ESA Astronaut Takes Command Day Before Soyuz Crew Departure

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti assumed command of the space station on Wednesday from Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev.
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti assumed command of the space station on Wednesday from Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev.

The International Space Station has a new commander as three Expedition 67 crewmates are less than a day away from returning to Earth. Most of the crew is sleep-shifting today to prepare for Thursday morning’s crew departure as the rest of the station’s astronauts focused on lab maintenance during Wednesday.

Three cosmonauts are set to board their Soyuz MS-21 crew ship and undock from the Prichal module at 3:34 a.m. EDT Thursday. Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev, flanked by Flight Engineers Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov, will then soar through Earth’s atmosphere and parachute inside the Soyuz vehicle to a landing in Kazakhstan at 6:57 a.m. (4:57 p.m. Kazakh time) ending a six-month mission that began on March 18. Live undocking coverage begins at 3:15 a.m. on NASA TV, the agency’s app and its website.

The homebound trio will be assisted overnight by the station’s newest cosmonauts, Flight Engineers Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, during the crew farewell and hatch closing activities. ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will also be on hand monitoring station systems as the Soyuz crew ship departs for Earth.

Cristoforetti, earlier Wednesday, accepted station command responsibilities from Artemyev as the rest of the station crew gathered for the traditional Change of Command ceremony. She will lead the station crew until her departure, planned for October, with fellow SpaceX Dragon Freedom crewmates Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, and Jessica Watkins. The Commercial Crew quartet docked the Freedom spacecraft to the space-facing port on the station’s Harmony module on April 27.

Meanwhile, as the cosmonauts turned their attention to Thursday’s Soyuz undocking, the four NASA astronauts aboard the station maintained their normal work schedules. Flight Engineers Frank Rubio and Kjell Lindgren partnered together on Wednesday for orbital plumbing duties. Flight Engineer Bob Hines rerouted cables inside the Tranquility module as Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins cleaned fans and sensors inside the Harmony module’s crew quarters. The four crewmates later prepared for October’s launch of the SpaceX Crew-5 mission and the return to Earth of Lindgren and his crewmates.


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

SpaceX, Soyuz Crew Swaps Ramping Up as Life Science Continues

The SpaceX Crew-5 crewmates pose for a portrait. From left are, Anna Kikina of Roscosmos; Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann, both from NASA; and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Credit: SpaceX
The SpaceX Crew-5 crewmates pose for a portrait. From left are, Anna Kikina of Roscosmos; Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann, both from NASA; and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Credit: SpaceX

NASA and SpaceX have announced the date for the upcoming Crew-5 launch to the International Space Station. The space station is also orbiting higher today to prepare for next month’s Soyuz crew vehicle swap.

The fifth crewed operational mission aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft has been given a launch date of Oct. 3 from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. The four SpaceX Crew-5 crewmates, Commander Nicole Mann, Pilot Josh Cassada, and Mission Specialists Koichi Wakata and Anna Kikina will dock Dragon Endurance to the forward port on the station’s Harmony module about 24 hours later.

Several days after that, the four SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts will enter the Dragon Freedom crew ship and undock from Harmony’s space-facing port for a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida. Freedom Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Bob Hines, with Mission Specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti, have been living and working on the orbital lab as Expedition 67 Flight Engineers since April 27.

The space station received an orbital boost on Wednesday night when Russia’s ISS Progress 81 cargo craft, docked to the Zvezda service module’s aft port, fired its engines for just over six minutes in preparation for a pair of Soyuz crew ships coming and going in late September. NASA astronaut Frank Rubio will take a ride to the station with cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin aboard the Soyuz MS-22 crew ship when they launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Sept. 21.

Later in September, Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev with Expedition 67 Flight Engineers Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov will return back to Earth inside the Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft. The trio joined the Expedition 67 crew on March 18 following a short trip to the station’s Prichal docking module that began with a launch from Baikonur.

Meanwhile, space research benefitting humans living on and off the Earth is still ongoing aboard the orbital lab. Lindgren, Hines, Watkins, and Cristoforetti were back inside the Kibo laboratory module today exploring how skin heals in microgravity. The quartet, using the Life Science Glovebox, is observing space-caused molecular processes that may inform advanced wound treatments and therapies for astronauts and Earthlings.

Artemyev and Matveev continued researching on Thursday how weightlessness affects the human digestive system. Once again, the duo performed ultrasound scans following their breakfast period to learn more about the digestion process to improve crew health and treat Earth-bound conditions. Korsakov participated in an ear, nose, and throat study in the morning, then moved on to learn how international crews and mission controllers can communicate more effectively.


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Biomedical Research in Space Today Benefits Astronauts and Earthlings

The seven-member Expedition 67 crew poses for a portrait inside the International Space Station's Harmony module.
The seven-member Expedition 67 crew poses for a portrait inside the International Space Station’s Harmony module.

International Space Station studies about wound healing and cardiology kicked off the week for the Expedition 67 crew following last week’s departure of a U.S. resupply ship. A variety of other space research, spacesuit cleaning, and maintenance rounded out the day for the seven orbital residents.

Four astronauts spent the majority of the day on Monday exploring surgical techniques to heal wounds in microgravity. The quartet, including Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, and Jessica Watkins, all from NASA, with Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency), worked throughout the day inside the Kibo laboratory module conducting research operations in the Life Science Glovebox. The medical study may provide advanced skin healing therapies both in space and on Earth.

Lindgren then installed an AstroPi science computer in the Harmony module where Cristoforetti would adjust its camera lens allowing European students to take night time photography of the Earth below. Watkins recorded video of the AstroPi activities and downlinked it for viewing by the participating students on Earth. Hines checked fluids and plants growing for the XROOTS botany study that uses hydroponics and aeroponics techniques to promote space agriculture.

The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship completed its cargo mission after 34 days attached to the space station on Friday. It undocked from the Harmony module’s forward port at 11:05 a.m. EDT and parachuted to a splashdown off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday at 2:53 p.m. Shortly afterward, support personnel retrieved the commercial cargo craft, packed with scientific cargo and station gear, floating in the Atlantic.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev continued stowing spacewalking gear today after last week’s spacewalk to outfit the European robotic arm for payload operations on the station’s Russian segment. The duo also researched cardiology onboard the station today exploring how weightlessness affects blood circulation. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov also participated in the heart research before he and Artemyev studied how to pilot spacecraft and maneuver robots on future planetary missions.

Dragon Splashes Down With Scientific Cargo for Analysis

Aug. 19, 2022: International Space Station Configuration. Four spaceships are docked at the space station including the SpaceX Crew Dragon Freedom and Russia's Soyuz MS-21 crew ship and the Progress 80 and 81 resupply ships.
Aug. 19, 2022: International Space Station Configuration. Four spaceships are docked at the space station including the SpaceX Crew Dragon Freedom and Russia’s Soyuz MS-21 crew ship and the Progress 80 and 81 resupply ships.

SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down at 2:53 p.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 20, north of Cape Canaveral off the Florida coast, marking the return of the company’s 25th contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. The spacecraft carried more than 4,000 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo back to Earth.

Some of the scientific investigations returned by Dragon include:

  • Space’s impact on materials: The Materials International Space Station Experiment-15-NASA (MISSE-15-NASA) experiment tests, qualifies, and quantifies the impact of the low-Earth orbit environment on new materials and components, such as spacecraft materials and wearable radiation protection. Successful experiment results could have applications both in the harsh environments of space and on Earth.
  • Spacesuit cooling: Spacesuit Evaporation Rejection Flight Experiment (SERFE) demonstrates a new technology using water evaporation to remove heat from spacesuits and maintain appropriate temperatures for crew members and equipment during spacewalks. The investigation determines whether microgravity affects performance and evaluates the technology’s effect on contamination and corrosion of spacesuit material.
  • Cell signaling in microgravity: The ESA (European Space Agency) sponsored investigation Bioprint FirstAid Handheld Bioprinter (Bioprint FirstAid) enables the rapid use of formerly prepared bio-inks, containing the patient’s own cells, to form a band-aid patch in the case of injury.

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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Dragon Departs Station to Return Scientific Cargo to Earth

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft backs away from the space station moments after undocking from the Harmony module's forward port during an orbital sunrise. Credit: NASA TV
The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft backs away from the space station moments after undocking from the Harmony module’s forward port during an orbital sunrise. Credit: NASA TV

At 11:00 a.m. EDT, flight controllers on the ground sent commands to release the uncrewed SpaceX Dragon spacecraft from the forward port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module. At the time of release at 11:05 a.m., the station was flying about 259 miles over the Pacific Ocean.

The Dragon spacecraft successfully departed the space station one month after arriving at the orbiting laboratory to deliver about 4,000 pounds of scientific investigations and supplies.

Tomorrow, ground controllers at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, will command a deorbit burn. After re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will make a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida. NASA TV will not broadcast the de-orbit burn and splashdown, and updates will be posted on the agency’s space station blog.

Dragon arrived at the space station July 16, following a launch two days prior on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was the company’s 25th commercial resupply services mission to the space station for NASA.


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Dragon Resupply Ship Departing Station Live on NASA TV

The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship (at top) is pictured docked to the Harmony module's forward port on the space station.
The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship (at top) is pictured docked to the Harmony module’s forward port on the space station.

Live coverage of the departure of SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station is underway on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

Ground controllers at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, will send commands at approximately 11:00 a.m. EDT for Dragon to undock from the forward port of the station’s Harmony module and fire its thrusters to move a safe distance away from the station. Tomorrow, controllers will command a deorbit burn.

After re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will make a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida. NASA TV will not broadcast the de-orbit burn and splashdown. Updates will be posted on the agency’s space station blog.


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Dragon Departing Friday; Cosmonauts Clean Up After Spacewalk

The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship approaches the space station during an orbital sunrise above the Pacific Ocean. Credit: NASA TV
The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship approaches the space station on July 16, 2022, during an orbital sunrise above the Pacific Ocean. Credit: NASA TV

The Expedition 67 crew will wait an extra day before seeing a U.S. space freighter depart the International Space Station. In the meantime, the cosmonauts are cleaning up following a shorter-than-planned spacewalk after a power issue on a Russian Orlan spacesuit.

Mission managers representing NASA and SpaceX waved off Thursday’s undocking of the Dragon cargo craft due to adverse weather conditions at the splashdown site off the coast of Florida. Dragon is now due to leave the Harmony module’s forward port at 11:05 a.m. EDT on Friday.

Four of the station’s astronauts including Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, and Jessica Watkins, all from NASA, with Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency), will finish packing Dragon with critical research samples early Friday morning before closing the commercial resupply ship’s hatch. Dragon is scheduled to parachute back to Earth on Saturday loaded with over 4,000 pounds of cargo including completed scientific experiments for analysis. NASA TV, on the agency’s app and website, begins its live undocking coverage at 10:45 a.m. on Friday.

During a four-hour and one-minute spacewalk on Wednesday, Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Denis Matveev installed a pair of cameras on the European robotic arm (ERA) and removed parts attached to the arm’s end effector. Today, the cosmonauts powered down their Orlan spacesuits and removed suit components. Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov reconfigured the Poisk module back to normal operations.

Just over two hours after Thursday’s spacewalk began, Artemyev informed Russian mission controllers his spacesuit was experiencing abnormal battery readings. Mission controllers directed Artemyev to return to the Poisk’s airlock and connect his spacesuit to the station’s power supply. Matveev continued his tasks before cleaning up and heading back to Poisk after managers called off the robotic maintenance excursion. Korsakov maneuvered the ERA to a safe post-spacewalk configuration while the cosmonaut spacewalkers were never in any danger.

Dragon Cargo Craft Undocking Postponed to Friday

The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship carrying over 5,800 pounds of cargo approaches the space station above the south Atlantic Ocean on July 16, 2022.
The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship carrying over 5,800 pounds of cargo approaches the space station above the south Atlantic Ocean on July 16, 2022.

At the conclusion of an early morning weather briefing, NASA and SpaceX are postponing the Thursday, Aug. 18 undocking of a SpaceX Dragon cargo resupply spacecraft from the International Space Station due to unfavorable weather conditions, including an elevated chance of precipitation at the splashdown sites. Mission teams now are targeting to undock the uncrewed Dragon spacecraft from the space station at 11:05 a.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 19.

NASA will provide coverage of Dragon’s undocking and departure on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website beginning at 10:45 a.m. EDT. Watch online at:

https://www.nasa.gov/live

After re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will make a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida on Saturday, Aug. 20. NASA TV will not broadcast the splashdown, and updates will be posted on the agency’s space station blog.v


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Astronauts Study Skin Healing; Cosmonauts Ready for Robotic Arm Spacewalk

The European robotic arm extends out from the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module during a mobility test.
The European robotic arm extends out from the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module during a mobility test.

The Expedition 67 crew split up today with the astronauts studying wound healing techniques and the cosmonauts preparing for a spacewalk to prepare a new robotic arm for operations. A U.S. space freighter has also been given the “go” to return to Earth at the end of the week.

Researchers are exploring tissue regeneration in the International Space Station’s microgravity environment to develop new ways to heal wounds benefitting humans living in space and on Earth. The astronauts took turns throughout Tuesday investigating how spaceflight conditions, such as weightlessness and radiation, affect genetic expressions that occur during the healing process.

NASA Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Jessica Watkins began the day’s first set of experiment operations taking place in the Kibo laboratory module’s Life Science Glovebox. Astronauts Bob Hines of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) took over in the afternoon continuing the biology study that utilizes basic surgical techniques.

The skin healing experiment will wrap up on Wednesday when the astronauts load the research samples and other cargo inside the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship for analysis by scientists and engineers on Earth. Mission managers have approved Dragon’s departure for 11:05 a.m. EDT on Thursday when it will undock from the Harmony module’s forward port. The commercial cargo craft will parachute to a splashdown off the coast of Florida on Friday with over 4,000 pounds of cargo and research for retrieval.

Meanwhile, two cosmonauts are ready for their spacewalk to continue outfitting the European robotic arm (ERA) for payload operations on the orbiting lab’s Russian segment. Roscosmos spacewalkers Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev are finalizing their task list reviews and Orlan spacesuit checks today with assistance from Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov.

Artemyev and Matveev are scheduled to exit the Poisk module’s airlock at 9:20 a.m. on Wednesday and spend about six-and-a-half hours servicing the ERA. The duo will install cameras on the ERA, move its external control panel, remove the robotic arm’s launch restraints, and test the arm’s grasping mechanism. Korsakov will monitor his cosmonaut crewmates during their excursion and help them in and out of their spacesuits. NASA TV, on the agency’s app and website, will begin its live spacewalk coverage at 9 a.m.


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.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe