Tag Archives: NASA

Lung Tissue, Immune System Research Ahead of New Crew Launch

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Astronaut Randy Bresnik

Astronaut Randy Bresnik works on an experiment inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox located in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module.

The three orbiting Expedition 53 crew members explored growing new lung tissue, foods that affect the immune system and microscopic particles suspended in liquids. Another trio of crew members is just a day away from launching to the International Space Station and beginning a five-and-a-half month stay in space.

Over the weekend, the crew wrapped up the Lung Tissue experiment. The study is using the latest bioengineering techniques to grow lung tissue in space and observe how microgravity affects the process.

Another study is looking at which foods can improve the gut environment and immune system while living in space. Scientists on Earth will take a look at microbe and metabolite samples taken from mice living aboard the station to determine the diet’s effectiveness.

A specialized microscope is being worked on inside the Fluids Integrated Rack. The advanced light imaging microscope facility will be used for the upcoming ACE-T6 study that is researching ways to improve the manufacturing process for consumer products. The microscope will be used to peer at tiny particles suspended in liquids, called colloids, which affect the way products separate, clump together and spoil.

Back on Earth, two American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut are a day away from beginning their Expedition 53-54 mission. Soyuz Commander Alexander Misurkin will lead the near six-hour flight from Kazakhstan to the station’s Poisk docking compartment with Flight Engineers Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei.


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Space Science Work Today as New Crew Waits for Launch

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Expedition 53-54 Prime and Backup Crew Members

Expedition 53-54 prime and backup crew members pose in front of the Soyuz MS-06 rocket that will launch Sept. 12 carrying Alexander Misurkin, Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba to the space station. Credit: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center/Irina Peshkova

Today’s science tasks included an inspection on an advanced microscope and readying a magnetic field experiment. The crew also worked on a failed electrical device that was robotically transferred to the Kibo laboratory module in early August.

Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli removed a failed Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) from Kibo’s airlock today. The duo swapped out some electronics gear in the MBSU and tested the device while it was connected to a laptop computer.

Nespoli started his day setting up the Magvector magnetic field experiment for operations set to begin next week. The study investigates how Earth’s magnetic field interacts with an electrical conductor potentially improving electrical experiments in space.

As Bresnik was wrapping up his MBSU maintenance work, Nespoli began inspecting advanced microscope gear. The variety of new Light Microscopy Module gear had been recently launched and was being checked for shattered materials.

Three new Expedition 53 crew members are at the Baikonur Cosmodrome just five days away from their launch to the International Space Station. Two NASA astronauts and a Roscosmos cosmonaut are in final preparations checking their Sokol launch and entry suits and examining their Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft.


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New Exercise Tech, DNA Studies on Station as New Crew Preps for Launch

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Expedition 53-54 Crew Members

The Expedition 53-54 crew members (from left) Joe Acaba, Alexander Misurkin and Mark Vande Hei. Misurkin is a Roscosmos cosmonaut making his second trip to the station. Acaba and Vande Hei are both NASA astronauts. Acaba is making his third trip to space. Vande Hei is about to embark on his first space mission.

A new set of Expedition 53 crew members arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site today ahead of their Sept. 12 liftoff to the International Space Station. NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei along with cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin will take a near six-hour ride to their new home in space aboard the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft.

The orbiting Expedition 53 trio is checking out new exercise gear today that takes up less space and is more reliable than current station equipment. The crew is also getting ready to explore DNA alterations that occur when living in space.

The new Mini-Exercise Device-2 (MED-2) is an order of magnitude lighter and smaller than existing equipment on the station. Commander Randy Bresnik worked out on the MED-2 today testing its ability provide motion and resistance workouts. Bresnik performed deadlifts and rows on the MED-2 to demonstrate the reliability of its small robotic actuators.

The commander also set up a work area for upcoming work with the student-designed Genes In Space-2 experiment. The experiment will explore ways to observe how microgravity alters DNA and weakens the immune system.

Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli from the European Space Agency checked out physics and life science equipment today. The veteran astronaut cleaned and installed handrails on the Electromagnetic Levitation device then swapped out gear inside the Space Automated Bioproduct Lab.


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Touchdown! Expedition 52 Back on Earth

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Expedition 52 Lands

The Soyuz MS-04 vehicle is pictured the moment it touches down with the Expedition 52 crew inside. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who set multiple U.S. space records during her mission aboard the International Space Station, along with crewmates Jack Fischer of NASA and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos, safely landed on Earth Saturday at 9:21 p.m. EDT (7:21 a.m. Kazakhstan time, Sept. 3), southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

While living and working aboard the world’s only orbiting laboratory, Whitson and Fischer contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, welcomed several cargo spacecraft delivering tons of supplies and research experiments, and conducted a combined six spacewalks to perform maintenance and upgrades to the station.

Among their scientific exploits, Whitson and Fischer supported research into the physical changes to astronaut’s eyes caused by prolonged exposure to a microgravity environment. They also conducted a new lung tissue study that explored how stem cells work in the unique microgravity environment of the space station, which may pave the way for future stem cell research in space.

Additional research included an antibody investigation that could increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment, and the study of plant physiology and growth in space using an advanced plant habitat. NASA also attached the Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass Investigation (ISS CREAM) on the outside of the space station in August, which is now observing cosmic rays coming from across the galaxy.

The crew members received a total of seven cargo deliveries during their mission. A Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle launched to the space station in December 2016 delivering new lithium-ion batteries that were installed using a combination of robotics and spacewalks. Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the station in April on the company’s seventh commercial resupply mission. Three SpaceX Dragon spacecraft completed commercial resupply missions to the station in February, June and August. And, Russian ISS Progress cargo spacecraft docked to the station in February and June.

Whitson’s return marks the completion of a 288-day mission that began last November and spanned 122.2 million miles and 4,623 orbits of the Earth – her third long-duration mission on the station. During her latest mission, Whitson performed four spacewalks, bringing her career total to 10. With a total of 665 days in space, Whitson holds the U.S. record and places eighth on the all-time space endurance list.

Fischer, who launched in April, completed 136 days in space, during which he conducted the first and second spacewalks of his career. Yurchikhin, who launched with Fischer, now has a total of 673 days in space, putting him seventh place on the all-time endurance list.

Expedition 53 continues operating the station, with Randy Bresnik of NASA in command, and Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) serving as flight engineers. The three-person crew will operate the station until the arrival of NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba, and Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos. Vande Hei, Acaba and Misurkin are scheduled to launch Sept. 12 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram and Twitter at:

https://instagram.com/iss

https://www.twitter.com/Space_Station


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

Record-Setting NASA Astronaut, Crewmates Prepare for Return to Earth

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Expedition 52 Crew Members

Expedition 52 crew members (from left) Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson prepare the Sokol launch and entry suits they will wear when they undock and land in their Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft.

Record-breaking NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and her Expedition 52 crewmates, Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, are scheduled to depart the International Space Station and return to Earth Saturday, Sept. 2. NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide complete coverage of their departure and landing.

The trio will undock their Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft from the space station at 5:58 p.m. EDT and land in Kazakhstan at 9:22 p.m. (7:22 a.m. Sept. 3, Kazakhstan time). NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik has taken over command of the station from Yurchikhin.

The complete schedule of return coverage is as follows (all times EDT):

  • 2:15 p.m. – farewell and hatch closure (hatch closure at 2:40 p.m.)
  • 5:30 p.m. – undocking (undocking at 5:58 p.m.)
  • 8 p.m. – deorbit burn and landing (deorbit burn at 8:29 p.m. and landing at 9:22 p.m.)
  • 11 p.m. – replay of hatch closure, undocking and landing activities

Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crew members, at: www.nasa.gov/station

Get breaking news, images, videos and features from the station on social media at:

As a result of the impacts of Hurricane Harvey, NASA plans a modified return to Houston of Whitson and Fischer and the science samples landing in the Soyuz spacecraft. The crew will participate in standard post-flight medical evaluations. Working with our International Space Station partners, NASA secured the services of ESA (European Space Agency) to return the crew from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, to Cologne, Germany.  NASA’s G-5 will depart Houston on Saturday to meet the crew and science samples in Cologne. They’re expected to return to Houston on Sunday night.  All necessary facilities onsite at NASA’s Johnson Space Center necessary to support crew and science objectives are being checked out, and readied for the return to Houston.

While living and working aboard the space station, the Expedition 52 crew pursued hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanity’s only orbiting laboratory.

Expedition 53 will begin when Whitson, Fischer and Yurchikhin depart with Randy Bresnik of NASA in command, and Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency), on board. The three-person crew will operate the station until the arrival of three new crew members later this month.

NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba, and Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos, are scheduled to launch Sept. 12 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.


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Spacewalk Comes to a Close

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Spacewalkers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazanskiy

At the bottom center, spacewalkers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazanskiy are partially obscured by gear on the outside of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

The two spacewalkers exited the Pirs Docking Compartment Station at 10:36 a.m. EDT. Among their accomplishments was manual deployment of five nanosatellites from a ladder outside the airlock.

One of the satellites, with casings made using 3-D printing technology, will test the effect of the low-Earth-orbit environment on the composition of 3-D printed materials. Another satellite contains recorded greetings to the people of Earth in 11 languages. A third satellite commemorates the 60th anniversary of the launch and the 160th anniversary of the birth of Russian scientist.

They also collected residue samples from various locations outside the Russian segment of the station.


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

Cosmonauts Begin Spacewalk

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Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazanskiy

Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin (left) and Sergey Ryazanskiy are pictured in the Orlan spacesuits they are wearing during today’s spacewalk. Credit: @SergeyISS

Expedition 52 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy, of the Russian space agency Roscosmos began a planned six-hour spacewalk from the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station at 10:36 a.m. EDT.

Both spacewalkers are wearing Russian Orlan spacesuits with blue stripes. Yurchikhin is designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1) for this spacewalk, the ninth of his career. Ryazanskiy, embarking on his fourth spacewalk, is extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2).

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


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Dragon Installed to Station for Month of Cargo Swaps

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Space Station Configuration

Four spaceships are parked at the space station including the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft, the Progress 67 resupply ship and two Soyuz crew ships.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was berthed to the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 9:07 a.m. EDT. The hatch between the newly arrived spacecraft and the Harmony module of the space station is scheduled to be opened as soon as later today.

CRS-12 is scheduled to deliver more than 6,400 pounds of supplies and payloads to the station, including a sweet treat for the astronauts: ice cream. The small cups of chocolate, vanilla and birthday cake-flavored ice cream are arriving in freezers that will be reloaded with research samples for return to Earth when the Dragon spacecraft departs the station mid-September.

For more information about the SpaceX CRS-12 mission, visit www.nasa.gov/spacex. Join the conversation on Twitter by following @Space_Station.


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Robotic Arm Reaches Out and Grapples Dragon

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SpaceX Dragon

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is pictured approaching the International Space Station on Wednesday morning. Credit: NASA TV

While the International Space Station was traveling over the Pacific Ocean north of New Zealand, NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Paolo Nespoli captured the Dragon spacecraft at 6:52 a.m. EDT using the station’s robotic arm. It then will be installed on the station’s Harmony module.

NASA Television coverage of installation will begin at 8:30 a.m. Watch online at www.nasa.gov/live.

For more information about the SpaceX CRS-12 mission, visit www.nasa.gov/spacex. Join the conversation on Twitter by following @Space_Station.


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

Expedition 52 Awaits Wednesday Dragon Arrival, Thursday Spacewalk

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Expedition 52 Crew Portrait

The Expedition 52 crew poses for a unique portrait. Pictured clockwise from top right are, Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli, Jack Fischer, Peggy Whitson, Sergey Ryazanskiy, Randy Bresnik and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin.

The SpaceX Dragon is hauling advanced space research for delivery Wednesday morning to the International Space Station. Two cosmonauts are also gearing up for the seventh station spacewalk this year set to begin Thursday morning.

Dragon is less than 24 hours from its approach and rendezvous with the space station for SpaceX’s third resupply mission this year. Astronauts Jack Fischer and Paolo Nespoli will be in the Cupola commanding the Canadarm2 robotic arm to grapple Dragon at 7 a.m. EDT Wednesday. NASA TV will begin live coverage of Dragon’s arrival at 5:30 a.m.

Dragon will stay open at the station’s Harmony module for a month of cargo swaps. The astronauts will offload new life science studies to improve therapies against Parkinson’s disease and explore ways to grow lung tissue as well as other research. A new pair of external experiments will also be deployed including a cosmic ray study to be installed outside of the Kibo lab module and a nanosatellite technology demonstration.

Two cosmonauts are trying on their Orlan spacesuits today to ensure they are ready for Thursday morning’s spacewalk. Veteran spacewalkers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazanskiy will exit the Pirs airlock at 10:45 a.m. for about six hours of science and maintenance work. Thursday’s spacewalk highlight will be when Ryazanskiy manually deploys five nanosatellites, including the first 3D printed CubeSat, into Earth orbit.


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

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