Expedition 70 Relaxes as SpaceX Crew-8 Preps for Launch

The crew of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station poses for a photo during their Crew Equipment Interface Test at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The crew of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station poses for a photo during their Crew Equipment Interface Test at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The seven-member Expedition 70 crew relaxed on Friday following a busy week of space research and cargo transfers beginning a three-day weekend. The orbital septet will go into the final days of February continuing its microgravity science while also preparing to welcome four new Commercial Crew members to the International Space Station.

On Sunday, Feb. 25, four SpaceX Crew-8 members will arrive at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for a five-day quarantine period. The Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft atop will also roll out to its launch pad at KSC’s Launch Complex 39A the same day. NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, and Jeanette Epps and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin are in final preparations for their lift off aboard Dragon targeted for 12:04 a.m. EDT on Friday, March 1. The quartet will rendezvous with the orbital outpost just over a day later and dock to the Harmony module’s forward port on Saturday, March 2.

The four Dragon crewmates will be greeted by the station residents, call down to Earth for a welcoming ceremony with family and mission officials, then participate in a mandatory onboard safety briefing. The commercial quartet will become Expedition 70-71 crew members and remain in space until mid-summer.

During a six-month stay aboard the orbital lab, the Crew-8 foursome will research a multitude of space phenomena to improve life for humans living on and off the Earth. The quartet will explore the mechanisms behind neurological disorders, ways to prevent fluid shifts that occur in astronauts living in space, how microgravity affects plant growth, and how algae may improve spacecraft life support systems.

About a week later, four SpaceX Crew-7 crew members who have been aboard the space station since Aug. 27, 2023, will undock from the Harmony’s space-facing port aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft. Astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli, Andreas Mogensen, and Satoshi Furukawa along with cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov are planned to take a day’s ride orbiting Earth inside Endurance before splashing down off the coast of Florida ending a six-and-a-half-month mission in space.

Crew Explores Heart Health and Tries On “Anti-Gravity” Suit

Expedition 70 Commander Andreas Mogensen maneuvers in the vestibule in between the space station's Unity and Tranquility modules.
Expedition 70 Commander Andreas Mogensen maneuvers in the vestibule in between the space station’s Unity and Tranquility modules.

Blood tests, cardiac research, and scientific maintenance were the prime duties aboard the International Space Station on Thursday. The Expedition 70 crew also kept up its work on a variety of life support gear and exercise hardware throughout the day.

NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara kicked off the day studying accelerated aging-like symptoms seen in astronauts’ arteries after a long-duration mission. The duo collected and processed blood samples for the Vascular Aging investigation to understand these space-caused mechanisms and physiological changes. Observations from the long-running experiment may help doctors improve cardiovascular health in space, as well as on Earth.

ESA (European Space Agency) Commander Andreas Mogensen started his day exploring how virtual reality movies may improve crew morale as spaceflight missions last longer and travel farther away from Earth. Mogensen then spent the afternoon replacing components inside a carbon dioxide removal device. Meanwhile, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa installed external science hardware inside the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock. Afterward, he joined Moghbeli and Mogensen and tried on a specialized suit that may help maintain an astronaut’s heart rate and blood pressure while adjusting to gravity shortly after returning to Earth.

The orbiting lab’s three cosmonauts from Roscosmos had a light duty day but did find time for science and exercise. Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub partnered together during the morning for a cardiac study observing heart performance in weightlessness. Kononenko photographed Chub as he conducted the research while attached to sensors measuring his heart activity.

Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov spent his morning on orbital plumbing before joining his astronaut crewmates for the “anti-gravity” suit fit check. Borisov along with Moghbeli, Mogensen, and Furukawa are due to return to Earth in March aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft.


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Heart Health, 3D Printing, and More Research Pack Station Schedule

The waxing gibbous Moon is pictured above the Earth's horizon in this photograph from the space station as it orbited above a cloudy Western Europe.
The waxing gibbous Moon is pictured above the Earth’s horizon in this photograph from the space station as it orbited above a cloudy Western Europe.

Heart scans, 3D printing, and fire safety were the top research topics aboard the International Space Station on Wednesday. The Expedition 70 crew also spent its day on a variety of scientific maintenance and cargo activities.

Astronauts Loral O’Hara and Satoshi Furukawa kicked off their day continuing more experimental work for the CIPHER suite of 14 human research investigations. O’Hara from NASA led the cardiac portion of the biology study scanning the chest of Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) with the Ultrasound 2 device. Doctors on the ground observed the downlinked data for insights into heart health in space.

O’Hara then moved on and uninstalled robotic surgery demonstration hardware from an EXPRESS rack for return to Earth on a future mission. At the end of the day, she swapped out samples and research components supporting a space fire safety experiment inside the Combustion Integrated Rack. Furukawa checked out the operation of a free-flying camera robot then reconfigured the Kibo laboratory module to accommodate new cargo from an upcoming resupply mission.

Commander Andreas Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) spent most of his day setting up the Metal 3D printer in the Columbus laboratory module. The device is testing the ability to print parts in space reducing the need to depend on resupply missions or pack spare parts on future exploration missions. NASA Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli worked inside the Tranquility module throughout Wednesday replacing orbital plumbing components.

Two cosmonauts, Konstantin Borisov and Nikolai Chub, tested a specialized suit that may speed up a crew member’s adjustment to Earth’s gravity after living in space for several months or longer. The lower body negative pressure suit is designed to counteract the tendency of body fluids to pool in the upper body due to the lack of gravity. Chub later continued unpacking the new Progress 87 resupply ship while Borisov synched station cameras to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) then serviced an oxygen generator.

Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko worked during the morning inspecting structures inside the Zvezda service module. During the afternoon, the five-time station resident checked seat shock absorbers inside the Soyuz MS-24 crew ship then performed a systems check on the Progress 87 with the vehicle’s hatch closed.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Vessel Scans, Cognition Tests, and Cargo Work Top Tuesday’s Schedule

NASA astronauts (from left) Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O'Hara pose together for a portrait inside the International Space Station's Unity module.
NASA astronauts (from left) Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara pose together for a portrait inside the International Space Station’s Unity module.

A host of biomedical studies were underway aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday to help doctors understand the effects of microgravity on the human body. The Expedition 70 crew also continued its ongoing cargo transfers and lab maintenance activities.

Blood vessel scans took place throughout the day on the orbital lab providing researchers data revealing how astronaut’s adapt to long-term missions in microgravity. NASA Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli started first attaching electrodes to herself and scanning her right leg’s femoral artery with an ultrasound device. Doctors on the ground monitored the scans as they were being downlinked in real time. Results may provide insights into space-caused accelerated aging-like symptoms seen in astronauts’ arteries.

During the afternoon, ESA (European Space Agency) Commander Andreas Mogensen scanned the neck, shoulder, and leg veins of NASA Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara. Scientists monitored the data as it was downlinked using the Ultrasound 2 device. Observations may lead to countermeasures lowering the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in space.

Mogensen earlier stocked the food pantry in the Unity module and inspected the advanced resistive exercise device. O’Hara swapped optical fiber samples inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox and installed the Spaceborne Computer-2 to demonstrate its faster speeds and artificial intelligence capabilities. Moghbeli cleaned the Veggie facility hardware following the completion of the APEX-10 plant-microbe study.

Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) spent his day contributing to the CIPHER experiment, a suite of 14 human research investigations. He began his day collecting a blood sample, spinning it in a centrifuge, then stowing it in a science freezer. Next, he took a cognition test and a robotics test measuring his brain function in space. At the end of his shift, Furukawa collected a urine sample and stowed it in a science freezer for later analysis. CIPHER seeks to provide a better understanding of the physiological and psychological changes crews may experience while living and working in space.

Two cosmonauts, Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub, spent Tuesday unpacking the newly arrived Progress 87 cargo craft. The Roscosmos resupply ship docked to the Zvezda service module’s rear port on Saturday morning delivering almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies to the station crew. Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov spent his day checking ventilation equipment in the Zarya module then measured the vibrations Zvezda experiences while orbiting Earth.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Resupply Ship Docks to Station Completing Space Delivery

The Progress 70 cargo craft approaches the Zvezda service module's rear port for a docking to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV
The Progress 70 cargo craft approaches the Zvezda service module’s rear port for a docking to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

An uncrewed Roscosmos Progress 87 spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station’s aft port of the Zvezda service module at 1:06 a.m. EST, as the orbiting laboratory was 260 miles over the south Pacific Ocean. The spacecraft launched on a Soyuz rocket at 10:25 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 14 (8:25 a.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Progress is delivering almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies to the International Space Station for the Expedition 70 crew.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Resupply Ship Approaching Station for Docking Live on NASA TV

The Progress 86 resupply ship is pictured approaching the space station for a docking on Dec. 3, 2023.
The Progress 86 resupply ship is pictured approaching the space station for a docking on Dec. 3, 2023.

NASA+, NASA Television, the agency’s website and the NASA app now are providing live coverage of the docking of a Roscosmos cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station.

The uncrewed Progress 87 launched on a Soyuz rocket at 10:25 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 14 (8:25 a.m. Baikonur time Thursday, Feb. 15) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Stem Cell Research Continues, Crew Preps for Cargo Arrival

NASA astronaut and Expedition 70 Flight Engineer Loral O'Hara works on a bone cell study inside the Life Science Glovebox located inside the International Space Station's Kibo laboratory module. O’Hara was working on the Microgravity Associated Bone Loss-A investigation that may provide a better understanding of space-caused bone loss and aging-related bone conditions on Earth.
NASA astronaut and Expedition 70 Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara works on a bone cell study inside the Life Science Glovebox located inside the International Space Station’s Kibo laboratory module. O’Hara was working on the Microgravity Associated Bone Loss-A investigation that may provide a better understanding of space-caused bone loss and aging-related bone conditions on Earth.

Stem cell research carried into Friday as the Expedition 70 crew members worked to wrap up an experiment that began earlier in the week. As science continued aboard the International Space Station, a cargo craft is currently in orbit preparing to approach the orbiting laboratory for an automatic docking scheduled for the early morning hours Saturday.

Two cosmonauts, Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub, are gearing up to be on duty monitoring the automated docking of the Progress 87 cargo craft, which launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:25 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 14. Loaded with nearly three tons of food, fuel, and supplies, Progress is scheduled to dock to the station at 1:12 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17. Kononenko and Chub spent Friday preparing for the upcoming cargo delivery by reviewing telerobotically operated rendezvous unit (TORU) procedures, which allows them to remotely control an arriving spacecraft in the unlikely event it could not automatically dock.

In the Kibo Laboratory, another day of stem cell research was underway for four orbital residents. Throughout the morning, NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara, with assistance from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa, processed samples inside the Life Sciences Glovebox for the Microgravity Associated Bone Loss-A (MABL-A) investigation. The duo carried out the experiment to help scientists assess the effects of microgravity on bone marrow stem cells, which may provide a better understanding of space-caused bone loss and aging-related bone conditions on Earth.

NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, with assistance from ESA (European Space Agency) Commander Andreas Mogensen, then took over the work with MABL-A, sampling additional stem cells throughout the afternoon.

O’Hara also spent some time conducting maintenance in the Bishop Airlock. Furukawa removed old and installed new CO2 units in Kibo’s gas supply equipment, Moghbeli conducted some orbital plumbing, and Mogensen analyzed some bacteria samples that were collected earlier in the week.

In the Roscosmos segment, Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov ran a distillation cycle on the water processing unit. Later on, he conducted an experiment to analyze Earth’s nighttime atmosphere in near-ultraviolet.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Stem Cell Science and Human Research Studies Ahead of Cargo Arrival

The seven-member Expedition 70 crew gathers for a dinner time portrait inside the International Space Station's Unity module. In the front row from left are, Flight Engineers Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos, Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA, and Satoshi Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). In the back row are, Commander Andreas Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency), NASA Flight Engineer Loral O'Hara, and Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub.
The seven-member Expedition 70 crew gathers for a dinner time portrait inside the International Space Station’s Unity module. In the front row from left are, Flight Engineers Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos, Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA, and Satoshi Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). In the back row are, Commander Andreas Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency), NASA Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara, and Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub.

A cargo craft loaded with nearly three tons of food, fuel, and supplies is currently in orbit heading to the International Space Station, targeting early Saturday for docking. As the Expedition 70 crew members await the arrival of Progress 87, stem cell science, heart rate data collection and eye exam activities topped their research schedule on Thursday.

Progress 87 successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:25 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 14. On Saturday, Feb. 17, the cargo craft will automatically dock to the aft port of the Zvezda service module at 1:12 a.m., with cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub on duty to monitor the spacecraft’s arrival.

Aboard station, four orbital residents spent most of the day on the Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Microgravity Induced Bone Loss (MABL-A) investigation. MABL-A—delivered aboard Northrop Grumman’s 20th Commercial Resupply Mission—assesses the effects of microgravity on bone marrow stem cells. In the morning, NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara collected BioCell samples inside the habitat with assistance from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Flight Engineer Satoshi Furkawa. In the afternoon, NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli took over the BioCell sampling work with assistance from ESA (European Space Agency) Commander Andreas Mogensen.

Mogensen also spent part of the day photographing Plant-Microbe Interactions in Space (APEX-10) petri plates—another investigation that launched aboard Northrop Grumman’s 20th resupply mission—to examine whether beneficial microbes can mitigate some of the negative effects the space environment can have on plant growth and development.

In the afternoon, O’Hara conducted an array of activities for the CIPHER investigation, including the collection of heart rate data and completing an eye exam. CIPHER, or Complement of Integrated Protocols for Human Exploration Research, is an all-encompassing, total-body approach that examines how humans adapt to spaceflight.

In the Roscosmos segment, Chub worked with Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov to film an educational video that demonstrates the capabilities of Roscosmos scientific hardware aboard station. Meanwhile, Kononenko conducted some routine maintenance in Zarya module. Near the end of the day, Borisov examined the Earth’s nighttime atmosphere in near-ultraviolet for an ongoing investigation aboard the orbital lab.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Cargo Craft Successfully Launches to Station

The Progress 87 cargo craft launches to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Feb. 14, 2024. Credit: NASA TV
The Progress 87 cargo craft launches to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Feb. 14, 2024. Credit: NASA TV

The unpiloted Roscosmos Progress 87 is safely in orbit headed for the International Space Station following launch at 10:25 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 14 (8:25 a.m. Baikonur time Thursday, Feb. 15) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The resupply ship reached preliminary orbit, and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned, on its way to meet up with the orbiting laboratory and its Expedition 70 crew members.

Progress will dock to the aft port of the Zvezda service module two days later at 1:12 a.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 17. Live coverage of rendezvous and docking will begin at 12:30 a.m. Progress will deliver almost three tons of food, fuel, and supplies to the space station.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Progress Cargo Craft Launching Live on NASA TV

The ISS Progress 75 resupply ship is pictured with a Full Moon above the Earth’s horizon after undocking from the station. Credits: NASA
The ISS Progress 75 resupply ship is pictured with a Full Moon above the Earth’s horizon after undocking from the station. Credits: NASA

NASA+, NASA Television, the agency’s website and the NASA app are providing live coverage of the launch of a Roscosmos cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station.

The unpiloted Progress 87 is scheduled to lift off on a Soyuz rocket at 10:25 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 14 (8:25 a.m. Baikonur time Thursday, Feb. 15) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Progress will dock to the aft port of the Zvezda service module two days later at 1:12 a.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 17 . NASA coverage of rendezvous and docking will begin at 12:30 a.m.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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