CubeSats Being Deployed While Crew Preps for Future Cygnus Mission

NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren
ISS045E033806 (09/25/2015) — NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren loads a deployer device filled with 16 CubeSats into a small airlock in the Japanese Kibo Module on the International Space Station. Among the 16 satellites are 14 Dove satellites from Planet Labs that will be used for Earth observation, one for testing space based radios and another that will be used to track ships on the open ocean.

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.

New Space Freighter Open for Business before Late October Spacewalk

Japanese Astronaut Kimiya Yui
Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui works in the Destiny laboratory module on the U.S. side of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

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.

Space Station Receives Express Delivery in Six Hours

Progress Minutes Away from Docking
A high-definition camera on the International Space Station spots the Progress 61 resupply vehicle (upper left) just minutes before it docked to the Zvezda service module. Credit: NASA TV

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.

Read more about all of the One-Year Mission human health studies.

Progress 61 is scheduled to remain docked to ISS for the next two months. For more information about the current crew and the International Space Station, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/station.

Watch Cargo Craft Docking Live on NASA TV

Progress Spacecraft Docking
A Progress spacecraft is seen docking to the International Space Station in February 2014.

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.

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

Launch of ISS Progress 61 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan occurred at 12:49 p.m. today (10:49 p.m. local time in Baikonur).

The spacecraft will remain docked to the station for two months.

Space Freighter on 6-Hour Delivery Trip After Flawless Launch

Progress 61 Launch
The Progress 61 rocket launches on time for a six-hour flight to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

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.

Watch live on NASA TV and online at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Watch NASA TV for Live Coverage of Russian Cargo Craft Launch

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Progress 61 Rocket at Launch Pad
The ISS Progress 61 rocket is at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad in Kazakhstan. Credit: RSC Energia

At 12:30 p.m. EDT, NASA Television will provide live coverage of the launch 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.

Launch of ISS Progress 61 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is scheduled for 12:49 p.m. (10:49 p.m. Baikonur time).

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

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.

Progress Cargo Craft Ready for Thursday Launch

Astronauts Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindgren
ISS045E019087 (09/18/2015) — Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui (left) and NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren (right) work on removing items from a storage rack located inside the International Space Station’s Destiny laboratory. The pair are making room for new communications hardware that will be used for future visiting vehicles arriving at the space station, including the new U.S. commercial crew vehicles currently in development.

A new Russian cargo craft loaded with more than three tons food, fuel and supplies is ready for launch to the International Space Station. The crew inside the orbital lab continues ongoing science activities and routine maintenance.

Russia’s ISS Progress 61 (61P) cargo craft is at the launch pad in Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan counting down to a Thursday launch at 12:49 p.m. EDT. The 61P will dock after four orbits, or six hours later, to the Zvezda service module. NASA Television will broadcast the launch and docking of the cargo mission live beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Inside the space station, Commander Scott Kelly worked with a pair of bowling ball-sized satellites observing their automated docking abilities for the long-running SPHERES experiment. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui used an ultrasound to scan cosmonaut Sergey Volkov’s eyes for the Ocular Health study.

Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren routed cables in the Destiny laboratory to support the next Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo mission planned for early December.

Russian Ship Rolls to Launch Pad as Japanese Ship Descends to Earth

ISS Progress 61 Cargo Craft
The ISS Progress 61 cargo craft stands at its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan ahead of Thursday afternoon’s launch. Credit: RSC Energia

The latest Russian resupply ship, the Progress 61, rolled out to its launch pad today, getting set for a Thursday launch at 12:49 p.m. EDT (4:49 p.m. UTC) and a docking to the Zvezda service module at 6:54 p.m. Meanwhile, Japan’s cargo craft, the “Kounotori” HTV-5, is descending to Earth this afternoon after completing a five-week delivery mission attached to the International Space Station’s Unity module.

The six-member Expedition 45 crew, including the One-Year Crew, worked a variety of science Tuesday looking at plants, performing eye exams and studying crew metabolism and the human respiratory system. The ongoing research is helping scientists and crews prepare for long-term deep space missions and NASA’s Journey to Mars. The space residents also worked on robotic inspections, replaced combustion experiment hardware and swapped batteries on a set of free-floating internal satellites known as SPHERES.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren are getting ready for the first of two U.S. spacewalks scheduled for Oct. 28. The duo will lubricate the Canadarm2’s leading end effector (LEE) systems. The LEE is used to grapple, maneuver and release cargo craft, as well as latch on to external station systems. Kelly photographed the LEE today from the seven-window cupola to document its condition and prepare for the upcoming spacewalk.

Robotic Arm Releases Japanese Cargo Craft After Five Weeks at Station

Canadarm2 and HTV-5 Resupply Ship
The Canadarm2 robotic arm backs away from the just released “Kounotori” HTV-5 resupply ship. Credit: NASA TV

Following a slight delay, Expedition 45 Flight Engineer Kimiya Yui of JAXA, backed up by NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren, commanded the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to release JAXA’s H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)-5 from the International Space Station at 12:53 p.m. EDT while the spacecraft was flying 256 miles above the Southern Pacific, after it unberthed from the space station at 7:12 a.m. EDT.

The HTV-5 will now move away from the orbiting laboratory to a safe location where it will fire its engines to begin a controlled deorbit to reenter Earth’s atmosphere. The intense heat of reentry will cause the vehicle to burn up over the Pacific Ocean.

HTV-5 carried a variety of experiments and supplies to the space station, including the NanoRacks External Payload Platform, which can house multiple investigations in the open-space environment of the station, and the CALorimetric Electron Telescope investigation, an astrophysics mission that measures high energy particles to search for dark matter and the origin of cosmic rays.

HTV-5 also delivered materials to support the Twins Study, a compilation of 10 investigations designed to gain broader insights into the subtle effects of and changes that occur in the environment of space as compared to that of Earth by studying two individuals who have the same genetics, but are in different environments. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is participating from the space station while his identical twin Mark Kelly, a retired astronaut, is participating on Earth. The study includes a suite of integrated human space physiology and cellular-level experiments.

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

Release of Japanese Cargo Ship Delayed

"Kounotori" in Grips of Canadarm2
Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-5 resupply ship is in the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Credit: NASA TV

The release of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) H-II Transport Vehicle-5 (HTV-5) has been delayed. Teams are troubleshooting, and the next opportunity will be at the next day pass at approximately 12:42 p.m. EDT. HTV-5 is still captured, and the crew is in no danger.