The ISS Progress 58 cargo craft launched at 6:00 a.m. EST (5:00 p.m. Baikonur local time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Less than 10 minutes later, the capsule reached its preliminary orbit and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned.
At the time of launch, the space station was traveling over southern Russia near the Mongolian border.
The Progress space freighter is scheduled to rendezvous with the space station at 11:58 a.m. NASA TV coverage will begin at 11:30 a.m. at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.
NASA Television will provide live coverage of the launch of a Russian Progress spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to dock to the aft port of the Zvezda service module on the International Space Station beginning at 5:45 a.m. EST. Launch of ISS Progress 58 cargo spacecraft is planned for 6:00 a.m. (5:00 p.m. Baikonur local time).
The new Progress is carrying more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies to the station including 1,940 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water and 3,333 pounds of spare parts and experiment hardware.
Progress 58 will make its four-orbit, six-hour trip to the space station and dock at about 11:58 a.m.
Marking an end to the 7-year era of European space freighter supply to the International Space Station, ESA’s (European Space Agency) “Georges Lemaitre” cargo vehicle entered the Earth’s atmosphere and burned up over the Pacific Ocean around 12:12 p.m. Central time Sunday following a pair of engine firings that first lowered the ATV-5’s orbit, then enabled it to drop out of orbit for its fiery entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. The end to the ATV came one day after it undocked from the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module. After losing telemetry from the vehicle, ATV flight controllers at the ATV Control Center in Toulouse, France offered their thanks to the Flight Directors at Mission Control, Houston and the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, Russia for the years of support during the ATV program, and offered best wishes for the future years of ISS operations.
Although the entry smoke trail could not been seen on ISS external cameras, Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore of NASA radioed down that he could see the plasma trail as ATV descended into the atmosphere and documented its demise with still and video cameras.
Meanwhile, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Russian ISS Progress 58 cargo craft rolled to its launch pad in frozen fog and temperatures hovering around 18 degrees for its launch Tuesday morning to the station to deliver more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies. Launch is scheduled at 5 a.m. Central time, with docking to the aft port of Zvezda planned at 10:58 a.m. Central time.
ESA’s (European Space Agency) fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) undocked from the International Space Station’s aft port of the Zvezda service module at 8:42 a.m. EST.
ATV-5 will move to a safe distance from the space station for its deorbit and destructive entry in the Earth’s atmosphere Sunday.
This is the last in a series of European resupply spacecraft that began servicing the space station in the spring of 2008. In all, the ATVs delivered approximately 34 tons of supplies to the complex while docked to the station of 776 days. ESA is applying its technology and knowledge from the cargo ship to develop the service module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft.
As the second resupply ship this week prepares to leave the International Space Station another spacecraft is being readied for its launch. Meanwhile, the six-member Expedition 42 crew was working a variety of maintenance and science tasks Thursday.
Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-5 (ATV-5) is being packed with its final load of trash and discarded gear. The ATV-5 will undock from the Zvezda service module’s aft-end port Saturday at 8:40 a.m. EST. It will descend into the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean for a fiery demise Sunday afternoon.
A new resupply ship, the ISS Progress 58, is being loaded with final gear to be delivered Feb. 17 to Expedition 42 when it launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Roscosmos space freighter will orbit the Earth just four times, or about six hours, after launch before docking to the port vacated by ATV-5.
The station crew also focused on spacewalk preparations and microgravity science, the primary mission of the orbital laboratory, to benefit life on Earth as well as future space crews. Ground doctors assisted Commander Barry Wilmore and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti during eye exams. Cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova studied bioelectric cardiac activity as well as methods to locate punctures caused by micro-meteoroids on the station’s surface.
The Expedition 42 crew worked on numerous science investigations Wednesday after releasing the SpaceX Dragon for its splashdown Tuesday. The six orbital lab assistants studied such things as exercise loads in space, plant growth and changes to vision during long duration space missions.
The Force Shoes study will help researchers design better training programs and exercise devices for astronauts to improve their musculoskeletal health. The Plant Rotation experiment observes the direction of plant growth in microgravity in anticipation of future crews growing their own food. The Ocular Health experiment is looking at the changes to crew member’s visual, vascular and central nervous system and how long before they return to normal after returning to Earth
Meanwhile, another spacecraft is preparing to end its stay at the International Space Station. Europe’s fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle-5 is being prepared for its undocking from the Zvezda service module Saturday morning. It will reenter Earth’s atmosphere on Sunday afternoon and burn up over the Pacific Ocean.
SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at about 7:44 p.m. EST 259 miles southwest of Long Beach, California, marking the end of the company’s fifth contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.
The spacecraft is returning about 3,700 pounds of NASA cargo and science samples from the International Space Station. A SpaceX vessel will take the Dragon spacecraft to Long Beach, where some cargo will be removed and returned to NASA. Dragon will be prepared for a return journey to SpaceX’s test facility in McGregor, Texas, for processing.
The mission was the fifth of 12 cargo resupply trips SpaceX will make to the space station through 2016 under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.
Dragon conducted its deorbit burn on time at 5:49pm Central time, 6:49pm Eastern time and is headed for its parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific some 259 statute miles southwest of Long Beach, California. Splashdown time remains approximately 6:44pm Central time, 7:44pm Eastern time (4:44pm at the splashdown site, about 2 hours, 4 minutes before sunset).
The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was released from the International Space Station’s robotic arm at 2:10 p.m. EST. The capsule was maneuvered outside the vicinity of the space station in preparation for its return trip to Earth. The capsule is currently scheduled to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at about 7:44 p.m., 259 miles southwest of Long Beach, California.
Robotics controllers on the ground removed the SpaceX Dragon from the Harmony node Tuesday morning after they finished packing it full of critical research and gear Monday. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, backed up by Flight Engineer Terry Virts, commanded the Canadarm2 to release Dragon.
Cristoforetti also worked on orbital plumbing during the day before heading to the cupola for the release. Earlier, Commander Butch Wilmore and Virts demated the jumper cables and depressurized the vestibule which is the interface between Harmony and Dragon. The NASA astronauts also had time set aside to organize tools ahead of three spacewalks to install cables the first of which is set to begin Feb. 20.
The cosmonauts continued their work conducting Russian science and stowing trash and gear inside the ISS Progress 57 (57P) resupply ship.
The Expedition 42 crew closed the hatches to the Dragon commercial cargo craft today after loading it with critical gear and research. Dragon will be unberthed from the Harmony module then released from the grips of the Canadarm2 Tuesday afternoon. It will splashdown off the Pacific coast of Baja California for recovery by SpaceX engineers a couple of hours before sunset.
Meanwhile, a trio of cosmonauts worked in the Russian segment of the International Space Station on their set of science investigations. They studied ways to locate punctures caused my micro-meteoroids on the Russian side of the station; they looked at the behavior of charged macroparticles inside a magnetic trap; they also explored crew training methods using interactive 3D manuals, or virtual manuals.
Another resupply spacecraft is counting down to its undocking from the space station this weekend. Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-5 (ATV-5) is set to undock from the Zvezda service module Saturday for a fiery deorbit over the Pacific about two weeks later. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti installed internal cameras inside the ATV-5 that will record its breakup during the reentry. Engineers will use this data to understand the mechanics of a deorbiting spacecraft.