Crew Trains for Dragon Capture after Medical Checks

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti
Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is seen inside the Unity node of the International Space Station.

Commander Barry Wilmore and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti brushed up Friday afternoon on robotics skills necessary to capture an approaching spacecraft with the Canadarm2. The duo will be inside the Cupola carefully monitoring the SpaceX Dragon as it approaches the International Space Station next week. Wilmore will be at the Canadarm2 controls to capture Dragon. Cristoforetti will be his backup.

› Read more about the upcoming SpaceX CRS-5 mission

Earlier, Wilmore scrubbed the cooling loops on a U.S. spacesuit after replacing its fan pump separator the day before. NASA astronaut Terry Virts sampled and tested the water conductivity inside the spacesuit. Virts, Cristoforetti and Wilmore also started their day with medical science including a periodic fitness test and Ultrasound scans of the arteries.

› Read more about the Cardio Ox experiment

On the Russian side of the space station, cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova worked on an experiment that studies micrometeoroid detection techniques. Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov had an Earth photography session observing the effects of natural and man-made disasters. The trio also spent the day on routine maintenance throughout the Russian segment.

› Read more about the Uragan Earth observation study

Spacesuit Work Complete, Crew Moves on to Dragon Preps and Science

Astronaut Terry Virts
Astronaut Terry Virts works inside the Combustion Integrated Rack in this photograph taken Nov. 28.

Commander Barry Wilmore completed spacesuit maintenance work Thursday and began testing the spacesuit to return it to service. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti cleaned up and stowed the spacesuit hardware and tools. The next U.S. spacewalk is targeted for early 2015.

After the spacesuit work Wilmore joined Flight Engineers Samantha Cristoforetti and Terry Virts to review activities planned for next week’s SpaceX Dragon launch scheduled for Dec. 16. Virts and Cristoforetti earlier started their day on medical science and a periodical fitness check. Virts went on to open the Combustion Integrated Rack for fuel gear replacement work.

› Read more about the Combustion Integrated Rack

Veteran station residents and cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Alexander Samokutyaev were back at work inside the Zarya cargo module installing overlay sheets on interior panels and disinfecting them. Russia’s first female cosmonaut Elena Serova worked science studying radiation in the station and the Sun’s influence on Earth’s magnetic field.

Samokutyaev also joined Serova for observation of the cardiovascular system while working out on an exercise bike. Shkaplerov worked throughout the day studying chemical reactions in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

› Read more about the Relaxation-Thunderstorm study

Crew Conducting Science to Improve Life on Earth and Space

Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts
NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts discussed their mission today with CNN International and The Navy Times. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronaut and Expedition 42 Flight Engineer Terry Virts worked on medical science Wednesday morning and later set up commercial research gear for an experiment to be delivered on the next SpaceX mission. Meanwhile, station Commander Barry Wilmore and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti continued this week’s maintenance work on a U.S. spacesuit.

During the morning Wilmore and Cristoforetti joined Virts for eye scans using the station’s Ultrasound equipment. At the end of the day, Samantha put on an armband sensor that monitors a body’s core temperature for a study that observes how a crew member adapts to a 24 hour cycle in space.

Read more about the Ocular Health study
Read more about the Circadian Rhythms study

Cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova were back at work installing gear and connecting cables for a micrometeoroid detection experiment. Veteran station resident Anton Shkaplerov started his day installing software updates on Russian laptop computers then spent the afternoon auditing the laptops.

Meantime, SpaceX is counting down to the launch of its Dragon commercial cargo craft Dec. 16 at 1:31 p.m. EST. NASA TV will provide live coverage of science, technology and pre-launch briefings including the launch itself.

Read more about SpaceX CRS-5 briefings and launch coverage

Medical Science amid Spacesuit Work for Crew

Spacesuit Work
Astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti (foreground) and Barry Wilmore work on a U.S. spacesuit inside the Quest airlock. Credit: NASA TV

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and Commander Barry Wilmore began fan pump separator replacement work Tuesday on a U.S. spacesuit. Cristoforetti started her day with medical science collecting saliva and urine samples for stowage in a science freezer. NASA astronaut Terry Virts worked on a variety of science including updating Ultrasound scanner software, checking a botany experiment and participating in an eye exam.

› Read more about the Aniso Tubule study
› Read more about the Ocular Health study

Veteran cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Anton Shkaplerov started their day in the Zarya cargo module installing overlay sheet on interior panels. Russia’s first female cosmonaut to join a station crew, Elena Serova, conducted a photographic inspection on windows in the station’s Russian segment.

The cosmonaut trio also worked on their task list of Russian experiments studying such things as chemical reactions in Earth’s atmosphere, detecting micrometeoroid impacts and a crew member’s sensory adaptation to long-term microgravity.

Meantime, SpaceX is counting down to the launch of its Dragon commercial cargo craft Dec. 16 at 1:31 p.m. EST. NASA TV will provide live coverage of science, technology and pre-launch briefings including the launch itself.

› Read more about SpaceX CRS-5 briefings and launch coverage

Spacesuit and Science Work While Station Awaits Dragon Mission

Expedition 42 Crew Members
NASA astronaut Terry Virts (foreground) poses with his fellow Expedition 42 crew members behind him — (from left) Elena Serova, Alexander Samokutyaev and Anton Shkaplerov.

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti joined Commander Barry Wilmore on Monday reviewing procedures to replace a fan pump separator on a U.S. spacesuit. Earlier, Wilmore partnered up with NASA astronaut Terry Virts for the Body Measures experiment that studies changes to a crew member’s body shape while living in microgravity.

› Read more about Body Measures

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Elena Serova got together for a chemistry education experiment during the morning. Later, Serova joined Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev for Russian maintenance work.

The International Space Station is getting ready for the SpaceX-5 mission scheduled for liftoff Dec. 16. The Dragon commercial cargo craft will take a two day trip to the station before it is captured by the Canadarm2 and berthed to the Harmony node. Virts worked during the afternoon to activate a communications unit that will send commands to Dragon as it closes in on the space station next week.

› Read more about the SpaceX-5 mission

Expedition 42 Stays Busy as NASA Preps for Orion Launch

NASA Astronaut Terry Virts
iss042e016770 (Nov. 27, 2014) — Flight Engineer and NASA astronaut Terry Virts works out on an exercise bicycle in the Destiny laboratory.

The six-member Expedition 42 crew aboard its orbital home and laboratory is conducting international science and advanced maintenance. Back on the ground, NASA is preparing for the launch of its new Orion spacecraft from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on its first test flight, the Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) mission. The International Space Station is providing valuable experience and research that will help further future exploration missions on Orion.

The week-long servicing of the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly continued Wednesday as astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts replaced filters and checked for leaks. The device removes humidity and carbon dioxide from the station’s environment.

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti was in Europe’s Columbus lab module cleaning the BioLab. The facility allows the observation of micro-organisms, plants and invertebrates and their adaptation to microgravity. The cosmonauts in the station’s Russian segment gathered in Japan’s Kibo lab module to record a televised event in between their regularly scheduled duties.

› Read more about the BioLab

At KSC, Orion will launch atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket Thursday at 7:05 a.m. EST for a two-orbit test mission taking it 3,600 miles above Earth’s surface. EFT-1 will last less than 4-1/2 hours and will end when Orion splashes down in the Pacific Ocean for recovery by NASA personnel.

› Get the Latest News on Orion’s Flight Test

More 3D Printing and CO2 Maintenance Work

Wilmore and Virts
Commander Barry Wilmore (back) and Flight Engineer Terry Virts are working on the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly in the Kibo laboratory. Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts were back at work Tuesday for more maintenance on the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly. The device removes humidity and carbon dioxide from the International Space Station’s environment.

Wilmore later removed and stowed a printed test object, or coupon, from the new 3D printer located in the Destiny lab’s Microgravity Science Glovebox. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti started the 3D print job earlier in the day.

› Read more about 3D Printing in Zero-G

Fellow cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova partnered up on routine communications maintenance work. They were later joined by their newest crewmate, Anton Shkaplerov, on a chemistry experiment designed to educate Russian students.

New Station Trio Trains for Emergencies

Samantha Cristoforetti
Italian astronaut and Expedition 42 crew member Samantha Cristoforetti prepares for 3D printing work inside the Destiny laboratory’s Microgravity Science Glovebox. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts worked Monday conducting intricate maintenance on a device that removes carbon dioxide from the International Space Station’s atmosphere. The duo later joined cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti for a review of emergency procedures and evacuation paths.

Cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev spent the morning unloading cargo from the ISS Progress 57 resupply ship. During the afternoon, he worked maintenance in the Russian segment of the orbital laboratory.

Russia’s first female flight engineer on the space station, Elena Serova, updated antivirus software on laptop computers and cleaned fans and filters. She also worked on a variety of science experiments including studying blood circulation in microgravity and advanced space photography techniques.

Packed Day of Science before Thanksgiving on Orbit

Commander Barry Wilmore
Commander Barry Wilmore talks about what he’s grateful for, gives thanks to the military for their service and reveals what he and Expedition 42 crew are eating on Thanksgiving. Watch his video message. Credit: NASA TV…

The International Space Station is operating at full capacity as the six-member Expedition 42 crew ramps up new science experiments by setting up research hardware.

Commander Barry Wilmore partnered up with new Flight Engineer Terry Virts in Japan’s Kibo laboratory module setting up a nanosatellite deployer known as Cyclops. Wilmore then moved on to science freezer maintenance while Virts worked on the Aniso Tubule botany study and measured air velocity in Kibo.

› Read more about the Cyclops nanosatellite launcher
› Read more about Aniso Tubule

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on her first space mission set up gear for the Blind and Imagined experiment that observes visual and sensory changes in crew members on long-duration space missions. The three cosmonauts worked on a variety of Russian science experiments including the study of the cardiovascular system, radiation exposure in the station and plasma research.

› Read more about Blind and Imagined

The NASA astronauts on the orbital complex will have a light day on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and will share a meal with the rest of their crewmates.

Kibo Laboratory Module
The Kibo laboratory module, where the Cyclops nanosatellite deployer is being prepared for service, is seen from a camera on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

Expanded Station Crew Resumes Activities After Rest

Baryy Wilmore and Terry Virts
NASA astronauts Baryy Wilmore and Terry Virts talk to journalists from Nashville, Tenn. and Baltimore, Md. Credit: NASA TV

The International Space Station’s population stands at six after three new crew members arrived Sunday night. After a six hour ride that began at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineers Terry Virts and Samantha Cristoforetti docked to the Rassvet module beginning a 5-1/2 month stay at the orbital laboratory.

Monday was a day of rest for all six Expedition 42 crew members. However, it was back to work Tuesday as the crew was scattered around the station to transfer cargo from the new Soyuz, conduct science and work maintenance.

Cristoforetti, Europe’s newest station astronaut, was in the Columbus laboratory module getting the European Physiology Module ready for upcoming installation work. Virts, worked inside Japan’s Kibo lab, getting a small satellite deployer ready for installation. Shkaplerov spent time on crew orientation and cargo transfers.

› Read more about the European Physiology Module
› Read more about the Small Satellite Orbital Deployer

Commander Barry Wilmore reviewed the new 3-D Printer payload. Cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev was conducting diagnostic work inside the Zarya cargo module. Russia’s first female cosmonaut on the station, Elena Serova, worked on various maintenance tasks throughout the Russian segment.

› Read about 3D Printing in Zero-G