Aboard their Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft, Terry Virts, Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Samantha Cristoforetti are scheduled to dock at 9:53 p.m. EST to the International Space Station’s Rassvet module. NASA Television coverage of the docking will begin at 9:15 p.m. NASA TV will resume at 11 p.m. to cover hatch opening between the two spacecraft and the welcome ceremony.
The Soyuz crew will join Expedition 42 Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samoukutyaev and Elena Serova of the Russian Federal Space Agency. Wilmore, Samoukutyaev and Serova have lived aboard the space station since September.
Watch live starting at 9:15 p.m. on NASA TV: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.
The Soyuz TMA-15M launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 4:01 p.m. EST (3:01 a.m. on Nov. 24 Baikonur time). Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency now are safely in orbit.
Virts, Shkaplerov and Cristoforetti will dock with the station’s Rassvet module at 9:53 p.m. Welcoming them aboard will be the current station residents, Expedition 42 Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samoukutyaev and Elena Serova of Roscosmos. Wilmore, Samoukutyaev and Serova arrived at the space station in September aboard their Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft and will remain aboard until March 2015.
Some of the cargo flown aboard this Soyuz will be used in research investigations that are either ongoing or planned aboard the International Space Station. Items such as questionnaires will be delivered to obtain in-flight data about crew member characteristics, such as day-to-day changes in health or incidence of pain or pressure in microgravity. One such investigation is Space Headaches which uses questionnaires to collect information about the prevalence and characteristics of crew members’ headaches in microgravity. This information is used to develop future countermeasures for headaches often caused by intracranial pressure change.
Researchers will also use biological sample kits delivered by the Soyuz spacecraft to obtain samples of blood, saliva or urine. The ongoing collection of biological samples from crew members help scientists determine if immune system impairment caused by spaceflight increases the possibility for infection or poses a significant health risk during life aboard the space station.
The Russian Soyuz spacecraft that will carry three additional crew members to the International Space Station stands ready for its 4:01 p.m. EST liftoff. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 3 p.m.
Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency will launch aboard their Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency are preparing for their launch to the International Space Station. Their journey to the station will begin with a 4:01 p.m. EST (3:01 a.m. on Nov. 24 Baikonur time) liftoff. NASA TV will broadcast launch coverage live at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv beginning at 3 p.m.
Below is the crew’s launch timeline, from wakeup to docking.
Sunday, Nov. 23
6:10 a.m. Crew wakeup at Cosmonaut Hotel
9:25 a.m. Crew departs Cosmonaut Hotel
10:10 a.m. Crew arrives at Site 254
10:16 a.m. Batteries installed in booster
10:55 a.m. Crew suit up
11:01 a.m. Tanking begins
11:55 a.m. Crew meets family members on other side of the glass
11:56 a.m. Booster loaded with liquid Oxygen
12:56 p.m. First and second stage Oxygen fueling complete
12:15 p.m. Crew walkout and readiness report to the State Commission
1:20 p.m. Crew departs for launch pad (Site 31)
1:30 p.m. Crew arrives at launch pad (Site 31)
1:35 p.m. Crew boards Soyuz; strapped in to the Descent module
2:26 p.m. Descent module hardware tested
2:41 p.m. Hatch closed; leak checks begin 3:00 p.m. NASA TV: LAUNCH COVERAGE BEGINS
3:01 p.m. Launch vehicle control system prep; gyro activation
3:16 p.m. Pad service structure components lowered
3:17 p.m. Clamshell gantry service towers retracted
3:24 p.m. Suit leak checks begin; descent module testing complete
3:27 p.m. Emergency escape system armed
3:46 p.m. Suit leak checks complete; escape system to auto
3:51 p.m. Gyros in flight readiness and recorders activated
3:54 p.m. Pre-launch operations complete
3:55 p.m. Launch countdown operations to auto; vehicle ready
3:56 p.m. Commander’s controls activated
3:57 p.m. Combustion chamber nitrogen purge
3:58:14 p.m. Propellant drainback
3:58:29 p.m. Booster propellant tank pressurization
3:59:10 p.m. ISS flies directly over Baikonur Cosmodrome
3:59:44 p.m. Ground propellant feed terminated
4:00:14 p.m. Vehicle to internal power
4:00:39 p.m. First umbilical tower separates, Auto sequence start
4:00:44 p.m. Ground umbilical to third stage disconnected
4:00:59 p.m. Second umbilical tower separates
4:01:02 p.m. Launch command issued, Engine Start Sequence Begins
4:01:04 p.m. Engine turbopumps at flight speed
4:01:09 p.m. Engines at maximum thrust 4:01:14 p.m. LAUNCH OF SOYUZ TMA-15M TO THE ISS
4:09 p.m. Third Stage Shutdown; Orbital Insertion 9:15 p.m. NASA TV: DOCKING COVERAGE BEGINS
9:30 p.m. Flyaround mode start
9:38 p.m. Station-keeping start
9:42 p.m. Final Approach start 9:53 p.m. DOCKING OF SOYUZ TMA-15M TO THE ISS
10:07 p.m. Soyuz & station hooks closed 11 p.m. NASA TV: HATCH OPENING COVERAGE BEGINS
11:30 p.m. Hatches between Soyuz and station open
To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Expedition 40 on Twitter, follow the hashtags #ISS, #Exp42 and #Soyuz. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect.
A trio of new Expedition 42 crew members is in its final preparations before Sunday’s launch and six-hour ride aboard a Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft to the International Space Station. The rocket with the Soyuz capsule attached will roll out to the launch pad Friday morning at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Aboard the orbital laboratory, the current crew members, Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova, are working their scheduled task list of ongoing science and maintenance.
Wilmore opened the Fluids Integrated Rack to configure a microscope for the ACE-M-3 experiment. The advanced fluids study observes small particles suspended within a liquid that build into 3D structures. During the afternoon, the commander worked on Europe’s Kubik incubator that supports life science with organisms such as seeds, cells and small animals.
The orbiting cosmonauts got back together again Thursday working on a Russian chemistry education experiment with Russian school children. The duo also worked throughout the Russian segment checking cables, inspecting panels and conducting preventative maintenance on the ventilation system and oxygen generator.
Commander Barry Wilmore worked in the Japanese Kibo lab module on the Aniso Tubule botany experiment that studies how roots adapt to gravity. After lunch, Wilmore went back to more hardware replacement work on the Combustion Integrated Rack that he began Tuesday. At the end of the day he configured a maintenance work area for upcoming operations of another botany study, the Seedling Growth experiment.
Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev worked in the Russian segment venting gas from an air conditioner. He was assisted by his fellow cosmonaut Elena Serova who also installed gas analyzer hardware and cleaned vents. The duo partnered up later in the day for a new chemistry education experiment with participation from Russian school children.
The next Expedition 42 trio waiting to join the International Space Station crew conducted final Sokol launch and entry suit fit checks at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA astronaut Terry Virts, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti are making final preparations before Sunday’s launch at 4:01 p.m. EST to the space station aboard the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft.
Commander Barry Wilmore worked throughout the day Tuesday in the Destiny laboratory’s Combustion Integrated Rack replacing hardware that fuels experiments. Afterward, he drained a waste water tank in the Tranquility node then moved on to a Health Maintenance System test.
Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev replaced a battery module in the Zvezda service module then repaired and photographed an air duct. His fellow cosmonaut, Elena Serova, checked Russian sensors that monitor air pressure then proceeded with disinfectant work to prevent microbial growth in the Zarya module.
A new trio of Expedition 42 crew members is relaxing at the Cosmonaut Hotel crew quarters in Kazakhstan. Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineers Terry Virts and Samantha Cristoforetti played games, had medical checks and planted trees during a traditional ceremony Tuesday.
Their Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft is being readied for its roll out to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Friday. The new crew will launch aboard the Soyuz on Sunday for a near six-hour ride to the International Space Station’s Rassvet module.
Commander Barry Wilmore worked throughout Monday to install a 3D printer to get the International Space Station and future crews ready for self-sufficiency. Wilmore will work to calibrate the printer and set up a demonstration of the additive manufacturing technology.
His fellow crew members, Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova, worked on routine maintenance tasks and cargo transfers in the station’s Russian segment. They also paired up for a cardiovascular exam on an exercise bike, sampled the station’s atmosphere and tested television downlink signals.
The next trio to join Expedition 42 is in Kazakhstan counting down to a Nov. 23 launch aboard a Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft. They are set for a near six-hour ride to the International Space Station where they will live and work until May 2015.
The International Space Station is currently occupied by a trio of Expedition 42 crew members consisting of Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova. They are waiting for three more crew members, Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineers Terry Virts and Samantha Cristoforetti, who are counting down to a launch to the orbital laboratory in less than two weeks.
Meanwhile, the orbiting station residents are continuing microgravity research to improve life on Earth and in space. Wilmore collected blood and urine samples for stowage in a science freezer. Samokutyaev reconfigured computer systems in the station’s Russian segment. Serova took measurements of the station’s internal radiation environment and studied the vibrations the station experiences on orbit. Serova and Samokutyaev also participated in hearing tests.
Shkaplerov, Virts and Cristoforetti are at the launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for Soyuz fit checks. They will launch Nov. 23 at 3:01 p.m. EST aboard a Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft for a six-hour trip to the station and dock to the Rassvet module to begin a 5-1/2 month mission.
The International Space Station’s “Georges Lemaitre” Automated Transfer Vehicle fired its engines for 3 minutes, 25 seconds at 6:35 a.m. Central time today in a Pre-Determined Debris Avoidance Maneuver (PDAM) to move well away from a small piece of debris from a spent Chinese satellite (Yaogan 12) launched in November 2011.
The maneuver, which was coordinated with Russian and European flight controllers, raised the station’s altitude by 9/10 of a mile at apogee and 2/10 of a mile at perigee and left the station in an orbit of 262.3 x 252.0 statute miles.
The maneuver substituted for a previously planned reboost of the station that had been planned for Wednesday night which would have been required regardless to place the station at the proper altitude for the upcoming launch of the Expedition 42/43 crew on Nov. 23, U.S. time, on a 4-orbit, 6-hour rendezvous to reach the station.
Without the maneuver, the debris would have passed within 7/10 of a mile of the station at 8:40 a.m. Central time. The three-person crew on the station was informed of the potential conjunction and maneuver plans on Tuesday and was never in any danger.