Station Orbit Boosted Sunday Night; Eye Science on Monday

Progress 58 Docking
iss042e274677 (02/17/2015) – The Russian Progress 58 cargo craft pictured shortly before docking to the aft end of the Zvezda service module on the International Space Station.

A reboost of the International Space Station using the Russian Progress 58 cargo craft was completed successfully on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. CDT. A previous attempt on Friday evening was aborted one second into the burn automatically by the Progress vehicle. Russian flight controllers identified an issue with one of the eight thrusters on the spacecraft that was disabled for Sunday’s backup attempt.

The burn lasted 32 minutes and 3 seconds and began the process of setting up the correct phasing for the early June landing of three members of the Expedition 43 crew while providing the proper trajectory for Thursday’s return of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft for its parachute-assisted landing in the Pacific. The reboost raised the station’s altitude by 1.2 statute miles at apogee and 3 miles at perigee and left the station in an orbit of 252.2 x 247.1 statute miles.

The six-member Expedition 43 crew started its work week with medical science. The crew practiced using a tonometer on an eye simulator with help from doctors on the ground. Similarly, One-Year crew member Scott Kelly explored how microgravity shifts fluids to the upper body impacting a crew member’s vision and eye structure.

Russian Progress Spacecraft Launch Coverage

Progress 59 on pad
The ISS Progress 59 cargo ship is seen here on the launch pad in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. It will launch at 3:09 a.m. EDT on Apr. 28 to carry more than three tons of supplies to the ISS. Credit: RSC Energia

On Tuesday, Apr. 28 at 2:45 a.m. EDT, NASA Television will provide live coverage of the launch of a Russian Progress spacecraft carrying more than three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the Expedition 43 crew aboard the International Space Station.

Launch of ISS Progress 59 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is planned for 3:09 a.m. (1:09 p.m. local time in Baikonur).

Watch the launch live on NASA TV or at

Following a four-orbit, six-hour trip, Progress 59 is scheduled to arrive at the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station at 9:07 a.m. It will remain docked to the station for about six months.

The Expedition 43 crew will monitor key events during Progress 59’s automated rendezvous and docking.

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Progress 59 on Twitter, follow @Space_Station and the hashtag #ISScargo. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit:

Station Commander Celebrates Birthday in Orbit


Happy Birthday Barry Wilmore
Expedition 42 Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore celebrates his birthday on the International Space Station.

Expedition 42 Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore celebrated his 52nd birthday aboard the International Space Station today, and Mission Control gathered around a microphone to sing “Happy Birthday” to him.

Wilmore, who has been on the station since Sept. 25, was born Dec. 29, 1962, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

> Listen to Mission Control singing “Happy Birthday”

Wilmore and his crew, which includes NASA’s Terry Virts, Russian cosmonauts Elena Serova, Alexander Samoukutyaev and Anton Shkaplerov, and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, are resuming work on microgravity experiments and operational maintenance aboard the station after enjoying some time off for the holidays.

Wilmore donned a body-mounted high-tech force feedback computer joystick as part of the Haptics-1 experiment he’s scheduled to perform Tuesday. The test will look at how people in weightlessness experience touch-based feedback. Someday, astronauts may use such interfaces to guide planet or asteroid-exploring robots from orbiting human spacecraft.

> Read more about the Haptics-1 experiment

His crew mates took readings on each other for eye health research, looking into why some astronauts are coming home from long-duration missions with diminished vision.

On Tuesday, Wilmore and Cristoforetti will be interviewed by the CBS Radio Network and BBC Radio at 9:55 a.m. EST on NASA Television.