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.

Crew Focusing on Science While Cargo is Poised for Delivery

The Expedition 41 crew is working advanced microgravity science while a pair of space freighters await launch. Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus is set for a 6:22 p.m. EDT launch today while Russia’s ISS Progress 57 will begin a six-hour trip to the station at 3:09 a.m. Wednesday.

› View upcoming missions to the space station

NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman and Barry Wilmore reviewed operations for the Rodent Research study. German astronaut Alexander Gerst, from the European Space Agency, had a medical exam and worked a variety of science experiments.

› Read more about the Rodent Research study

The cosmonauts worked on their complement of Russian science and maintenance. Alexander Samokutyaev collected his blood and saliva samples and stowed them in a science freezer for later analysis on the ground. Commander Max Suraev began preparing for his Nov. 9 departure while finishing cleanup work after an Oct. 22 spacewalk. Elena Serova assisted her fellow cosmonauts with science and departure work.

Russian Spacewalker
A Russian spacewalker is photographed outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk Oct. 22.

Cygnus Launch Scrubbed Until Tuesday

The next launch attempt for Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket carrying its Cygnus cargo spacecraft is scheduled for 6:22 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 28 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. There is a 10 minute launch window. NASA TV coverage will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Monday’s launch attempt was scrubbed because of a boat down range in the trajectory Antares would have flown had it lifted off.

Sunset at Launch Pad
The Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus private space freighter rests at its launch pad Monday at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

› Watch NASA TV
› View Orbital Sciences Orb-3 mission page
› Visit NASA’s Orbital Sciences Commercial Resupply Launch page

Busy Period for Station Deliveries This Week

Space Station as Oct. 27
This is the configuration of the International Space Station as of Oct. 27. There are three spacecraft docked including two Soyuz spacecraft and Europe’s ATV-5.

The International Space Station saw a pair of space freighters leave while two more resupply ships were moved to their launch site waiting for liftoff this week. Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-5 fired its engines this afternoon to move the station away from a possible conjunction with some satellite debris.

View upcoming launches to the station

Meanwhile, the six member Expedition 41 crew is moving right along with station housekeeping and an array of advanced science to improve life on Earth and in space.

Astronauts Reid Wiseman and Alexander Gerst drew their blood samples Monday. Barry Wilmore stowed a pair of U.S. spacesuits. Elena Serova, Russia’s first female cosmonaut aboard the station, sampled surfaces in the Russian segment for microbes and worked on a physics experiment.

Cosmonauts Max Suraev and Alexander Samokutyaev trained on rendezvous gear in advance of Wednesday’s arrival of the ISS Progress 57 resupply ship.

Cygnus Prepares for Liftoff After Russian Cargo Craft Departs

Orb3 Antares at Sunrise
The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, is seen on launch Pad-0A during sunrise, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The Antares will launch with the Cygnus spacecraft filled with over 5,000 pounds of supplies for the International Space Station, including science experiments, experiment hardware, spare parts, and crew provisions. The Orbital-3 mission is Orbital Sciences’ third contracted cargo delivery flight to the space station for NASA. Launch is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 27 at 6:45 p.m. EDT. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

At a Launch Readiness Review Sunday, managers for Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Virginia, and NASA gave a “go” to proceed toward the Monday, Oct. 27 launch of the Orbital CRS-3 cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. Orbital is targeting a 6:45 p.m. EDT launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 5:45 p.m.

There is a 98 percent chance of favorable weather at the time of launch.

For more information about the mission, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/orbital and https://www.nasa.gov/station.

Progress Departs in 2010
ISS023-E-026925 (22 April 2010) — The unpiloted ISS Progress 35 supply vehicle departs from the International Space Station’s Pirs Docking Compartment on April 22, 2010. Filled with trash and discarded items, the Progress will be used for scientific experiments until it is deorbited and burned up in Earth’s atmosphere. Its departure clears the way for the ISS Progress 37 cargo ship that is scheduled to launch to the station April 28.

The Russian Progress 56 cargo spacecraft separated from the International Space Station at 1:38 a.m. EDT Monday. The cargo ship has successfully completed its first engine fire to move away from the space station.

Once it is further away, the cargo ship will undergo three weeks of engineering tests by Russian flight controllers before its scheduled deorbiting Nov. 19 to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The departure of 56P clears the Pirs docking compartment for the arrival of the new Progress 57 resupply spacecraft. It is scheduled to launch at 3:09 a.m. (1:09 p.m. Kazakhstan time) Wednesday, Oct. 29, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA TV coverage of the launch begins at 2:45 a.m. The Progress will carry with it almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies the station and the Expedition 41 crew. Progress 57 will make its four-orbit, six-hour trip to the orbital laboratory and dock at 9:09 a.m.

Dragon Splashes Down — SpaceX CRS-4 Ends

Dragon Departure
This series of images, captured by cameras on the International Space Station (ISS) show the departure from the station of SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft.

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo craft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 3:39 p.m. EDT a few hundred miles west of Baja California, Mexico, marking the end of the company’s fourth contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.

The spacecraft is returning 3,276 pounds of NASA cargo and science samples from the International Space Station. A boat will take the Dragon spacecraft to a port near Los Angeles, where some cargo will be removed and returned to NASA within 48 hours. Dragon will be prepared for a return journey to SpaceX’s test facility in McGregor, Texas, for processing.

The mission was the fourth of 12 cargo resupply trips SpaceX will make to the space station through 2016 under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.

› More information from SpaceX

Station Releases Dragon for Pacific Ocean Splashdown

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was released from the International Space Station’s robotic arm at 9:57 a.m. EDT. The capsule will begin a series of departure burns and maneuvers to move beyond the 656-foot (200-meter) “keep out sphere” around the station and begin its return trip to Earth. The capsule is currently scheduled to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at 3:39 p.m., about 265 miles west of the Baja peninsula.

› Watch NASA TV

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Watch NASA TV for Live Coverage of SpaceX Dragon Release

8080055673_f597476858_kNASA Television will provide live coverage of the departure of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft from the International Space Station beginning at 9:30 a.m. EDT. Dragon was detached from the Earth-facing side of the station’s Harmony module earlier this morning. Mission control will maneuver Dragon into place then turn it over to Expedition 41 robotic arm operators Reid Wiseman and Barry Wilmore of NASA for release, scheduled for approximately 9:57 a.m.

Watch NASA TV

The Dragon arrived to the space station Sept. 23 after a Sept. 21 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida carrying almost 5,000 pounds of supplies and elements to support 255 scientific investigations the crew members of Expeditions 41 and 42 will conduct.

Release of the spacecraft by the station’s robotic arm will begin the Dragon’s return to Earth carrying more than 3,276 pounds of NASA cargo and science samples from human research, biology and biotechnology studies, physical science investigations and education activities sponsored by NASA and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, the nonprofit organization responsible for managing research aboard the U.S. national laboratory portion of the space station.

The capsule is currently scheduled to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean about 3:39 p.m., approximately 265 miles west of the Baja peninsula.

Expedition 41 Update: Oct. 24, 2014

Station Crew Readies for Busy Visiting Vehicle Traffic

The highway traffic to and from the International Space Station gets busy Saturday and the six crew members of Expedition 41 are working feverishly to manage the traffic flow.

Final packing of the commercial Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) Dragon was completed and the hatch closed ahead of Saturday’s unberthing and departure. Release is planned for 9:56 a.m. EDT and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California is scheduled for about 3:30 p.m.

While the crew completed packing of experiment samples and equipment aboard Dragon for return to Earth, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility off the coast of Virginia, another commercial rocket – Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Antares with its Cygnus cargo craft – was rolled to the launch pad for final preparations leading to launch at 6:45 p.m. Monday. Plans are for Cygnus arrival at the station Sunday, Nov. 2, with berthing to the same Harmony module docking port that will be vacated by Dragon.

Two Russian cargo vehicles also will be making moves when Progress 56 undocks early Monday at 1:38 a.m., completing more than three months of service at the station. It will undergo several weeks of engineering tests by Russian flight controllers before being deorbited over the Pacific on Wednesday, Nov. 19. That departure frees the Pirs Docking Compartment for arrival of the next Russian cargo vehicle, Progress 57, which is set for launch at 3:09 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, with docking to Pirs six hours later at 9:09 a.m.

Three of the crew members also are beginning preparations to return home after 165 days in space. Expedition 41 Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman and Alex Gerst will return home aboard their Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 9.

That leaves the other three crew members to transition to Expedition 42, which will be led by Barry Wilmore. He will command the expedition that includes Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova until next March. They’ll enjoy a Thanksgiving delivery of three more crew members – Anton Shkaplerov, Samantha Cristoforetti and Terry Virts – on Sunday, Nov. 23.

› Read this week’s overview from the lead station increment scientist
› Read more about Cygnus’s upcoming launch
› Read more about the Expedition 41 crew

http://io.jsc.nasa.gov/photos/11328/lores/iss041e071451.jpgFlight Engineer Barry Wilmore unpacks cargo Oct. 11 from the SpaceX CRS-4 Dragon commercial space freighter.

Photo Credit: NASA

Communicating the Benefits of Space, Science and Technology

hisa

From the earliest days of civilization, humans have always used art as a way to communicate, commemorate, and challenge. As civilization has evolved so has the sophistication of visual arts. From crude drawings on stone and primitive paper, to the masterpieces of the Renaissance, the magic of moving pictures and television, and now video recording capabilities that are unmatched.

The beauty of art is that it connects with the viewer in a way that the written word can’t. A single motion, a paint stroke, a symbol can embody an event, a generation, even an entire period of history. So as civilization currently sits on the cutting edge of technology development, how can humans use art to communicate this progress?

The Humans In Space Art Video challenge was designed to give college students and early career professionals an opportunity to answer this question. The video challenge invites students to submit a video no longer than 3 minutes that answers the question, how will space, science and technology benefit humanity? Video entries can incorporate all forms of creative communication (e.g. visual, musical, animation and dance). Entries must be submitted online by November 15, 2014.

The video challenge is an outreach effort sponsored by CASIS, NASA’s International Space Station Program and the Humans in Space Art program. The International Space Station (ISS) is one of humankind’s greatest engineering feats and embodies the technological advancement and innovation of human civilization. The ISS inspired this year’s contest theme and the challenge allows contestants to creatively capture their thoughts about how current/future research and technology development will benefit and advance humanity.

Currently, humans are living and working on the ISS. Thousands of hours have been dedicated to space research on the International Space Station with the purpose of gaining necessary insight for future space exploration initiatives as well as providing solutions and insights into Earth-based challenges.

CASIS, the nonprofit organization that manages the U.S. National Laboratory on the ISS, has arranged for the first place winner of the video challenge to receive a monetary award and as a grand prize, the winning video will also take a trip into orbit on the space station!

To learn more about the video challenge, visit: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/humansinspaceart/challenge/

 

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Twitter:
@SpaceArtLPI
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