New Space Freighter Open for Business before Late October Spacewalk

Japanese Astronaut Kimiya Yui
Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui works in the Destiny laboratory module on the U.S. side of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

The hatches were opened today to the new space delivery from Russia’s Progress resupply craft. The Expedition 45 crew also worked on orbital lab maintenance and on science to improve life on Earth and in space.

The Progress 61 space freighter arrived at the International Space Station Thursday evening delivering more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies six hours after its launch from Kazakhstan. The vehicle is docked to the Zvezda service module and ready for two months of cargo transfer activities. Japan’s delivery space ship, the Kounotori HTV-5, finished its five-week stay at the space station Monday morning.

The six station residents were busy throughout the U.S. and Russian segments on a wide variety of activities. Commander Scott Kelly performed high-tech plumbing work as he replaced gear in the Water Processing Assembly. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren built a custom tool for lubricating the tip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm, which he and Kelly will do on a spacewalk at the end of October. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui installed a Cubesat deployer, and then worked on plant science.

Cosmonauts Sergey Volkov and Oleg Kononenko opened the Progress hatch and began checking inventory and unloading the cargo craft today. One-Year Crew member Mikhail Kornienko, Kelly’s partner, checked the station’s air quality and worked on Russian life support systems.

Russian Ship Rolls to Launch Pad as Japanese Ship Descends to Earth

ISS Progress 61 Cargo Craft
The ISS Progress 61 cargo craft stands at its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan ahead of Thursday afternoon’s launch. Credit: RSC Energia

The latest Russian resupply ship, the Progress 61, rolled out to its launch pad today, getting set for a Thursday launch at 12:49 p.m. EDT (4:49 p.m. UTC) and a docking to the Zvezda service module at 6:54 p.m. Meanwhile, Japan’s cargo craft, the “Kounotori” HTV-5, is descending to Earth this afternoon after completing a five-week delivery mission attached to the International Space Station’s Unity module.

The six-member Expedition 45 crew, including the One-Year Crew, worked a variety of science Tuesday looking at plants, performing eye exams and studying crew metabolism and the human respiratory system. The ongoing research is helping scientists and crews prepare for long-term deep space missions and NASA’s Journey to Mars. The space residents also worked on robotic inspections, replaced combustion experiment hardware and swapped batteries on a set of free-floating internal satellites known as SPHERES.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren are getting ready for the first of two U.S. spacewalks scheduled for Oct. 28. The duo will lubricate the Canadarm2’s leading end effector (LEE) systems. The LEE is used to grapple, maneuver and release cargo craft, as well as latch on to external station systems. Kelly photographed the LEE today from the seven-window cupola to document its condition and prepare for the upcoming spacewalk.

Release of Japanese Cargo Ship Delayed

"Kounotori" in Grips of Canadarm2
Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-5 resupply ship is in the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Credit: NASA TV

The release of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) H-II Transport Vehicle-5 (HTV-5) has been delayed. Teams are troubleshooting, and the next opportunity will be at the next day pass at approximately 12:42 p.m. EDT. HTV-5 is still captured, and the crew is in no danger.

Long-Term Human Research As Crew Prepares to Swap Supply Ships

Station Crew Members Oleg Kononenko and Kjell Lindgren
Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko (foreground) receives a haircut from fellow Expedition 45 crew member Kjell Lindgren.

The Expedition 45 crew, including the One-Year Crew duo, worked on a variety of human research to help future crews persevere on longer missions in deep space. The crew is also getting ready for a pair of international cargo ships departing and arriving next week.

Scientists on the ground are exploring how microgravity affects humans living and working in space as NASA prepares for the Journey to Mars. Astronauts living on the International Space Station for months at a time, including the One-Year Crew, provide excellent subjects for long-term microgravity human research.

The crew today looked at cardiovascular health for the Cardio-Ox study and documented nutritional activity. Blood and urine samples were also drawn and stored in a science freezer for later analysis. Station Commander Scott Kelly continued more Twins research as doctors compare the human body in space with a human body on Earth, in this case ex-astronaut Mark Kelly, the commander’s twin brother.

Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-5 space freighter is due for release Monday morning ending its month-long stay at the station’s Harmony module. The HTV-5 is still being packed with trash and disposable gear for a fiery destruction over the Pacific Ocean. The next shipment of new research, gear, food and fuel is being prepared as Russia’s readies its ISS Progress 61 resupply ship for an Oct. 1 launch.

Crew Begins Unloading Japanese Cargo Ship

Astronaut Kimiya Yui
Astronaut Kimiya Yui seemingly juggles fresh fruit upside down after opening the hatches and entering Japan’s fifth “Kounotori” resupply ship. Credit: NASA TV

The crew opened the hatches today to Japan’s fifth “Kounotori” resupply ship (HTV-5) and began unloading new supplies and science gear. The station residents also studied human research and reviewed changes to emergency procedures.

The HTV-5 arrived Monday morning carrying cargo and science for the crew and external experiments to be attached to the Kibo laboratory module. The external research gear includes the CALET dark matter study, the NanoRacks External Platform and a flock of 14 CubeSats.

One-Year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are 151 days into their mission. The duo participated in research today looking at the long-term effects of microgravity on the human body. They collected blood and urine samples for the Fluid Shifts study which observes physical changes to an astronaut’s eyes during a space mission.

Japan’s Cargo Ship Installed on Station

"Kounotori" Installed to Harmony Module
Japan’s “Kounotori” resupply ship is installed to the Harmony module. Credit: NASA TV

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Kounotori 5 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5) was bolted into place on the International Space Station’s Earth-facing port of the Harmony module at 10:02 a.m. EDT.

The spacecraft’s arrival will support the crew members’ research off the Earth to benefit the Earth. The HTV-5 is delivering more than 8,000 pounds of equipment, supplies and experiments in a pressurized cargo compartment. The unpressurized compartment will deliver the 1,400-pound CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET) investigation, an astrophysics mission that will search for signatures of dark matter and provide the highest energy direct measurements of the cosmic ray electron spectrum.

Items to be unloaded during HTV-5’s stay at the orbiting outpost include food, crew provisions, supplies, several Cubesats, and the NanoRacks External Platform capable of housing multiple, diverse investigations mounted to the JAXA Japanese External Facility.

JAXA and NASA teams adjusted the cargo manifest to deliver additional food supplies and critical components lost in the failure of the seventh SpaceX commercial resupply services mission. The delivery will ensure the crew has plenty of food through the end of 2015. HTV-5 is delivering two multifiltration beds that filter contaminants from the station’s water supply, a Fluids Control and Pump Assembly used for urine processing to support water recycling, a Wring Collector used in conjunction with the on-orbit toilet, a Respiratory Support Pack used in space to provide breathing assistance to an astronaut in the event lung function were impaired and space suit support equipment used during spacewalks.

The HTV-5 will spend five weeks attached to the international outpost, then the cargo vehicle will be filled with trash, detached from the station and sent to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Join the conversation on Twitter by following @Space_Station and the hashtag #HTV5. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit:

Canadian Robotic Arm Captures Japanese “White Stork”

"Kounotori" Captured
Canada’s robotic arm has Japan’s fifth “Kounotori” resupply ship captured in its grips. Credit: NASA TV

Using the International Space Station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, Expedition 44 Flight Engineer Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully captured JAXA’s Kounotori 5 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5) at 6:28 a.m. EDT. The space station crew and the robotics officer in mission control in Houston will position HTV-5 for berthing to the orbiting laboratory’s Earth-facing port of the Harmony module.

NASA TV coverage of the berthing will begin at 9:15 a.m. The installation process to berth HTV-5 to the space station is scheduled to begin at about 9:45 a.m. The Japanese cargo ship, whose name means “white stork” and was chosen because it is emblematic of an important delivery, is loaded with about 4-and-a-half tons of research and supplies.

Follow the conversation on Twitter via @Space_Station and the hashtag #HTV5.

Watch NASA TV for Live Coverage of Japanese Delivery

Japan's Third "Kounotori" Resupply Ship
Japan’s third “Kounotori” resupply (HTV -3) ship is seen approaching the International Space Station in 2012 during Expedition 32.

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 44 Flight Engineer Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is making final preparations for the arrival of JAXA’s Kounotori 5 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5). NASA Television is providing live coverage, which also can be seen online at

Yui will command the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, to reach out and grapple the HTV-5, while NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren provides assistance and Scott Kelly monitors HTV-5 systems. Capture is scheduled for approximately 6:55 a.m. The HTV-5 launched aboard an H-IIB rocket at 7:50 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. Since then, the spacecraft has performed a series of engine burns to fine-tune its course for arrival at the station.

The unpiloted cargo craft, named “Kounotori,” which is Japanese for “white stork,” is loaded with more than four-and-a-half tons of research and supplies, including water, spare parts and experiment hardware, for the six-person International Space Station crew.

Follow the conversation on Twitter via @Space_Station and the hashtag #HTV5. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit:

Crew Explores Life Science While Waiting for Japanese Delivery

Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, Gennady Padalka and Oleg Kononenko
Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, Gennady Padalka and Oleg Kononenko speak to the Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev Friday morning. Credit: NASA TV

The Expedition 44 crew was back at work today continuing a series of biomedical studies, physics experiments and maintenance tasks. Meanwhile, more science is on its way to the International Space Station aboard Japan’s fifth space freighter.

Three cosmonauts studied magnetics, human digestion then participated in ultrasound scans and blood pressure checks today. The trio, consisting of Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineers Mikhail Kornienko and Oleg Kononenko, also subjected themselves to vision checks for the ongoing Ocular Health study.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly collected blood and urine samples and stored them in a science freezer for the Fluid Shifts study. New Flight Engineers Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindgren continued practicing the robotic techniques they will use Monday morning to capture a new cargo craft and berth it to the Harmony module. Lindgren also checked out spacewalking tools.

The “Kounotori” H-II Transfer Vehicle-5 (HTV-5) from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is delivering more than 9,500 pounds of research and supplies for the six-person station crew. NASA TV will begin live coverage of the HTV-5 arrival Monday at 5:15 a.m. EDT with capture due at about 6:55 a.m.

Hurricane Danny
Hurricane Danny was pictured over the central Atlantic Ocean from the International Space Station early Friday morning. Credit: NASA TV

Japanese Cargo Craft Chasing Space Station

Astronauts Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindgren
Astronauts Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindgren train for the robotic capture of Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-5 cargo craft.

Japan’s fifth “Kounotori” cargo craft (HTV-5) is on orbit today chasing the International Space Station before Monday’s rendezvous and capture. The Expedition 44 crew is working normal science and maintenance activities today after a momentary power loss to some station systems Wednesday afternoon.

The HTV-5 is delivering science gear to support several experiments including the CALET dark matter study and a series of 10 investigations for the Twins Study. The HTV-5 will be grappled with the Canadarm2 and berthed to the Harmony module for a month of cargo activities.

The cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, Mikhail Kornienko and Oleg Kononenko worked Thursday on their set of Russian maintenance and microgravity research. They explored the physics of magnetism, internet control of a robotic arm and the human digestive system.

The astronauts on the U.S. side of the space station, Scott Kelly, Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui,  had their list of daily upkeep and science tasks. More Ocular Health exams were on the schedule today as well as magnetic resonance imaging of the brain for the NeuroMapping study. The orbiting residents also worked on the maintenance of laboratory gear.