The Soyuz TMA-16M vehicle docked to the International Space Station at 9:33 p.m. EDT, over the western coast of Colombia.
Aboard the space station, Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) will welcome Soyuz crew members Scott Kelly of NASA, and Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos when the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened.
Aboard their Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft, Scott Kelly, Mikhail Kornienko and Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka are scheduled to dock at 9:36 p.m. EDT to the International Space Station’s Poisk module. NASA Television coverage of the docking will begin at 8:45 p.m. and can also be seen online at: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.
NASA TV will then resume at 10:45 p.m. to cover hatch opening between the two spacecraft as well as the welcome ceremony.
The Soyuz crew will join Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency). Virts, Shkaplerov and Cristoforetti have lived aboard the space station since November.
To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and the one-year mission on Twitter, follow the hashtag #YearinSpace.
The Soyuz TMA-16M launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 3:42 p.m. EDT (1:42 a.m. on March 28 Baikonur time). Scott Kelly of NASA, Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) now are safely in orbit.
Kelly, Kornienko and Padalka will dock with the station’s Poisk module at 9:36 p.m. NASA Television coverage of the docking will begin at 8:45 p.m. Welcoming them aboard will be the current station residents, Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency). NASA TV coverage of the hatch opening and welcome ceremony begins at 10:45 p.m.
Virts, Shkaplerov and Cristoforetti arrived at the space station in November aboard their Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft and will remain aboard until May 14.
Seven categories of human health research will occur with the inception of the One-Year Mission of Kelly and Kornienko. Researchers expect these investigations to yield beneficial knowledge on the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges faced by astronauts during long-duration spaceflight.
Scientists believe fluid shifts into an astronaut’s head during spaceflight lead to increased pressure in the brain. This also may cause pressure to the back of the eye, causing the eye to change shape. The Fluid Shifts Before, During and After Prolonged Space Flight and Their Association with Intracranial Pressure and Visual Impairment (Fluid Shifts) investigation measures how much fluid moves from the lower body to the upper body, in or out of cells and blood vessels, and determines the impact these shifts have on fluid pressure in the head, changes in vision and eye structures. The study results will help improve researchers’ understanding of how blood pressure in the brain affects eye shape and vision. This knowledge may benefit people on Earth with disease states that include swelling and pressure to the brain or who are confined to bed rest. Results also could help scientists develop preventive measures against changes in astronauts’ vision and eye damage.
Another One-Year Mission investigation is the Biochemical Profile (Biochem Profile), which will allow for quicker response to researchers’ requests for spaceflight data about the effects of microgravity on human physiology. Through the collection, processing and storage of crew member blood and urine samples, the Biochem Profile study will establish a database of biomedical data to be shared among multi-disciplinary researchers and medical operations that assess the effects of spaceflight on humans. This data can be used to provide information about medical risks during long-duration space travel and to evaluate potential countermeasures established to protect crew health. With greater understanding of how various physiological systems respond to changing gravity conditions, physicians may be able to design new treatments for people on Earth with limited mobility.
The Russian Soyuz spacecraft that will carry three additional crew members to the International Space Station stands ready for its 3:42 p.m. EDT liftoff. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 2:30 p.m. Watch on NASA TV or at: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.
Scott Kelly of NASA, with Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency, will launch aboard their Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and the one-year mission on Twitter, follow the hashtags #YearinSpace and #ISS.
A variety of science experiments is taking up the Expedition 43 trio’s schedule today. Back on Earth, a new set of International Space Station crew members is a day away from launching to join the orbiting residents.
Commander Terry Virts opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack and replaced components to get ready for upcoming work with the Flame Extinguishment Experiment-2. Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, from the European Space Agency, researched the accelerated aging of skin that occurs in space for the Skin-B experiment. Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov studied crew mobility in space which may help improve and advance training methods for future crews.
Virts and Cristoforetti also worked to install the Robotics Refueling Mission (RRM)-2 payload inside the Japanese Experiment Module airlock. The RRM-2 investigation is exploring how robotics could be used to fix satellites not designed to be serviced in orbit.
Soyuz TMA-16M Commander Gennady Padalka and One-Year Crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are one day away from joining the Expedition 43 crew. They will launch Friday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:42 p.m. EDT and dock less than six hours later to the Poisk module.
The orbiting Expedition 43 trio worked ongoing life science Wednesday to improve life on Earth and in space. On the ground at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft rolled out to its launch pad counting down to a Friday launch to the International Space Station.
In space, Commander Terry Virts scanned his eyes using an Ultrasound as part of the Ocular Health vision checkouts this week. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti continued working with the TripleLux-B cellular mechanisms experiment. Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov wrapped up the Cosmocard investigation that observes the vegetative regulation of cardiac rhythm on long-term spaceflight.
Back on Earth, Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and One Year Crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are getting ready for their mission to join Expedition 43. They will launch Friday at 3:42 p.m. EDT for a six-hour, four orbit flight to the station. Padalka will end his stay in space in September. Kelly and Kornienko will return home March 2016.
SpaceX is targeting April 10 for the launch of its Dragon private space freighter. Virts and Cristoforetti are packing NanoRacks Cubesat deployers, which were used in Japan’s Kibo lab module, for return to Earth on Dragon when it completes its sixth Commercial Resupply Services mission a month later.
The three Expedition 43 crew members were back at work Tuesday on ongoing advanced microgravity science benefiting life on Earth and future crew members on long-term space missions. The International Space Station team is also getting ready to greet a new set of crew members and a private space freighter.
Commander Terry Virts participated in a second day of vision checks for the Ocular Health study. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti continued more runs of the TripleLux-B experiment studying cellular mechanisms that cause impairment of immune functions in microgravity. Finally, veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov worked on a pair of Russian investigations studying the effects of Earth’s magnetism on the space station and radiation exposure on a simulated crew member, or mannequin.
Meanwhile, Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and One-Year Crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are in the final stages of their preparations before launching Friday afternoon to join Expedition 43. Kelly and Kornienko will return home March 2016. Padalka will end his stay in space in September.
The orbiting Expedition 43 trio focused on science work Monday as another crew counts down to its launch Friday afternoon to the International Space Station.
Commander Terry Virts and Flight Engineers Samantha Cristoforetti and Anton Shkaplerov have been in space for 120 days. Virts and Cristoforetti participated in their 120 day medical tests. The commander conducted a vision test and measurements for the Ocular Health experiment. Cristoforetti collected blood and urine samples for her Biochemical Profile and Bone and Muscle Check. Shkaplerov worked on his set of Russian science experiments.
Back on Earth, One-Year Crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are in Kazakhstan getting ready to join Expedition 43. The duo will launch Friday at 3:42 p.m. EDT with Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka. Kelly and Kornienko will return home March 2016. Padalka will end his stay in space in September.
Commander Terry Virts was the maintenance man Friday as he inspected windows and checked for dust buildup in vents inside the Destiny lab module. Virts also conducted more plumbing work, replacing a recycle tank in the Water Recovery System.
Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti was in Europe’s Columbus lab module continuing her week-long science activities in the BioLab. She ran the TripleLux-B experiment using the BioLab’s glovebox for the second time this week to study cellular mechanisms that cause impairment of immune functions in microgravity.
Back on Earth, three new crew members are at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, waiting to join Expedition 43. Soyuz TMA-16M Commander Gennady Padalka and One-Year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are preparing for launch on March 27. Kelly and Kornienko will stay in space until March 2016. Padalka will return to Earth on Sept. 11.
The International Space Station raised its orbit on Wednesday evening, placing it in the correct orientation for the docking of a new Soyuz spacecraft and crew next week. Inside the station the multinational Expedition 43 crew stayed focused on long-term microgravity studies and the upkeep of their orbital laboratory.
The ISS Progress 58 spacecraft, docked at the aft end of the Zvezda service module, fired its engines Wednesday afternoon for four minutes, 18 seconds. The orbital boost readies the station for the arrival next Friday of the Soyuz TMA-16M, which will carry to the station Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and One-Year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko.
Meanwhile, Commander Terry Virts put on his high-flying plumber’s cap and replaced hardware on the Waste and Hygiene Compartment. He also participated in the Astro Palate study investigating how food affects the mood of crew members during a spaceflight.
After troubleshooting the BioLab earlier in week, Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti began the first of two runs of the TripleLux-B experiment inside the BioLab glovebox. TripleLux-B studies cellular mechanisms that cause impairment of immune functions in microgravity.