SpaceX Cargo Dragon Undocks from Station for Monday Splashdown

A SpaceX cargo Dragon spacecraft undocked from the International Docking Adapter on the station’s space-facing port of the Harmony module at 10:40am ET.
A SpaceX cargo Dragon spacecraft undocked from the International Docking Adapter on the station’s space-facing port of the Harmony module at 10:40 a.m. EST.

A SpaceX cargo Dragon spacecraft undocked from the International Docking Adapter on the station’s space-facing port of the Harmony module at 10:40 a.m. EST.

Dragon will now fire its thrusters to move a safe distance from the space station. Controllers will command a deorbit burn Monday, Jan. 24. After re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will make a parachute-assisted splashdown about 4:05 p.m., off the coast of Florida near Panama City. NASA TV will not broadcast the splashdown but the agency will provide updates on the space station blog.

Dragon launched Dec. 21 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, arriving at the station less than 24 hours later. The spacecraft delivered more than 6,500 pounds of hardware, research investigations and crew supplies.


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NASA TV is Live as SpaceX Cargo Dragon Prepares for Departure

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon resupply ship is photographed departing the station on July 8, 2021.
The SpaceX Cargo Dragon resupply ship is photographed departing the station on July 8, 2021.

NASA Television and the agency’s website are broadcasting live coverage for the departure of a SpaceX cargo Dragon spacecraft from the International Space Station.

The spacecraft is filled with more than 4,900 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo to return to Earth to complete SpaceX’s 24th commercial resupply services mission for NASA.

Ground controllers at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, will send commands at 10:35 a.m. for Dragon to undock from the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module Dragon will fire its thrusters to move a safe distance from the station and exit the area of the space station to begin its return to Earth.

Dragon will initiate a deorbit burn Monday, Jan. 24 to begin its re-entry sequence into Earth’s atmosphere then make a parachute-assisted splashdown about 4:05 p.m., off the coast of Florida. NASA TV will not broadcast the splashdown but the agency will provide updates on the space station blog.


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

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Dragon Departure Waits One More Day Due to Adverse Weather

The International Space Station configuration shows the SpaceX Cargo Dragon docked to the Harmony module's space-facing port.
The International Space Station configuration shows the SpaceX Cargo Dragon docked to the Harmony module’s space-facing port.

As a result of adverse weather conditions at the targeted splashdown zone off the coast of Florida, SpaceX has waived off today’s planned departure of an upgraded SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft.

SpaceX and NASA are now targeting 10:40 a.m. EST on Sunday, Jan. 23 for undocking from the International Space Station of a SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft filled with more than 4,900 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo.

NASA Television and the agency’s website will broadcast its departure live beginning at 10:15 a.m. EST.

Splashing down off the coast of Florida enables quick transportation of the experiments to NASA’s Space Station Processing Facility at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, allowing researchers to collect data with minimal sample exposure to Earth’s gravity.


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

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Dragon Go for Saturday Departure; Post-Spacewalk Cleanup Continues

A faint aurora and the Earth's atmospheric glow are pictured above the city lights of Ireland and Great Britain from the space station.
A faint aurora and the Earth’s atmospheric glow are pictured above the city lights of Ireland and Great Britain from the space station.

The five astronauts representing the Expedition 66 crew had an off-duty day on Friday while the two cosmonauts continued their post-spacewalk activities. A U.S. resupply ship is also on track to depart the International Space Station on Saturday.

Mission controllers have given the go for the Cargo Dragon, packed with science experiments and station hardware, to undock from the Harmony module’s space-facing port at 10:40 a.m. EST on Saturday. Dragon will then parachute to a splashdown off the coast of Florida early Monday morning for retrieval by SpaceX recovery personnel. NASA TV will cover only the undocking and departure activities live on the NASA app and the agency’s website beginning Saturday at 10:15 a.m.

The four U.S. astronauts and one European astronaut aboard the orbiting lab relaxed today ahead of final cargo packing operations inside the SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle on Saturday. NASA astronaut Kayla Barron along with ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer will begin Saturday loading frozen research samples into Dragon. Following that, NASA Flight Engineers Thomas Marshburn and Raja Chari will ensure all the Dragon cargo has been secured for a safe return to Earth before finally closing the hatch.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei will uninstall protein crystal samples, grown on the station and studied for the Advanced Nano Step experiment, then stow them inside the Cargo Dragon. Scientists on the ground will analyze the samples to learn how to develop new materials and drugs in space and the impacts of weightlessness on biochemistry.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov serviced their Orlan spacesuits today following Wednesday’s seven-hour and 11-minute spacewalk. Vande Hei joined the pair for a couple of hours in the afternoon disconnecting and stowing spacesuit components. During the excursion, the Russian spacewalkers activated the new Prichal docking module successfully integrating it with the orbiting lab’s Russian segment.


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

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Dragon Departure Delayed as Cosmonauts Cleanup after Spacewalk

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov work outside the Nauka and Prichal modules during a seven-hour, 11-minute spacewalk.
Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov (bottom left to right) work outside the Nauka and Prichal modules during a seven-hour, 11-minute spacewalk.

A U.S. resupply ship will wait at least one extra day to undock from the International Space Station while being packed with critical research samples for return to Earth. Meanwhile, two Expedition 66 cosmonauts are cleaning up following a spacewalk to activate a Russian docking module.

A forecast of inclement weather has caused a postponement of the departure of the SpaceX Cargo Dragon from the Harmony module‘s space-facing port from Friday to Saturday. Undocking is now targeted for Saturday, Jan. 22 at 10:40 a.m. EST. NASA TV coverage, on the NASA app and the agency’s website, will begin Saturday at 10:15 a.m.

The next weather briefing by SpaceX is planned for 12 p.m. Friday. If undocking occurs on Saturday, splashdown would be scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 23 around 4 p.m. The final splashdown site will be selected closer to deorbit and splashdown time.

Meanwhile, NASA Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Thomas Marshburn spent Thursday morning loading biology samples inside the Cargo Dragon for return and analysis on Earth. Barron also joined ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer transferring science freezers filled with more research samples into the U.S. resupply ship.

Life science moved right along throughout Thursday as Maurer and NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei continued studying how a long-term space mission affects an astronaut’s visual function. NASA astronaut Raja Chari collected his blood and urine samples for stowage in a science freezer and later analysis. Chari later worked on the Food Physiology human research study that is exploring how diet and nutrition affect a crew member’s health in space.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov called down to Russian mission controllers in the morning for a post-spacewalk conference. The duo activated the new Prichal docking module successfully integrating it with the orbiting lab’s Russian segment during Wednesday’s seven-hour and 11-minute spacewalk. Vande Hei, who assisted the spacewalkers on Thursday, also joined the pair on Friday helping remove U.S. lights and cameras installed on the Orlan spacesuits.


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

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Cosmonauts Wrap Up Spacewalk after Russian Module Work

Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov works to configure and activate the Prichal module during a spacewalk on Jan. 19, 2022. Credit: NASA TV
Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov works to configure and activate the Prichal module during a spacewalk on Jan. 19, 2022. Credit: NASA TV

Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos concluded their spacewalk at 2:28 p.m. EST after 7 hours and 11 minutes.

Shkaplerov and Dubrov completed their major objectives for today to ready the new Prichal module for future Russian visiting spacecraft. The cosmonauts installed handrails, rendezvous antennas, a television camera, and docking targets on Prichal, which automatically docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module in November.

This was the first spacewalk this year and the 246th overall in support of space station assembly, maintenance and upgrades. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 64 days, 19 hours, and 37 minutes working outside the station.

This was the third spacewalk in Shkaplerov’s career, who has now spent a total of 21 hours and 39 minutes spacewalking, and the fourth for Dubrov, bringing his total to 29 hours and 49 minutes of spacewalk time.

Additional spacewalks are planned this spring to outfit a European robotic arm on the Nauka laboratory and to activate Nauka’s airlock for future spacewalk activity.


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

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Russian Spacewalkers Exit Station to Service Russian Modules

Cosmonauts (from left) Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov are pictured in their Russian Orlan spacesuits for a fit check and leak checks on Jan. 14.
Cosmonauts (from left) Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov are pictured in their Russian Orlan spacesuits for a fit check and leak checks on Jan. 14.

Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos began a spacewalk to ready the new Prichal module for future Russian visiting spacecraft when they opened the hatch of the Poisk docking compartment airlock of the International Space Station at 7:17 a.m. EST.

Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Shkaplerov, designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1), is wearing a Russian Orlan spacesuit with red stripes, and Dubrov is wearing a spacesuit with blue stripes as extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2).

Views from a camera on Shkaplerov’s helmet are designated with the number 22, and Dubrov’s is labeled with the number 16.

The duo’s primary tasks for today’s spacewalk are to install handrails, rendezvous antennas, a television camera, and docking targets on Prichal, which automatically docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module in November.


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

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NASA TV is Live as Two Cosmonauts Prep for Station Spacewalk

Cosmonauts (from left) Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov are conducting the first spacewalk of 2022.
Cosmonauts (from left) Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov are conducting the first spacewalk of 2022.

NASA Television coverage of today’s spacewalk with cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos is now underway and is also available on the NASA app and the agency’s website.

The crew members of Expedition 66 are preparing to exit the International Space Station‘s Poisk module on the space-facing side of the station’s Russian segment for a spacewalk expected to begin at approximately 7 a.m. EST and last approximately seven hours.

During the spacewalk, the cosmonauts will install handrails, rendezvous antennas, a television camera, and docking targets on Prichal, which automatically docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module in November.

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying three cosmonauts, who will be part of the Expedition 67 crew, is the first scheduled docking to Prichal, planned for March.

Shkaplerov will serve as extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1) and will wear a Russian Orlan spacesuit with red stripes. Dubrov will wear a spacesuit with blue stripes as extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2). This will be the third spacewalk in Shkaplerov’s career and the fourth for Dubrov. The first spacewalk at the station in 2022 also will be 246th spacewalk for space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.


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

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Crew Gets Ready for Spacewalk and Dragon Departure This Week

Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov is pictured during a spacewalk on Sept. 3, 2021, to begin outfitting Russia's Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.
Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov is pictured during a spacewalk on Sept. 3, 2021, to begin outfitting Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

The Expedition 66 crew is getting ready for a spacewalk on Wednesday while packing a U.S. resupply ship for its departure on Friday. Meanwhile, the International Space Station also hosted a pair of space biology studies exploring exercise and vision.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov finalized their preparations today for the first spacewalk of 2022 set to begin at 7 a.m. EST on Wednesday. The duo completed reviewing the procedures they will use during the seven-hour spacewalk to outfit Russia’s new Nauka and Prichal modules. They will wear their Russian Orlan spacesuits and exit the Poisk module’s airlock at 7 a.m. where their spacewalking gear is staged.  NASA TV, on the NASA app and the agency’s website, will broadcast the space activities live beginning at 6 a.m.

Three NASA astronauts continued loading the SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle ahead of its undocking on Friday at 10:40 a.m. Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Raja Chari started the loading after lunch time, before NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn joined them at the end of the day to help organize and secure the cargo.

Marshburn, along with astronaut Matthias Maurer from ESA (European Space Agency), also participated in an workout session on the exercise cycle located in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module. The duo took turns pedaling for an hour each wearing monitors that measured their heart rate for a human research study.

Maurer then joined NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron for the rest of the day inside the Kibo laboratory module for a vision investigation. The pair conducted the research operations using the Life Science Glovebox to understand how a long-term space mission affects an astronaut’s visual function and to promote eye health on Earth.

Axiom Mission 1, the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station, is now targeting to launch March 31 to account for additional spacecraft preparations and space station traffic. Once aboard the orbiting laboratory, the four-person Axiom Space crew will conduct science, outreach, and commercial activities for eight days before their return to Earth.


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Week Ends With Spacesuit Checks, Dragon Packing and Eye Exams

Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov is pictured during a spacewalk on Sept. 3, 2021, to begin outfitting the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.
Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov is pictured during a spacewalk on Sept. 3, 2021, to begin outfitting the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

The Expedition 66 crew is wrapping up the work week continuing its Russian spacewalk preparations while packing a U.S. resupply ship for departure next week. The orbital residents also had time set aside for eye checks and science hardware work.

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle is due to complete its mission at the International Space Station on Jan. 21 after 30 days docked to the Harmony module’s space-facing port. NASA Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Thomas Marshburn began Friday loading up the Dragon with a variety of cargo that will be returned to Earth one day after the vehicle’s undocking. ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer assisted the duo in the afternoon organizing and securing the cargo inside the U.S. commercial cargo craft.

Chari and Maurer also led a pair of eye checks aboard the orbiting lab on Friday afternoon with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei as the subject. Maurer started the first exam scanning Vande Hei’s eye with the Ultrasound 2 device. Following that, Chari looked at the veteran astronaut’s retinas using standard medical imaging gear, optical coherence tomography, that can be found inside a doctor’s office.

NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron spent Friday working on experiment hardware throughout the space station’s U.S. segment. She started the morning retrieving research components exposed to the harsh environment of space from inside the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock. During the afternoon, Barron began setting up and photographing science gear in several station modules to prepare for upcoming research.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov spent the last day of the week trying on their Russian Orlan spacesuits, checking for pressure leaks and testing their communication systems. They will exit the Poisk module on Jan. 19 for a seven hour spacewalk to outfit and configure the Prichal and Nauka modules.


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

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