Station Crew Busy With Science After Aborted Launch Ascent

North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea
North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea are pictured as the International Space Station orbited 254 miles above the African continent. Japan’s Kounotori H-II Transfer Vehicle-7 (HTV-7) is pictured at left attached to the Harmony module.

Three Expedition 57 crew members are staying busy aboard the International Space Station after the climb to orbit of two crewmates was aborted Thursday morning. American Nick Hague and Russian Alexey Ovchinin made an emergency landing shortly after launch, but are in excellent shape and back in Russia. The trio in orbit is continuing science and maintenance aboard the orbital laboratory.

NASA astronaut Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Ovchinin are safe and returned to Moscow with mission officials after their aborted mission. The Soyuz MS-10 rocket booster experienced a failure about two minutes after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Hague will return to Houston, Texas, on Saturday and Ovchinin will stay in Moscow. Investigations into the cause of the failure are beginning, and the space station international partner agencies are evaluating what changes to the station’s operating plan will need to be adopted.

The three humans still orbiting Earth are safe with plenty of supplies and work to do on orbit. Commander Alexander Gerst and Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor started their day measuring how microgravity has impacted their muscles for the Myotones study. They then moved on to researching an ancient technique that may be used for emergency navigation on future space missions.

Serena Auñón-Chancellor is scheduled to talk with two different school groups on Monday and Thursday next week. One of those conversations will involve the flight of Seaman Jr., a plush toy that is part of the National Park Service’s celebration of its the 3,700 mile Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

Flight Engineer Sergey Prokopyev maintained life support systems in the Russian segment of the space station. He also updated the station’s inventory system and checked on Russian science experiments.

Crew in Good Condition After Booster Failure

Astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos Director Dmitry Rogozin
Astronaut Nick Hague (left) and Roscosmos Director Dmitry Rogozin

.@AstroHague NASA Astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are seen in Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. They are in good condition following their safe landing on Earth after a Soyuz booster failure after launch earlier. Latest updates: nasa.gov/live

Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin
Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin
NASA astronaut Nick Hague
NASA astronaut Nick Hague

Statement on Soyuz MS-10 Launch Abort

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has shared the following statement on Twitter @JimBridenstine.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are in good condition following today’s aborted launch. I’m grateful that everyone is safe. A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted. Full statement below:

The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 4:40 a.m. EDT Thursday, October 11 (2:40 p.m. in Baikonur) carrying American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin. Shortly after launch, there was an anomaly with the booster and the launch ascent was aborted, resulting in a ballistic landing of the spacecraft.

Search and rescue teams were deployed to the landing site. Hague and Ovchinin are out of the capsule and are reported to be in good condition. They will be transported to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia outside of Moscow.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and the NASA team are monitoring the situation carefully. NASA is working closely with Roscosmos to ensure the safe return of the crew. Safety of the crew is the utmost priority for NASA. A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted.

Launch Update

The Soyuz MS-10 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 4:40 a.m. EDT Thursday, October 11 (2:40 p.m. in Baikonur). Shortly after launch, there was an issue with the booster. Teams have confirmed the spacecraft separated from the booster and are in contact with the crew as the capsule returns in a ballistic decent mode.

U.S., Russian Crew Counting Down to Thursday Morning Launch

Expedition 57 crew members Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos (left) and Nick Hague of NASA
Expedition 57 crew members Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos (left) and Nick Hague of NASA (right) pose for pictures in front of their Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft.

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos are preparing for their launch to the International Space Station. Their journey to the station will begin with a lift off at 4:40 a.m. EDT Thursday (2:40 p.m. in Baikonur). Live launch coverage will begin at 3:30 a.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website. At the time of launch, the space station will be flying over NE Kazakhstan at 254 statute miles.

The two will join Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency, NASA Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Prokopyev, who arrived at the station in June.

The crew members of Expedition 57 will continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the International Space Station, humanity’s only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory.

Below is the crew’s launch timeline in EDT:

EDT               L-Hr/M/Sec   Event

7:40:17pm     9:00                Crew wakeup at Cosmonaut Hotel
10:40:17pm   6:00                Crew departs Cosmonaut Hotel
10:55:17pm   5:45                Batteries installed in booster
11:25:17pm   5:15                Crew arrives at Site 254
11:40:17pm   5:00                Tanking begins
12:10:17am   4:30                Crew suit up
12:35:17am   4:05                Booster loaded with liquid Oxygen
1:10:17am    3:30                Crew meets family members on other side of the glass
1:35:17am    3:05                First and second stage oxygen fueling complete
1:40:17am    3:00                Crew walkout from 254 and boards bus for the launch pad
1:45:17am    2:55                Crew departs for launch pad (Site 1)
2:05:17am    2:35                Crew arrives at launch pad (Site 1)
2:15:17am    2:25                Crew boards Soyuz; strapped in to the Descent module
3:05:17am    1:35                Descent module hardware tested
3:20:17am    1:20                Hatch closed; leak checks begin
3:30:00am   1:10:17          NASA TV LAUNCH COVERAGE BEGINS
3:40:17am    1:00                Launch vehicle control system prep; gyro activation
3:45:00am     :55:17          NASA TV: Crew pre-launch activities B-roll played)
3:55:17am      :45:00          Pad service structure components lowered
3:56:17am      :44:00          Clamshell gantry service towers retracted
4:03:17am      :37:00          Suit leak checks begin; descent module testing complete
4:06:17am      :34:00          Emergency escape system armed
4:25:17am      :15:00          Suit leak checks complete; escape system to auto
4:30:17am       :10:00          Gyros in flight readiness and recorders activated
4:33:17am       :07:00          Pre-launch operations complete
4:34:17am       :06:00          Launch countdown operations to auto; vehicle ready
4:35:17am      :05:00          Commander’s controls activated
4:36:17am       :04:00          Combustion chamber nitrogen purge
4:36:51am      :03:26        ISS flies directly over the Baikonur Cosmodrome
4:37:17am      :03:00          Propellant drainback
4:37:32am      :02:45          Booster propellant tank pressurization
4:38:47am       :01:30          Ground propellant feed terminated
4:39:17am      :01:00          Vehicle to internal power
4:39:42am      :00:35          First umbilical tower separates
Auto sequence start
4:39:47am      :00:30          Ground umbilical to third stage disconnected
4:40:02am      :00:15          Second umbilical tower separates
4:40:05am      :00:12          Launch command issued
Engine Start Sequence Begins
4:40:07am      :00:10          Engine turbo pumps at flight speed
4:40:12am       :00:05         Engines at maximum thrust
4:40:17am      :00:00        LAUNCH OF SOYUZ MS-10 TO THE ISS
4:49:02am      +8:45         THIRD STAGE SHUTDOWN; SOYUZ ORBITAL INSERTION

For launch coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/.

New Crew Less Than A Day From Launching to Station

xpedition 57 crew members Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos (left) and Nick Hague of NASA
At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 57 crew members Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos (left) and Nick Hague of NASA (right) pose for pictures in front of their Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft Sept. 26 during final pre-launch training.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are in Kazakhstan less than a day away from launching to the International Space Station. They will blast off atop the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft Thursday at 4:40 a.m. EDT for a six-hour ride to their new home in space.

They will meet their Expedition 57 crew mates aboard the orbiting lab after their Soyuz crew ship docks to the Poisk module at 10:44 a.m. Commander Alexander Gerst and Flight Engineers Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Sergey Prokopyev will greet the new duo when the Soyuz hatch opens around 12:45 p.m.

The five-person crew will gather inside the Zvezda service module for a traditional crew greeting ceremony as family and mission officials on the ground offer their well-wishes. Shortly afterward, the two new crewmates will participate in a safety briefing then begin several days of familiarization with station systems.

NASA TV begins its live broadcast Thursday at 3:30 a.m. as the crew counts down to its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. NASA TV will be back on the air at 10 a.m. four orbits later as the Soyuz spacecraft approaches the station for docking. Finally, live coverage of the hatch opening and crew greeting begins at 12:15 p.m.

Rocket Rolls Out to Launch New Crew on Thursday

Launch pad gantry arms close around the Soyuz rocket
At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, launch pad gantry arms are seen closing around the Soyuz rocket in this long exposure photograph, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018.

The next rocket that will launch NASA’s Nick Hague and Roscosmos’ Alexey Ovchinin to the International Space Station stands ready at its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The duo will liftoff atop the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft Thursday at 4:40 a.m. EDT for a six-hour ride to their new home in space.

Hague and Ovchinin have been in final preparations at the launch site for two weeks of fit checks, Soyuz tests, procedure reviews and other traditional activities. This will be Hague’s first flight and Ovchinin’s second to the orbital lab.

Three Expedition 57 crew members aboard the space station await their new crewmates. Commander Alexander Gerst and Flight Engineers Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Sergey Prokopyev will greet the new duo Thursday when they aim to dock at 10:44 a.m. and open the Soyuz hatch around 1:10 p.m.

In the meantime, the orbiting trio today continued juggling a variety of science to improve life on Earth and maintenance to keep the station in tip-top shape. Gerst set up a microscope to observe the structure of protein molecules. Auñón-Chancellor brought in a small satellite deployer from outside the Kibo laboratory module after it deployed three CubeSats on Monday. Prokopyev worked on computers and life support gear throughout the station’s Russian segment.


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

Station Crew Back on Earth After 197 Days in Space

The Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft
The Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft that is carrying Expedition 55/56 crew members Ricky Arnold, Drew Feustel and Oleg Artemyev is pictured seconds away from landing under a parachute in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA TV

Three crew members who have been living and working aboard the International Space Station have landed safely in Kazakhstan.

Expedition 56 Commander Drew Feustel and Flight Engineer Ricky Arnold of NASA, along with Flight Engineer and Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos landed at 7:44 a.m. EDT (5:44 p.m. in Kazakhstan) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

The crew completed hundreds of experiments during its 197-day expedition. Highlights included an investigation to study ultra-cold quantum gases using the first commercial European facility for microgravity research, and a system that uses surface forces to accomplish liquid-liquid separation.

The crew also welcomed five cargo spacecraft that delivered several tons of supplies and research experiments. The 14th SpaceX Dragon arrived in April, shortly after the three crew members did, bringing supplies and equipment, and the 15th Dragon arrived in July. The ninth Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft arrived in May before the end of Expedition 55. A Russian Progress completed a record rapid rendezvous of less than four hours in August. And, the seventh Japanese Konotouri cargo craft arrived just a week before the Expedition 56 trio departed for home.

Both Feustel and Arnold participated in dozens of educational events while in space as part of NASA’s Year of Education on Station, reaching more than 200,000 students in 29 states. Feustel now has logged more than 226 days in space on three spaceflights, and Arnold more than 209 days on two missions.

The duo ventured outside the space station on three spacewalks to effect maintenance and upgrades during Expeditions 55 and 56. Their work included replacing and upgrading external cameras, including those that will facilitate the approach and docking of the Boeing Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon commercial crew spacecraft when they begin launching soon from American soil. The spacewalkers also replaced components of the space station’s cooling system and communications network, and installed new wireless communication antennas for external experiments. Feustel has accumulated 61 hours and 48 minutes over nine career spacewalks, and ranks third overall among American astronauts. Arnold has 32 hours and 4 minutes over five career spacewalks.

Artemyev conducted one spacewalk with fellow cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev to manually launch four small technology satellites and install an experiment called Icarus onto the Russian segment of the space station. The spacewalk timed out at 7 hours and 46 minutes, the longest in Russian space program history. Artemyev now has spent 366 days in space on his two flights.

Expedition 57 continues station research and operations with a crew comprised of Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos. Gerst assumed command of the station as Feustel prepared to depart.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are scheduled to launch Oct. 11 for a same-day arrival, increasing the crew size to five.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.


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