Crews Study Eyes, Physics and Prep for Cygnus Cargo Mission

Astronauts (from left) Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O'Hara are pictured inside the International Space Station's cupola holding NASA's first graphc novel, "The First Woman."
Astronauts (from left) Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara are pictured inside the International Space Station’s cupola holding NASA’s first graphic novel, “First Woman.”

Human research and space physics were the dominant science topics aboard the International Space Station on Thursday. The Expedition 70 crew is also preparing for a U.S. cargo mission targeted to launch next week.

NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov took turns as crew medical officer on Thursday and performed eye scans of their crewmates using the Ultrasound 2 device. Moghbeli operated the device imaging the eyes of Commander Andreas Mogensen and Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa. Borisov also scanned Roscosmos Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub’s eyes. Doctors on the ground monitored and assisted the diagnostic exam in real-time. The ultrasound scanning procedure uses high-frequency soundwaves to observe how microgravity affects a crew member’s eye structure.

Afterward, Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) and Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) reviewed procedures planned for the Wednesday, Jan. 31, arrival and capture of the Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo craft. Moghbeli joined NASA Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara and practiced on a computer capturing Cygnus with the Canadarm2 robotic arm. The duo will be on duty Wednesday with Moghbeli at the controls of the Canadarm2 while O’Hara monitors the vehicle’s approach and rendezvous. Cygnus is counting down to a launch at 12:29 p.m. EST on Monday aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center.

The astronaut quartet still had time for other activities including more research, Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3) crew assistance, and lab maintenance. Mogensen explored virtual reality movies as a method to maintain crew mental health while Furukawa swapped samples inside a specialized microgravity furnace. O’Hara set up the Life Science Glovebox (LSG) for an Ax-3 physics study as Moghbeli serviced life support components.

Ax-3 Commander Michael López-Alegría and Mission Specialist Alper Gezeravcı used the glovebox and explored particle dynamics, or how solid particles and gases mix in weightlessness. Results may lead to advanced space propulsion and zero carbon emission solutions. Pilot Walter Villadei tested a new spacesuit, documented his meals, and photographed Earth’s thunderstorms. Finally, Mission Specialist Marcus Wandt tested an artificial intelligence mobile device then supplied gas for a plasma physics study.

At the beginning of the day, Chub and Borisov had another ultrasound test as they scanned their stomachs after breakfast for a space digestion study. Chub then moved on to a fluid physics study while Borisov worked on photographic duties. Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko photographed Roscosmos biology research hardware and continued ongoing Zvezda service module inspections.


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Two Spaceships Depart, Crew Will Spend Holidays in Space

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.

Two spaceships in two days have departed the International Space Station and the Expedition 70 crew will spend Christmas and New Year’s Day orbiting Earth.

NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara monitored the Canadarm2 robotic arm release of the Cygnus space freighter on Friday, Dec. 22. Earlier, ground engineers remotely maneuvered the Canadarm2 and detached Cygnus from the Unity module where it had been installed since Aug. 4.

Packed inside Cygnus, along with disposable cargo, is the SAFFIRE-VI experiment that will be remotely activated aboard the spacecraft to explore fire safety. The space freighter from Northrop Grumman will orbit Earth on its own until early January for a safe, but fiery demise above the south Pacific Ocean.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft completed its cargo mission at 5:05 p.m. on Thursday when it automatically undocked from the Harmony module’s forward port. Dragon parachuted to splashdown off the coast of Florida on Dec. 22 returning station science and hardware for retrieval and analysis in laboratories on Earth.

Following Cygnus’ departure, O’Hara turned her attention to combustion research and replaced components for an experiment that is observing how fuel temperatures affect material flammability.

Astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Andreas Mogensen spent the first part of Friday on lab maintenance. Moghbeli from NASA serviced a U.S. spacesuit in the Quest airlock then swapped fiber optic samples inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox. Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) spent most of the day setting up ARED, the (Advanced Resistive Exercise device, for the ARED Kinematics study to improve workout programs for Earth and space. The duo met at the end of the day for eye exams using standard medical imaging gear found in an optometrist’s office on Earth.

Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) set up interactive studio gear inside the Kibo laboratory module in preparation for an event with Japanese audiences on Earth. In the afternoon, the two-time station resident inspected and photographed windows in the Kibo and Destiny lab modules for any contamination or damage.

Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko began his day with cardiac research attaching sensors to himself measuring his heart activity in weightlessness. Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov assisted Kononenko with the cardiac study then joined him in the afternoon for checkouts of audio and antenna gear in the Zvezda service module. Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub replaced smoke detectors in the Poisk module then activated a 3D printing experiment.

The seven astronauts and cosmonauts representing Expedition 70 will spend the final week of 2023 continuing ongoing research and lab upkeep. The orbital septet will also relax, open gifts, share a meal, and call down to their families on Christmas and New Year’s Day. The astronauts sent their thoughts and well wishes while in orbit this holiday season. The next space station blog post is planned to publish on Jan. 2, 2024.


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Robotic Arm Releases Cygnus from Station

The Cygnus space freighter is poised for release from the grip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm ending a four-and-a-half month space station cargo mission. Credit: NASA TV
The Cygnus space freighter is poised for release from the grip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm ending a four-and-a-half month space station cargo mission. Credit: NASA TV

At 8:06 a.m. EST, Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft was released from the Canadarm2 robotic arm which earlier detached Cygnus from the Earth-facing port of the International Space Station’s Unity module. At the time of release, the station was flying about 260 miles over the Atlantic Ocean.

The Cygnus spacecraft successfully departed the space station more than four months after arriving at the microgravity laboratory to deliver about 8,200 pounds of supplies, scientific investigations, commercial products, hardware, and other cargo for NASA and its international partners.

Following a deorbit engine firing in early January, Cygnus will begin a planned destructive re-entry, in which the spacecraft – filled with trash packed by the station crew – will safely burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Cygnus arrived at the space station Aug. 4, following a launch on Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. It was the company’s 19th commercial resupply services mission to the space station for NASA. Northrop Grumman named the spacecraft after the late NASA astronaut Laurel Clark.


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Cygnus Ready to Depart Station Live on NASA TV

The Cygnus space freighter and the Soyuz MS-24 crew ship (at right) are pictured attached to the station. At lower left, the Canadarm2 robotic arm prepares to grapple Cygnus.
The Cygnus space freighter and the Soyuz MS-24 crew ship (at right) are pictured attached to the station. At lower left, the Canadarm2 robotic arm prepares to grapple Cygnus.

Live coverage of the departure of Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station is underway on NASA+ streaming, NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app, with its release from the robotic arm scheduled for 8:05 a.m. EST.

Flight controllers on the ground sent commands earlier Friday morning for the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to detach Cygnus from the Unity module’s Earth-facing port, and then maneuver the spacecraft into position for its release. NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara will monitor Cygnus’ systems upon its departure from the space station.

Following a deorbit engine firing in early January, Cygnus will begin a planned destructive re-entry, in which the spacecraft – filled with trash packed by the station crew – will safely burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Cygnus arrived at the space station Aug. 4, following a launch on Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. It was the company’s 19th commercial resupply services mission to the space station for NASA. Northrop Grumman named the spacecraft after the late NASA astronaut Laurel Clark.


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Dragon, Cygnus Cargo Missions Nearing End This Week

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft (left) approaches the station on Nov. 11. The Cygnus resupply ship (right) awaits a robotic capture on Aug. 4.
A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft (left) approaches the station on Nov. 11. The Cygnus resupply ship (right) awaits a robotic capture on Aug. 4.

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is targeting its undocking from the International Space Station for 5:05 p.m. EST today. The Expedition 70 crew finished packing Dragon on Wednesday with a variety of research samples and lab hardware for retrieval and analysis on Earth.

The orbital residents now turn their attention to the departure of a second U.S. resupply ship set for 8:05 a.m. on Friday. Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter was grappled with the Canadarm2 robotic arm and will soon be detached from the Unity module’s Earth-facing port before being released into Earth orbit completing a four-and-a-half month stay at the orbiting lab. Cygnus will stay in space until early January when it will enter the atmosphere above the Pacific Ocean for a fiery, but safe demise.

NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX teams now are targeting no earlier than Wednesday, Jan. 17, to launch Axiom Mission-3 to the space station from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A due to recent unfavorable weather conditions and changes in SpaceX’s launch manifest.

Astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Satoshi Furukawa completed preparations for Cygnus’ departure today closing the hatch and configuring the vehicle to end its mission. NASA’s Moghbeli earlier installed the SAFFIRE-VI experiment inside Cygnus that will be remotely activated to explore spacecraft fire safety. Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) ensured the disposable cargo was securely strapped inside the departing spacecraft.

Science and maintenance activities were still ongoing throughout Thursday advancing knowledge and keeping the orbital outpost in tip-top shape. Scientists use the microgravity environment to discover new phenomena impossible to observe in Earth’s gravity.

NASA Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack and configured research components supporting an experiment that is observing how fuel temperatures affect material flammability. Results from the study may improve fire safety techniques on Earth and in space. Commander Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) activated a series of coding studies to interest students in science, swapped out optical fiber samples for a manufacturing experiment, then replaced filters in the Advanced Plant Habitat for a new space botany investigation.

Working in the orbital lab’s Roscosmos segment, veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko once again tested the 3D printing of tools and supplies in weightlessness then set up an Earth atmosphere monitoring experiment. Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov installed a secondary atmospheric study that is observing Earth’s nighttime environment in near-ultraviolet wavelengths. Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub attached sensors to his chest monitoring how his heart is adapting to the lack of gravity.


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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Crew Packs Dragon for Departure, Keeps Up Advanced Research, and a Cygnus Unberthing is Adjusted

Thrusters on the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft fire adjusting the vehicle's approach toward the station for a docking to the Harmony module's forward port on Nov. 11, 2023.
Thrusters on the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft fire adjusting the vehicle’s approach toward the station for a docking to the Harmony module’s forward port on Nov. 11, 2023.

The Expedition 70 crew is packing a U.S. cargo craft ahead of its planned Wednesday departure. The seven residents aboard the International Space Station are also keeping up their regularly scheduled research and maintenance activities.

NASA astronauts Loral O’Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli worked together Tuesday morning removing biological specimens from the Destiny laboratory module, stowing them in transporters, then installing the science cargo inside the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft. Afterward, O’Hara wrapped up her day with a vision test reading characters off a standard eye chart found in a doctor’s office on Earth. Moghbeli treated brain cell-like samples to understand neurodegenerative processes at a molecular and cellular level.

Astronauts Andreas Mogensen and Satoshi Furukawa continued the cargo transfers during the afternoon packing and securing a variety of hardware inside Dragon for analysis and retrieval on Earth. Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) earlier serviced numerous science components including charging virtual reality hardware, loading software on a fluorescence microscope, and setting up the Life Science Glovebox for Moghbeli’s sampling work. Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) installed new gas bottles on combustion research gear located inside the Kibo laboratory module.

Working in the Roscosmos segment of the orbital outpost, cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko activated a 3D printer to explore printing tools and supplies in microgravity. Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub tested a radio communications antenna then studied ways space crews and ground controllers from around the world can communicate more effectively. Flight Engineer Konstantin spent his morning on orbital plumbing tasks then worked during the afternoon inspecting windows in the Zvezda service module and disinfecting surfaces inside the Nauka science module.

Following a weather review about 24 hours prior to undocking, NASA and SpaceX now are targeting no earlier than 9:05 p.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 20, for the undocking of the company’s 29th Dragon commercial resupply services mission from the International Space Station.

Coverage of Dragon’s departure Wednesday will begin at 8:45 p.m. on the NASA+ streaming service via the web or the NASA app. Coverage also will air live on NASA Television, YouTube, and on the agency’s website. Learn how to stream NASA TV through a variety of platforms including social media.

Additional undock and return opportunities are continuing to be considered as joint teams work to identify the best autonomous undocking and return weather conditions as a cold front passes through the splashdown zones off the coast of Florida. More updates will be made following the next weather review about 12 hours prior to Dragon undocking from the space station.

After re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will splash down off the coast of Florida, which will not be broadcast on NASA TV. Follow updates on return plans on the agency’s space station blog.

With the changes to Dragon’s space station operations, NASA and Northrop Grumman now are targeting a Friday, Dec. 22, for the departure of the Cygnus spacecraft from the orbital complex.

Coverage of Cygnus departure Friday will begin at 7:45 a.m. ahead of the robotic release of the spacecraft at 8:05 a.m. on the NASA+ streaming service via the web or the NASA app. Coverage also will air live on NASA Television, YouTube, and on the agency’s website.

Cygnus will conduct secondary payload operations following unberthing and complete a safe and harmless re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere where it will harmlessly burn up over the Pacific Ocean.


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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Dragon Waits for Departure as Crew Studies Space Health

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft approaches the space station 261 miles above Indonesia's Savu Sea.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft approaches the space station 261 miles above Indonesia’s Savu Sea.

A U.S. cargo spacecraft is poised to undock from the International Space Station and return to Earth as mission managers monitor weather conditions at the return splashdown zones. Meanwhile, the seven Expedition 70 residents turned their attention to a variety of health activities and lab maintenance activities.

NASA and SpaceX are postponing the Saturday, Dec. 16, undocking of a SpaceX Dragon cargo resupply spacecraft from the International Space Station due to unfavorable weather conditions as a cold front passes through the splashdown zones off the coast of Florida.

Joint teams continue to evaluate weather conditions to determine the best opportunity for Dragon to autonomously undock from the space station with the next available opportunity no earlier than 5:05 p.m. EST Sunday, Dec. 17.

Weather permitting for the Sunday undocking, coverage of Dragon’s departure will begin at 4:45 p.m. on the NASA+ streaming service via the web or the NASA app. Coverage also will air live on NASA Television, YouTube, and on the agency’s website. Learn how to stream NASA TV through a variety of platforms including social media.

After re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will splash down off the coast of Florida, which will not be broadcast on NASA TV. Follow updates on return plans on the agency’s space station blog.

Back on the space station, astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli from NASA and Andreas Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) were back on cargo duty Thursday as they transferred frozen research samples from station science freezers into science cargo freezers. Following its undocking, Dragon will return the biological specimens back to Earth for retrieval and analysis to understand the effects of microgravity on a variety of cells and organisms. The duo also partnered together loading trash and discarded items inside Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter. Cygnus is due to complete its mission later this month when the Canadarm2 robotic arm detaches it from the Unity module and releases it into Earth orbit for descent.

NASA Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara also assisted with the Cygnus cargo transfers while getting a health check and working on lab upkeep tasks through Thursday. Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) took on the role of Crew Medical Officer checking O’Hara’s temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and respiratory rate during the morning. O’Hara then cleaned a hatch seal in Unity before replacing ventilation screens in the Tranquility module.

Furukawa took turns with Moghbeli during their shift conducting a hearing test then participating in Canadarm2 robotics training. The JAXA flight engineer wrapped up his day servicing and inspecting a diverse range of science, computer, and mission hardware.

Cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub joined each other after breakfast scanning their stomachs with an ultrasound device for a Roscosmos study investigating microgravity’s effect on digestion. Kononenko moved on for afternoon inspections in the Zvezda service module while Chub replaced smoke detectors inside the Poisk module. Flight Engineer replaced life support and electronics gear in the Nauka science module then cleaned Roscosmos fan screens


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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Cargo Mission Launches Tonight, SpaceX Crew-7 Lifts Off Friday

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket engines fired for 6 seconds as part of the pre-launch static fire test on Tuesday prior to the launch of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission scheduled for 3:49 a.m. on Friday. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket engines fired for 6 seconds as part of the pre-launch static fire test on Tuesday prior to the launch of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission scheduled for 3:49 a.m. on Friday. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Two rockets on opposite sides of the world will launch to the International Space Station delivering cargo and a new crew this week. The first spaceship will launch from Kazakhstan Tuesday night hauling supplies to replenish the Expedition 69 crew. The second will launch from Florida sending four new crew members to the orbital lab.

The Roscosmos Progress 85 cargo craft is counting down to a launch at 9:08 p.m. EDT tonight from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It will orbit Earth for two days before docking to the aft port of the Zvezda service module at 11:50 p.m. on Thursday. A few hours later on Friday, cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin will open Progress 85’s hatches and begin unpacking about three tons of food, fuel, and supplies.

Four Commercial Crew astronauts were suited up inside the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida overnight for their dry dress launch countdown. A few hours later, the Falcon 9 engines fired for 6 seconds as part of the pre-launch static fire test. SpaceX Crew-7 is slated to launch at 3:49 a.m. on Friday.

Crew-7 Commander Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA will lead Pilot Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency), and Mission Specialists Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos during their ride to the orbital lab. The quartet, inside the Endurance, will dock to the Harmony module’s space-facing port at 2:02 a.m. on Saturday beginning a six-month space research mission.

Back aboard the orbital outpost on Tuesday, the seven crewmates from the U.S., UAE (United Arab Emirates), and Russia stayed focused on microgravity research and lab maintenance.

NASA Flight Engineers Frank Rubio and Stephen Bowen swapped out hardware inside the Fluids Integrated Rack for a boiling and condensation study that may improve thermal systems on Earth and in space. Rubio earlier joined UAE astronaut Sultan Alneyadi organizing cargo inside the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter. Bowen began his day cleaning crew quarters ventilation systems and checking airflow sensors. Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg of NASA also assisted with the Cygnus work before configuring the Tranquility module’s Bishop airlock ahead of its depressurization.

Prokopyev attached sensors to himself for a long-running Roscosmos heart study during the morning. He later joined Petelin for ultrasound scans to observe how the digestive system adapts to weightlessness. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev worked on orbital plumbing tasks inside the Nauka science module.

At the end of the day, Fedyaev joined Bowen, Hoburg, and Alneyadi to prepare for their upcoming departure on Sept. 1 inside the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft and splashdown off the coast of Florida about 24 hours later. The quartet called down to ground specialists and discussed spacecraft operations during their return to Earth.


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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Crops and Manufacturing Studies as Station Orbits Higher

Astronaut Sultan Alneyadi sets up physics research hardware in the Destiny laboratory module's Microgravity Science Glovebox to create a superior graphene aerogel.
Astronaut Sultan Alneyadi sets up physics research hardware in the Destiny laboratory module’s Microgravity Science Glovebox to create a superior graphene aerogel.

Botany and physics topped the research schedule as spacewalk cleanup duties continued aboard the International Space Station on Friday. The Expedition 69 crew also focused on life support maintenance as a U.S. cargo craft fired it engines to boost the orbital outpost.

Sustaining crews independently of cargo missions and taking advantage of microgravity for better manufacturing techniques are key targets for NASA’s and its international partners’ research programs. Friday’s science specifically looked at growing crops in space and advancing manufacturing techniques.

NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio set up seed bags for the Plant Habitat-03B study to understand how characteristics of plants grown in space change from one generation to the next. Results may inform ways to grow repeated generations of space crops to support future crewed missions. UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi worked in the Microgravity Science Glovebox servicing samples to learn how to manufacture superior graphene aerogel in microgravity. The SUBSA-μgGA physics study seeks to benefit Earth and space industries for better power storage, environmental protection, and chemical sensing.

The duo also assisted NASA Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg who worked throughout Friday swapping life support gear in the Tranquility module. A failed heat exchanger was removed and a new one was installed then connected to new low temperature loop hoses. NASA Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen aided his crewmates on Friday photographing Alneyadi’s research work and helping Hoburg during his life support maintenance. Bowen later removed sensors that measured his blood pressure and downloaded the data to doctors on the ground.

Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin continued cleaning their spacesuits and stowing tools and accessories following Wednesday’s spacewalk to install orbital debris shields and relocate a portable workstation. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev assisted with the spacewalk cleanup work finalizing operations with the European robotic arm and stowing medical kits on Friday.

The Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo spacecraft’s delta velocity thruster fired at 10:35 a.m. EDT Friday for 22 minutes, 48 seconds in a reboost of the International Space Station. The planned maneuver was designed to further refine the phasing for the Roscosmos Progress 85 cargo spacecraft launch on Tuesday, Aug. 22, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and its docking to the station Thursday, Aug. 24. It was one of two scheduled reboosts to target the proper trajectory for the Roscosmos Soyuz MS-24 launch and two-orbit rendezvous to the orbiting complex on Sept. 15, as well as the Soyuz MS-23 undocking and landing on Sept. 27.

The reboost also continued the certification of the use of Cygnus as a second spacecraft currently capable of conducting such a maneuver. The Cygnus reboost increased the station’s altitude by 3/10 of a mile at apogee and 2.8 miles at perigee and put the space station in an orbit of 262.5 x 257.6 statute miles.

Crew members who will soon fly aboard NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission will enter quarantine Friday in one of the major milestones before they head to the launch site in Florida to start their mission to the International Space Station. The company’s Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to launch Crew-7 no earlier than 3:49 a.m. EDT on Friday, Aug. 25 from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy.


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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Following Science, Spacewalk Cleanup a Planned Cygnus Boost Approaches

Astronaut Woody Hoburg poses for a portrait inside the vestibule that separates the Unity module from the Cygnus space freighter's hatch.
Astronaut Woody Hoburg poses for a portrait inside the vestibule that separates the Unity module from the Cygnus space freighter’s hatch.

The Expedition 69 crew is continuing to unpack a U.S. cargo craft before it fires engines to reboost the International Space Station on Friday. The orbital residents are also continuing their science and maintenance activities while cleaning up the day after a spacewalk.

NASA astronauts Frank Rubio and Stephen Bowen continued unpacking some of the several tons of science and supplies still packed inside the Cygnus space freighter on Thursday. Cygnus will also fire it engines on Friday reboosting the orbital outpost. This will raise the station to the correct altitude for the upcoming arrival of a Roscosmos cargo craft in two weeks. The station will also be in the proper phasing for a Soyuz crew swap mission planned in mid- to late September.

Rubio also opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack to troubleshoot the computer electronics inside. Bowen monitored his blood pressure throughout the day and swapped samples in the Microgravity Science Glovebox for a space manufacturing study.

NASA Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg spent his day on inflight maintenance as he replaced charcoal filters in the Harmony module and loaded new software on a tablet computer. UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi organized food bags, helped Rubio unload the Cygnus cargo craft, then finally replaced window scratch panes in the cupola.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin are cleaning their Orlan spacesuits and stowing spacewalking gear following Wednesday’s spacewalk. The duo spent six hours and 35 minutes in the vacuum of space installing orbital debris shields and relocating a portable workstation on the Roscosmos segment of the space station.

Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev is returning the European robotic arm (ERA) to its stowage configuration on the Nauka science module.  Fedyaev commanded the ERA during Wednesday’s spacewalk moving the workstation from the Rassvet module to Nauka and testing its ability to maneuver a spacewalker with Prokopyev attached for the first time.

The Roscosmos trio got a late start on Thursday after sleeping in following a good night’s rest. During their cleanup activities, Prokopyev and Petelin also called down to mission controllers to discuss the previous day’s spacewalk activities.


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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