have been accounted for.

NASA will continue to provide additional updates as it becomes available, as well as the earliest expected time for a news conference.

Cygnus Launch Countdown Progressing

Antares Orbital-3 Mission
The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, is seen on launch Pad-0A after the launch attempt was scrubbed because of a boat down range in the trajectory Antares would have flown had it lifted off, Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

The countdown is progressing smoothly today for the launch of Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Antares rocket, with the Cygnus cargo spacecraft on top. There are no technical concerns with the rocket or spacecraft being worked. The weather for this evening’s launch is predicted to be 97 percent favorable.

Liftoff is scheduled for 6:22 p.m. EDT from the Mid-Atlantic Spaceport’s Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Live coverage of the launch on NASA TV will begin at 5:30 p.m. at: https://www.nasa.gov/ntv

Cygnus is loaded with about 5,000 pounds of science investigations, food, supplies and hardware for the space station and its crew.

A launch this evening will result in Cygnus catching up to the space station on Sunday, Nov. 2. Cygnus will be grappled at approximately 4:58 a.m. by NASA crew members Reid Wiseman and Barry “Butch” Wilmore. Cygnus will be attached to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Harmony node and will remain in place approximately one month. It is scheduled depart the space station on Dec. 3.

This is Orbital’s third mission to the International Space Station under its Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.