Station Swaps Command on Wednesday Before Thursday’s Crew Departure

New station Flight Engineer Frank Rubio (center) of NASA is greeted by fellow NASA astronauts Jessica Watkins and Bob Hines shortly after arriving at the orbital lab on Sept. 21, 2022.
New station Flight Engineer Frank Rubio (center) of NASA is greeted by fellow NASA astronauts Jessica Watkins and Bob Hines shortly after arriving at the orbital lab on Sept. 21, 2022.

The Expedition 67 crew is in the midst of a crew swap as three new flight engineers adapt to life in space and another crew prepares to go home this week. Meanwhile, with 10 people living aboard the International Space Station today there were plenty of opportunities to keep up ongoing microgravity research and lab maintenance.

New Flight Engineer Frank Rubio from NASA was back on space physics today installing hardware for the Intelligent Glass Optics study inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox. The investigation explores using artificial intelligence to adapt materials manufacturing, such as fiber optics, to the vacuum of space. His two cosmonaut partners, flight engineers Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin of Roscosmos, spent time unloading their Soyuz MS-22 crew ship and working on a variety of life support tasks. The duo also took turns studying ways to pilot spacecraft and robots on future planetary missions.

Station Commander Oleg Artemyev is turning his attention to this week’s return to Earth with Roscosmos Flight Engineers Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov. The trio will board their Soyuz MS-21 crew ship and undock from the Prichal module at 3:34 a.m. EDT on Thursday. They will descend into Earth’s atmosphere and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan less than three-and-a-half hours later completing a six-month space research mission.

Artemyev will hand over station leadership responsibilities to ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on Wednesday. The traditional Change of Command ceremony starts at 9:35 a.m. EDT live on NASA TV, the agency’s app and its website.

Cristoforetti will lead the new Expedition 68 crew until she and three of her SpaceX Crew Dragon Freedom crewmates depart the space station in October. She joined NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, and Jessica Watkins today and reviewed their Dragon descent procedures with flight controllers on Earth. The quartet have been aboard the station since their arrival inside Freedom on April 27.


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

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Human Research, Space Botany Wrap Up Crew Workweek

Astronauts (from left) Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins, and Kjell Lindgren talked to U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday when she visited the Mission Control Center at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
Astronauts (from left) Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins, and Kjell Lindgren talked to U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday when she visited the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

The Expedition 67 crew wrapped up its workweek today with a host of advanced space science work while also beginning preparations for next month’s crew departure activities on the International Space Station.

Friday’s research topics looked at human cognition and perception, space botany, and Earth observations. The microgravity investigations take place inside and outside the orbital lab helping scientists and engineers develop solutions benefitting the Earth and space economies.

NASA Flight Engineers Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins were back in the Columbus laboratory module on Friday morning exploring how cognition and perception is affected when living in space long-term. The duo took turns lying horizontally inside Columbus while gripping and maneuvering a specialized device in response to pre-programmed stimuli. Observations may provide insights helping astronauts adapt to the differing gravitational environments of deep space travel, planets, moons, and asteroids.

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti from ESA (European Space Agency) nourished and checked on vegetables growing for the non-soil XROOTS space agricultural study. The experiment explores hydroponic and aeroponic methods as a way to grow larger scale crops during missions beyond low-Earth. NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren removed a small satellite deployer from inside the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock in the morning after it completed its latest CubeSat deployment mission.

Lindgren and Hines also joined each other on Friday afternoon and practiced on a computer the procedures they would use to return to Earth inside the Crew Dragon Freedom spaceship. Freedom Commander Lindgren and Pilot Hines, along with Dragon Mission Specialists Watkins and Cristoforetti, are targeting undocking from the space station next month and ending their mission which began on April 27.

Lindgren, Hines and Watkins received a call from Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday morning when she visited the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC). The Vice President is in Houston with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson for a meeting of the National Space Council and a tour of JSC’s facilities.

Roscosmos Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov partnered together in the afternoon for an Earth observation study in the station’s Russian segment. The duo filmed their activities for educational purposes as they photographed landmark’s on the ground using powerful cameras and ultrasonic techniques. Artemyev had earlier checked seat components inside the Soyuz MS-21 crew ship while Korsakov trained to operate the European robotic arm. Flight Engineer Denis Matveev spent his day on Russian life support maintenance and payload operations.


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

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Crew Relaxes Day Before Three Tons of Station Cargo Arrives

The ISS Progress 79 resupply ship is pictured after undocking from the Zvezda service module and departing the vicinity the International Space Station.
The ISS Progress 79 resupply ship is pictured after undocking from the Zvezda service module and departing the vicinity the International Space Station.

The Expedition 67 crew is taking a well-deserved day off following a busy few weeks of commercial crew and private astronaut missions. Meanwhile, the next cargo craft to resupply the International Space Station stands ready to launch from Kazakhstan on Friday morning.

The seven orbital residents are relaxing today following an intense period that saw three different SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicles come and go, as well as the arrival and departure of Boeing’s Starliner crew ship. Axiom Mission 1 arrived first at the station on April 9, aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour for a two-week stay. Following that, Crew-4 docked to the station inside the Dragon Freedom on April 27. On May 5, Crew-3 ended its six-month mission after undocking aboard the Dragon Endurance. Finally, the station crew welcomed NASA’s and Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2 for a five-day mission when it docked on May 20.

Three tons of food, fuel, and supplies are packed inside the Progress 81 cargo craft destined to replenish the station residents on Friday. The Progress is counting down to a liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:32 a.m. on Friday. After just two orbits, the space freighter will approach the Zvezda service module’s rear port for an automated docking at 9:03 a.m. The  Progress 79 cargo craft undocked from Zvezda early Wednesday ending its 214-day stay.

Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Denis Matveev will be on duty Friday morning monitoring the space freighter’s arrival. The duo from Roscosmos has been reviewing approach and rendezvous procedures as well as practicing manual docking techniques with Zvezda’s tele-robotically operated rendezvous unit, or TORU. NASA TV begins its live Progress 81 launch coverage at 5:15 a.m. on NASA’s app and website.


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

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Station Crew Gets Back to Work After Crew-3 Mission Ends

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts (from left) Matthias Maurer, Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron, are pictured inside the Dragon Endurance vehicle after returning to Earth. Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani
SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts (from left) Matthias Maurer, Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron, are pictured inside the Dragon Endurance vehicle after returning to Earth. Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

The Expedition 67 crew was back to normal on Friday following the departure of four commercial crew astronauts early Thursday morning. The seven International Space Station astronauts and cosmonauts will live and work in space together until late summer.

The SpaceX Crew-3 mission ended at 12:43 a.m. EDT on Friday when the Dragon Endurance crew ship splashed down off the coast of Tampa, Florida. Nearly 24 hours earlier, Crew-3 Commander Raja Chari with Pilot Tom Marshburn and Mission Specialists Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer undocked from the Harmony module’s forward port inside Dragon.

After saying farewell to the Crew-3 astronauts early Thursday, the orbiting lab’s four newest astronauts, who arrived the week before aboard the Dragon Freedom spaceship, closed the station’s hatches, went to bed about two hours later, and took the rest of the day off.

On Friday, NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren, who is one week into his second spaceflight, stowed emergency gear and checked out hydroponic hardware for the XROOTS space botany study. ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti, who is also on her second mission, spent her day maintaining orbital plumbing systems.

First time space-flyers Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins partnered once again in the Columbus laboratory module studying how the central nervous system adapts to weightlessness. Hines and Watkins were both selected as members of the 2017 class of astronaut candidates in August of the same year.

The station’s new commander, Oleg Artemyev, started his day installing video gear before continuing his weeklong research on ways to maximize the effectiveness of a space workout. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov also participated on the space exercise study before working on networking equipment. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Denis Matveev checked out systems inside the Rassvet and Zarya modules before performing Russian orbital maintenance tasks.


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

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Crew-3 Astronauts Splashdown Ending Six-Month Mission

The SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship lands in the Gulf of Mexico for a nighttime splashdown with four commercial crew astronauts inside.
The SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship returns to Earth in the Gulf of Mexico for a nighttime splashdown with four commercial crew astronauts inside.

NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Tom Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer splashed down safely in the SpaceX Dragon Endurance in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa, Florida, at 12:43 a.m. EDT after 177 days in space.

Teams on the Shannon recovery ship, including two fast boats, now are in the process of securing Dragon and ensuring the spacecraft is safe for the recovery effort. As the fast boat teams complete their work, the recovery ship will move into position to hoist Dragon onto the main deck of Shannon with the astronauts inside. Once on the main deck, the crew will be taken out of the spacecraft and receive medical checks before a helicopter ride to board a plane for Houston.


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

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NASA TV is Live as Crew-3 Gets Ready for Earth Return

The four commercial crew astronauts representing the SpaceX Crew-3 mission are pictured in their Dragon spacesuits for a fit check on April 21, 2022.
The four commercial crew astronauts representing the SpaceX Crew-3 mission are pictured in their Dragon spacesuits for a fit check on April 21, 2022.

Watch the agency’s live coverage as NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Tom Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer inside the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft are nearing the final stages of return before splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico at 12:43 a.m. EDT. Weather conditions remain within the splashdown weather criteria and are “Go” at the primary targeted site off the coast of Tampa, Florida.

Here are the upcoming approximate milestones (all times Eastern):

Thursday, May 5

11:47 p.m. – Dragon performs claw separation. The claw is located on Dragon’s trunk, connecting thermal control, power, and avionics system components located on the trunk to the capsule.
11:48 p.m. – Trunk jettison
11:53 p.m. – Deorbit burn

FRIDAY, MAY 6

12:01 a.m. – Deorbit burn complete
12:04 a.m. – Nosecone closed
12:27 a.m. – Dragon maneuvers to attitude for re-entry
12:39 a.m. – Drogue parachutes deploy at about 18,000 feet in altitude while Dragon is moving approximately 350 miles per hour.
12:40 a.m. – Main parachutes deploy at about 6,000 feet in altitude while Dragon is moving approximately 119 miles per hour.
12:43 a.m. – Dragon splashdown


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

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Crew-3: Dragon Undocks from the International Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft is seen just after undocking from the forward port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 1:20 a.m.
The SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft is seen just after undocking from the forward port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 1:20 a.m. Credit: NASA TV.

The SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft with NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Tom Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer inside undocked from the forward port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 1:20 a.m. EDT to complete a nearly six-month science mission.

The return timeline with approximate times (all times Eastern):

Thursday, May 5

11:48 p.m.    Trunk jettison

11:53 p.m.    Deorbit burn

FRIDAY, MAY 6

12:04 a.m.    Nosecone closed

12:43 a.m.    Dragon splashdown

NASA will continue to provide live coverage until Endurance splashes down off the coast of Florida and the Crew-3 astronauts are recovered off the coast of Florida.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission launched Nov. 10 on a Falcon 9 rocket from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and docked to the space station Nov. 11.


More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

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

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Crew-3: Dragon Hatch Closed, Undocking Coverage Resumes at 12:45 a.m.

 The Dragon Endurance spacecraft is shown after the hatch closed between it and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking and return to Earth of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission.
The Dragon Endurance spacecraft is shown after the hatch closed between it and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking and return to Earth of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission.

At 11:20 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 4, the hatch closed between the Dragon Endurance spacecraft and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking and return to Earth of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission with NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Tom Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer.

NASA Television will air live coverage beginning at 12:45 a.m. Thursday, May 5, for undocking scheduled at 1:05 a.m. and continue coverage through their splashdown off the coast of Florida at about 12:43 a.m. EDT on Friday, May 6.


More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

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

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NASA TV Coverage is Live for Dragon Hatch Closure

The four commercial crew astronauts representing the SpaceX Crew-3 mission are pictured in their Dragon spacesuits for a fit check aboard the International Space Station's Harmony module on April 21, 2022.
The four commercial crew astronauts representing the SpaceX Crew-3 mission are pictured in their Dragon spacesuits for a fit check aboard the International Space Station’s Harmony module on April 21, 2022.

Watch live coverage now on NASA TV, the NASA app and the agency’s website as hatch closure and undocking preparations are underway for the return of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission.

NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Tom Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer are in the process of boarding the Dragon for departure from the International Space Station.

Crew-3 is targeting a return to Earth about 12:43 a.m. EDT on Friday, May 6, with a splashdown off the coast of Florida. The Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, is scheduled to undock from the International Space Station at 1:05 a.m. on Thursday, May 5, to begin the journey home.

Dragon will autonomously undock, depart the space station, and splash down at one of seven targeted landing zones in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. Endurance also will return important and time-sensitive research to Earth.


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

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The Station Changes Command as Crew-3 Prepares to Depart

NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn handed over command of the International Space Station to Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev in a traditional Change of Command ceremony today ahead of Crew-3’s departure tonight. Credit: NASA TV.
NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn handed over command of the International Space Station to Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev in a traditional Change of Command ceremony today ahead of Crew-3’s departure tonight. Credit: NASA TV.

NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn handed over command of the International Space Station to Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev in a traditional Change of Command ceremony which began at 2:35 p.m. EDT today. Artemyev, a veteran of three spaceflights to the space station, will lead the Expedition 67 crew until the end of summer.

Marshburn and his Crew-3 crewmates Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer have been living aboard the orbital lab since November 11, 2021, and are set to depart tonight. Hatch closure is set for 11:20 p.m. EDT, with undocking following at 1:05 a.m. EDT. The commercial crew quartet is due to splashdown off the coast of Florida  at 12:43 a.m. EDT on Friday, May 6. Watch live on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the app.

The Crew-3 astronauts worked on final Dragon cargo operations and configuring Dragon for departure, final egress, and hatch closure, as well as transferring emergency hardware from Dragon to the space station prior to departure. The Endurance crew closed out research operations which included transferring and packing frozen samples and ice bricks from the Minus Eighty (Degrees Celsius) Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) into coldbags in preparation for the return to Earth. MELFI provides the space station storage and fast-freezing of life science and biological samples. The Crew-3 astronauts also removed and stowed their Actiwatches, small, lightweight, wrist-worn devices that simultaneously detect body movement and light intensity. They are used to evaluate sleep-wake adaptation and circadian cycle and determine if space travel has an impact on the sleep-wake patterns of crewmembers.

The station’s four newest astronauts, Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins, and Samantha Cristoforetti, had a light duty day performing some life science, lab maintenance, and inventory tasks. The foursome and their three Russian crewmates are due to have an off-duty day following the departure of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission.

In the station’s Russian segment, Artemyev and Flight Engineers Sergey Korsakov and Denis Matveev performed monthly maintenance checks on laptops and video equipment, as well as physical training, and a robotic piloting experiment.


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

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