Ax-3 Mission Targets Undocking for NET 9:05 a.m. EST on Tuesday

The 11 crew members representing the Expedition 70 and Axiom Space 3 crews gather for a farewell ceremony calling down to mission controllers on Earth on Feb. 2, 2024 . Credit: NASA TV
The 11 crew members representing the Expedition 70 and Axiom Space 3 crews gather for a farewell ceremony calling down to mission controllers on Earth on Feb. 2, 2024 . Credit: NASA TV

NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX continue to target no earlier than 9:05 a.m. EST Tuesday, Feb. 6, for the undocking of Axiom Mission 3 from the International Space Station following the latest review of weather conditions off the coast of Florida.

For the primary undocking opportunity Feb. 6, NASA will provide live coverage of space station joint operations with Axiom Space and SpaceX. Coverage of hatch closure preparations will begin at 7 a.m. NASA coverage of undocking will resume at 8:45 a.m. (times subject to change based on operations).

Coverage will be available on NASA+, NASA Television, the NASA app, YouTube, and the agency’s website. Learn how to stream NASA TV through a variety of platforms including social media.

NASA’s coverage ends approximately 30 minutes after undocking when space station joint operations with Axiom Space and SpaceX mission teams conclude. Axiom Space will resume coverage of Dragon’s re-entry and splashdown on the company’s website.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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NASA and Partners Now Target Tuesday for Ax-3 Mission Departure

The four Axiom Mission 3 astronauts (front row) and the seven Expedition 70 crew members wave to the camera after greeting each other on Jan. 20, 2024. Credit: NASA TV
The four Axiom Mission 3 astronauts (front row) and the seven Expedition 70 crew members wave to the camera after greeting each other on Jan. 20, 2024. Credit: NASA TV

NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX now are targeting no earlier than Tuesday, Feb. 6, for the undocking of Axiom Mission 3 from the International Space Station. Teams are standing down from the Monday, Feb. 5, undocking opportunity of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Axiom crew members due to weather conditions off the coast of Florida. The next weather review is planned for 3 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 4. NASA will provide additional information on coverage.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Ax-3 Private Astronauts Target Monday to Undock in Dragon

The SpaceX Dragon Freedom spacecraft carrying four Axiom MIssion 3 astronauts is pictured docked to the space station shortly after an orbital sunrise. Credit: NASA TV
The SpaceX Dragon Freedom spacecraft carrying four Axiom MIssion 3 astronauts is pictured docked to the space station on Jan. 20, 2024. Credit: NASA TV

NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX now are targeting no earlier than Monday, Feb. 5, for the undocking of Axiom Mission 3 from the International Space Station. Teams are standing down from the Saturday, Feb. 3, undocking opportunity of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Axiom crew members due to weather conditions off the coast of Florida. The next weather review is planned for 8 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 3. NASA will provide additional information on coverage.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Orbital Outpost Prepares for Departure of Ax-3 Astronauts

The 11 crew members representing the Expedition 70 and Axiom Space 3 crews gather for a farewell ceremony calling down to mission controllers on Earth. Credit: NASA TV
The 11 crew members representing the Expedition 70 (red shirts) and Axiom Space 3 (dark blue suits) crews gather for a farewell ceremony calling down to mission controllers on Earth. Credit: NASA TV

The Expedition 70 and Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3) crews called down to Mission Control on Friday for a farewell ceremony as the four private astronauts target their departure for Saturday morning. The orbital residents aboard the International Space Station worked just half-a-day packing the SpaceX Dragon Freedom spacecraft before going to bed early to get ready for the spacecraft’s undocking.

The Ax-3 private astronauts are in their final day aboard the orbital outpost following two weeks of science and educational activities. The foursome, led by Commander Michael López-Alegría, is currently targeted to undock inside Dragon from the Harmony module’s forward port at 6:05 a.m. EST on Saturday. López-Alegría, along with Pilot Walter Villadei and Mission Specialists Alper Gezeravcı and Marcus Wandt, will then parachute inside Dragon to the splashdown site where support personnel from Axiom Space and SpaceX await their arrival. Mission managers will receive a final weather report before giving the Ax-3 quartet the final go for a splashdown off the coast of Florida.

Space station Commander Andreas Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) helped the Ax-3 crewmates wrap up their mission activities helping reconfigure the orbital lab for standard crew operations. NASA Flight Engineers Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara joined in and retrieved station emergency gear from Dragon and stowed science hardware inside the returning spacecraft.

Earlier, O’Hara partnered with astronaut Satoshi Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and transferred research samples from the newly arrived Cygnus cargo craft into science freezers aboard the station. Furukawa later swapped out research hardware that supports botany and biology experiments with a minimum of astronaut intervention inside the Columbus laboratory module.

Cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub packed the Progress 85 resupply ship, docked to the Zvezda service module’s rear port, with trash and discarded items before it ends its cargo mission and undocks later this month. Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov spent his shift configuring a variety of experiment hardware. Borisov serviced a camera that observes Earth’s atmosphere in ultraviolet wavelengths, charged hardware that documents crew interactions with mission controllers from around the world, then deactivated medical gear that continuously monitors a crew member’s blood pressure.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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NASA Science Arrives on Cygnus; Private Astronauts Prepare for Return

The Cygnus space freighter, with its two cymbal-shaped UltraFlex solar arrays, is pictured in the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm after its capture on Feb. 1, 2024.
The Cygnus space freighter, with its two cymbal-shaped UltraFlex solar arrays, is pictured in the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm after its capture on Feb. 1, 2024.

As part of NASA’s commercial resupply services, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo craft arrived at the International Space Station today packed with science and supplies for the Expedition 70 crew. The seven orbital outpost residents now turn their attention to the departure of four Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3) visitors.

Cygnus was captured with the Canadarm2 robotic arm controlled by NASA Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara at 4:59 a.m. EST on Thursday. Shortly afterward, mission controllers on the ground took over control of the Canadarm2 and installed Cygnus to the Unity module’s Earth-facing port at 7:14 a.m.

About three hours later, O’Hara and NASA Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli equalized pressure between Cygnus and the space station then opened Cygnus’ hatch to begin six months of cargo operations. They were followed by Commander Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace  Exploration Agency) who began unpacking new research samples and stowing them inside lab freezers for upcoming science investigations.

Mogensen also helped the four Ax-3 astronauts prepare for their departure from the station aboard the SpaceX Dragon Freedom spacecraft for no earlier than Saturday morning. Mission managers from Axiom Space, SpaceX, and NASA are monitoring weather conditions at the splashdown site off the coast of Florida before making a final undocking decision.

Ax-3 astronauts Michael López-Alegría and Walter Villadei packed completed science experiments in lab freezers and prepared them for stowage aboard their Dragon spacecraft Thursday morning. The duo then joined fellow Ax-3 crewmates Alper Gezeravcı and Marcus Wandt for a conference with mission controllers discussing the cargo that will be returning with them aboard Dragon.

All four private astronauts will join the seven-member Expedition 70 crew at 9:50 a.m. Friday, Feb. 2, for a farewell ceremony aboard the space station. The event will be broadcast live on the NASA+ streaming service, NASA TV, the NASA app, YouTube, and the agency’s website. Learn how to stream NASA TV through a variety of platforms, including social media.

The orbiting lab’s three cosmonauts worked throughout Thursday on their complement of science and cargo activities in the station’s Roscosmos segment. Flight Engineers Nikolai Chub and Konstantin Borisov carried out an Earth observation experiment to support educational and commercial opportunities on Earth. Afterward, Chub conducted a fluid physics study while Borisov began a 24-hour blood pressure monitoring session. Borisov later installed an ultraviolet camera to capture nighttime imagery of Earth’s atmosphere. Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko inventoried cargo in the Prichal docking module then stowed cargo inside the Progress 85 resupply ship docked to the rear of the Zvezda service module.

NASA will share more on Axiom Mission 3’s departure as available following the next weather review. The mission is the third private astronaut mission to the space station enabled by NASA.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Cygnus Installed on Station; Cargo Ops Begin

The Cygnus space freighter is pictured attached to the space station as the Canadarm2 robotic arm prepares to grapple the cargo craft.
The Cygnus space freighter is pictured attached to the space station as the Canadarm2 robotic arm prepares to grapple the cargo craft.

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft installation on the International Space Station is now complete. Cygnus, carrying over 8,200 pounds of cargo and science experiments. At 4:59 a.m., NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara, with NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli acting as backup, captured Cygnus using the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm.

The mission launched at 12:07 p.m. EST Jan. 30 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Cygnus will remain at the space station until May when it will depart the orbiting laboratory at which point it will harmlessly burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Cygnus Installation Underway Live on NASA TV

The Canadarm2 robotic arm, guided by NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara, captures Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft. Credit: NASA TV
The Canadarm2 robotic arm, guided by NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara, captures Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft. Credit: NASA TV

NASA Television’s live coverage of installation of Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft is underway.

At 4:59 a.m. EST, NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara, with NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli acting as backup, captured Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft using the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm. Cygnus is carrying 8,200 pounds of supplies, hardware, and science experiments.

This is Northrop Grumman’s 20th commercial resupply mission to the space station for NASA. The spacecraft is named the S.S. Patricia “Patty” Hilliard Robertson in honor of the former NASA astronaut.

Cygnus will remain at the space station until May when it will depart the orbiting laboratory at which point it will harmlessly burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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NASA Astronauts Capture Cygnus with Robotic Arm

The Canadarm2 robotic arm, operated by NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara, captures Northrop Grumman's Cygnus spacecraft. Credit: NASA TV
The Canadarm2 robotic arm, guided by NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara, captures Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft. Credit: NASA TV

At 4:59 a.m., NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara, with NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli acting as backup, captured Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft using the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm.

Capture of the unpiloted spacecraft was slightly delayed as flight control teams on the ground reconfigured a redundant radio communications system on Cygnus, which links up with the space station’s C2V2 (Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles) system. C2V2 is the primary communications system between the space station and visiting spacecraft.

Mission control in Houston will use the Canadarm2 robotic arm to position Cygnus to its installation orientation and then will guide it in for installation on the station’s Unity module Earth-facing port.

NASA+, NASA Television, the NASA app, and agency’s website will provide live coverage of the spacecraft’s installation at 6:30 a.m.

The spacecraft is named the S.S. Patricia “Patty” Hilliard Robertson in honor of the former NASA astronaut. The mission launched at 12:07 p.m. EST Jan. 30 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

This is Northrop Grumman’s 20th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. The Cygnus spacecraft is carrying a supply of 8,200 pounds of scientific investigations and cargo to the orbiting laboratory.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Cygnus Approaching Station for Capture Live on NASA TV

Northrop Grumman's Cygnus cargo craft is pictured from the International Space Station as it approaches while orbiting 261 miles above the coast of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia on Aug. 4, 2023.
Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo craft is pictured from the International Space Station as it approaches while orbiting 261 miles above the coast of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia on Aug. 4, 2023.

NASA television coverage is underway for the capture of Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft. At about 4:20 a.m., NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara will capture Cygnus using the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm, and NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli will be acting as a backup. After capture, the spacecraft will be installed on the Unity module’s Earth-facing port.

This is Northrop Grumman’s 20th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. The Cygnus spacecraft is carrying a supply of 8,200 pounds of scientific investigations and cargo to the orbiting laboratory.

The spacecraft is named the S.S. Patricia “Patty” Hilliard Robertson in honor of the former NASA astronaut. The mission launched at 12:07 p.m. EST Jan. 30 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

NASA+, NASA Television, the NASA app, and agency’s website will continue to provide live coverage of the spacecraft’s installation beginning at 5:45 a.m.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Cygnus Orbits Toward Station as Crews Focus on Space Science

The Cygnus space freighter from Northrop Grumman approaches the space station on Feb, 22, 2021, as both spacecraft were orbiting 262 miles above the Middle East.
The Cygnus space freighter from Northrop Grumman approaches the space station on Feb, 22, 2021, as both spacecraft were orbiting 262 miles above the Middle East.

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter is orbiting Earth today carrying science and supplies to the International Space Station for delivery on Thursday morning. Meanwhile, the Expedition 70 and Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3) crews continued working together on Wednesday with a full schedule of biomedical science, physics research, and lab maintenance.

More than 8,200 pounds of science experiments, crew supplies, and station hardware are headed for the orbital lab where NASA Flight Engineers Loral O’Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli will be on duty awaiting the arrival of Cygnus. O’Hara will command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture Cygnus at 4:20 a.m. EST on Thursday as Moghbeli monitors the spacecraft’s automated approach and rendezvous. After Cygnus is captured, robotics controllers on the ground will take over command of the Canadarm2 and remotely install Cygnus on the Unity module’s Earth-facing port.

Several hours later, O’Hara and Moghbeli will open Cygnus’ hatch beginning several months of cargo activities. Commander Andreas Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) and Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) will then enter and start unloading cargo. The duo will first remove frozen science samples from Cygnus and stow them inside science freezers aboard the station for later analysis.

Meanwhile, the four Expedition 70 astronauts continued ongoing research benefitting humans living on and off the Earth. The quartet also assisted the Ax-3 crewmates as they continued their science-packed agenda in their final week aboard the station.

O’Hara collected tools and set up the Life Science Glovebox for the GMETAL physics investigation that Ax-3 Commander Michael López-Alegría and Mission Specialist Alper Gezeravcı worked on. The Axiom Space duo used the glovebox to study two-phase mixing between solid particles and a gasses under various gravity levels possibly impacting future spacecraft propulsion systems. O’Hara then joined Mogensen at the end of the day for eye exams using standard medical imaging gear found in a doctor’s office on Earth.

Earlier in the day, López-Alegría partnered with Ax-3 Pilot Walter Villadei for blood pressure checks and ultrasound scans observing their blood flow. Ax-3 Mission Specialist Marcus Wandt had a busy day starting with servicing a life support rack in the Tranquility module and training to use the station’s virtual reality hardware and software. Next, he cleaned the Biolab research facility then documented his sleep patterns while wearing a sensor-packed helmet.

Mogensen had a couple of hours blocked off on Wednesday to assist the Ax-3 crew and help the private astronauts continue their familiarization with station systems and life in weightlessness. The two-time ESA astronaut also cleaned the Dragon hatch on the forward port of the Harmony module, tested using virtual reality gear to improve crew mental health, then closed the windows on the cupola.

Moghbeli spent her day photographing and inspecting spacewalk gear and portable safety hardware. Furukawa joined Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov and swapped fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack. The pair then split up as Furukawa set up the Mochii microscope for imaging metal samples while Borisov worked on an oxygen generator in the station’s Roscosmos segment.

Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko was back on inspection duty checking structures and photographing windows in the Zvezda and Nauka modules. Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub began his day with a urine sample collection then recorded his food, drink, and medicine intake. Next, he worked on radio communications gear and orbital plumbing hardware throughout the day.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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