Japanese Cargo Rocket Rolls Out For Wednesday Launch

Japan's H-IIB Rocket
Japan’s H-IIB rocket carrying the “Kounotori” HTV-5 is at its launch pad at the Tanegashima Space Center.

Preparations are under way for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s scheduled launch of an H-IIB rocket at 7:50 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Aug. 19 from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. Live coverage of the launch begins at 7 a.m. on NASA Television and https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

The launch vehicle will send the Kounotori H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5) into orbit on a five-day rendezvous with the International Space Station. Kounotori means “white stork” in Japanese, and the HTV-5 will deliver more than 8,000 pounds of equipment, supplies and experiments in a pressurized cargo compartment. The unpressurized compartment will be used to 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. Find more information about the research being delivered to the unique orbiting laboratory at https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/htv5_launch.

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: https://www.nasa.gov/connect

High-Flying Research as Cargo and Crew Missions Ready for Launch

Japanese Astronaut Kimiya Yui
Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui soars through the Destiny lab module.

The six-member Expedition 44 crew participated in a wide array of science today as Japan counts down to Wednesday morning’s launch of its fifth resupply mission. Meanwhile, three new Soyuz taxi crew members flew to the launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome to finalize their mission preparations.

The majority of the station crew members had their blood pressure and vision checked today for the long-running Ocular Health study. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui had his legs scanned with an ultrasound for the SPRINT exercise study. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren explored fluid physics and surface tension for the Capillary Beverage experiment.

Back on Earth, veteran station cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and first time Soyuz Flight Engineers Andreas Mogensen and Aidyn Aimbetov are getting ready for their 10-day mission to the International Space Station. The trio will launch Sept. 2 inside the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Volkov will stay in space until next year. Mogensen and Aimbetov will return Sept. 11 with Gennady Padalka who has been in space since March.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is getting ready to roll out its H-IIB rocket this afternoon at the Tanegashima Space Center. JAXA is scheduled to launch the “Kounotori” HTV-5 cargo craft at 7:50 a.m. EDT (11:50 a.m. UTC) Wednesday for a five day trip to the space station. The HTV-5 will deliver more than 4.5 tons of research and supplies, including water, spare parts and experiment hardware.

Japan Looks To Wednesday Launch While Crew Works Science

Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren
Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren talk about living and working on the International Space Station with the CBS Radio Network. Credit: NASA TV

Japan has set Wednesday at 7:50 a.m. (11:50 a.m. UTC) as the launch time for its fifth “Kounotori” cargo mission to the International Space Station. Meanwhile, the six orbiting crew members focused on advanced microgravity research today.

Japan’s fifth H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5) will take a five day trip to the station after its launch. It will arrive early Monday morning when it will be captured with the Canadarm2 and berthed to the Harmony module.

The HTV-5 will deliver more than 4.5 tons of research and supplies, including water, spare parts and experiment hardware. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui continued robotics training for the HTV-5 arrival next week.

The crew also participated in examinations for the ongoing Ocular Health study. Robonaut, the experimental humanoid robot, was powered up today so the crew could observe its mobility operations.

 

Launch of Japanese Cargo Mission Slips Due to Weather

Japan's third "Kounotori" HTV
Japan’s third HTV was captured with the Canadarm2 in July 2012.

Inclement weather forecast at the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan has again caused a postponement of the launch of a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) H-IIB rocket. The new launch date is set for Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 7:50 a.m. EDT.

The rocket will send JAXA’s H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)-5 on a five-day trip to reach the International Space Station on Monday, Aug. 24. The unpiloted cargo craft, named Kounotori, Japanese for “white stork,” is loaded with more than 4.5 tons of research and supplies, including water, spare parts and experiment hardware for the six-person space station crew.

Live coverage of the launch begins will begin Wednesday at 7 a.m. on NASA Television and https://www.nasa.gov/ntv.  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: https://www.nasa.gov/connect.

Japanese Cargo Mission Set for Monday Launch

The Kounotori-4 Launches
The H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 4 with the Kounotori-4 (HTV-4) onboard lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center on Aug. 3, 2013 at 3:48 p.m. EDT (7:48 pm UTC; Aug. 4, 4:48 a.m. Japan time).

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has delayed the launch of an H-IIB rocket with the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)-5 onboard due to unfavorable weather forecast for the original launch date of Sunday, Aug. 16. The new launch date is set for Monday, Aug. 17 at 8:35 a.m. EDT from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan.

Loaded with more than 4.5 tons of supplies, including water, spare parts and experiment hardware for the six-person space station crew, the unpiloted cargo craft, named Kounotori, Japanese for “white stork,” will travel four days to reach the station on Friday, Aug. 21.

Live coverage of the launch begins will begin at 7:45 a.m. on NASA Television and https://www.nasa.gov/ntv.  Join the conversation on Twitter by following @Space_Station and the hashtag #ISSCargo. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect.

Russian Cargo Craft Leaves Space Station

ISS Progress 58 resupply ship
Russia’s ISS Progress 58 resupply ship flies away from the International Space Station after undocking on time Friday morning. Credit: NASA TV

The Russian ISS Progress 58 cargo spacecraft separated from the International Space Station at 6:19 a.m. EDT while the spacecraft were flying 250 miles over northwestern China.

The Progress spacecraft will now move away from the orbiting laboratory to a safe location where it will remain until Russian flight engineers command it to reenter Earth’s atmosphere. The intense heat of reentry will cause the vehicle to burn up over the Pacific Ocean.

The departure of the Progress 58 vehicle will clear the Zvezda docking port for the relocation of the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft on August 28. Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal space Agency (Roscosmos), Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscocmos will move their Soyuz from the Poisk module to the Zvedzda docking port. The relocation will enable delivery of a new Soyuz to the station on Sept. 2, which will then bring Kelly and Kornienko home next March to conclude their one-year mission.

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

The International Space Station is seen from the cameras of the ISS Progress 58 cargo craft shortly after it undocked. Credit: NASA TV
The International Space Station is seen from the cameras of the ISS Progress 58 cargo craft shortly after it undocked. Credit: NASA TV

Pair of International Space Ships Coming and Going This Weekend

Astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly
Astronauts Kjell Lindgren (left) and Scott Kelly talk to middle and high school students at Alamo College in San Antonio, TX. Credit: NASA TV

Russia will undock its ISS Progress 58 spacecraft Friday morning for a fiery atmospheric entry over the Pacific Ocean. Japan will launch its fifth “Kounotori” HTV cargo ship (HTV-5) Sunday morning from the Tanegashima Space Center.

New astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui trained for next week’s arrival of the HTV-5. They will be in the cupola to capture the HTV-5 with the Canadarm2 and berth it to the Harmony node Thursday morning.

Earlier, cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko joined Yui to set up free-floating SPHERES microsatellites for a competition that introduces students to programming vehicles to fly in space. One-Year Crew member Scott Kelly worked on plumbing tasks in the station’s Water Recovery System.

Cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko are still cleaning up after Monday’s spacewalk. They stowed the tools and hardware used to rig new equipment and photograph the external condition of the station’s Russian segment.

Station Power Back Up as Crew Trains for Japanese Cargo Mission

Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kimiya Yui
ISS044E033352 (08/05/2015) — NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (left) assists Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Kimiya Yui (right) with measurements for the ongoing Ocular Health study.

The International Space Station experienced a temporary power loss Tuesday night while backup systems maintained power to critical systems. Power was restored quickly and there were no impacts to station operations and the six-member crew was always safe.

Astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui are training for the robotic capture next week of Japan’s fifth “Kounotori” HTV cargo ship (HTV-5). The HTV-5 will launch from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center Sunday morning and take a four day trip to the station. The duo will be inside the cupola Aug. 20 to capture the HTV-5 with the Canadarm2. Lindgren also checked on U.S. spacewalk tools while Yui cleaned and inventoried gear inside the Japanese Kibo lab module.

Cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko are cleaning up after Tuesday’s 5-hour, 31-minute spacewalk. The cosmonauts also talked to Russian spacewalk specialists on the ground Wednesday about the previous day’s external activities.

Cosmonauts Complete Russian Spacewalk

Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko
Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko gets ready to close the hatch to the Pirs airlock ending the spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV

International Space Station Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian Federal Space Agency completed a spacewalk lasting 5 hours, 31 minutes at 3:51 p.m. EDT. The spacewalkers rigged new equipment on the Russian segment of the complex and conducted a detailed photographic inspection of the exterior of the outpost.

This was the 188th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance, totaling 1,177 hours, or the equivalent of 49 days. Padalka’s ten spacewalks total 38 hours, 37 minutes. Kornienko’s two spacewalks total 12 hours, 13 minutes.

While the cosmonauts were working outside the station, NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren, along with Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, sampled lettuce from the Veggie plant growth system on the International Space Station at 12:46 p.m. EDT. Lindgren first harvested half the crop and cleaned the “Outredgeous” red romaine lettuce. NASA is maturing Veggie technology aboard the station to provide future pioneers with a sustainable food supplement — a critical part of NASA’s journey to Mars. This is the first time a station-grown crop has officially been on the menu for station crew members. The remaining lettuce will be frozen on the station until it can be returned to Earth for scientific analysis.

Video of the crew sampling the lettuce is on NASA’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=D_723qwjULM

More details about the Veggie harvest is here: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/meals_ready_to_eat

Learn more about the International Space Station at https://www.nasa.gov/station

Cosmonauts Working Outside for Russian Spacewalk

Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko
Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko is seen working outside the International Space Station in a Russian Orlan spacesuit. Credit: NASA TV

International Space Station Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian Federal Space Agency began a planned approximately 6-hour spacewalk from the Earth-facing Pirs Docking Compartment at 10:20 a.m. EDT.

Padalka will be designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1) and Kornienko will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2). Both will wear Russian Orlan spacesuits bearing blue stripes. Their suits are equipped with NASA helmet cameras to provide close-up views of the work they are performing outside the station.

This is the 188th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance.

The spacewalking duo will install devices called gap spanners on the hull of the station that will facilitate the movement of crew members on future spacewalks. They also will clean residue off of the windows of the Zvezda Service Module, install fasteners on communications antennas, replace an aging antenna used for the rendezvous and docking of visiting vehicles at Russian docking ports, and photograph a variety of locations and hardware on Zvezda and nearby modules. An experiment designed to measure the space environment first deployed in 2013 will be retrieved and brought inside for its return to Earth.

Flight controllers at the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, outside of Moscow, are providing primary support for the spacewalk and coordinating with Mission Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

NASA Television is providing live coverage of the spacewalk at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv