U.S. Cargo Ship Rolls Out to Pad for Thursday Launch

Cygnus Rolls Out to Launch Pad
The Cygnus cargo craft atop the Atlas V rocket rolls out to the launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

Orbital ATK rolled out its Cygnus resupply ship to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch pad in Florida today. Cygnus will launch atop an Atlas V rocket at 5:55 p.m. EST Thursday. The private U.S. space freighter will deliver new science experiments and crew supplies to the International Space Station crew early Sunday.

Amid Cygnus rendezvous and capture preparations, Commander Scott Kelly with Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui also worked on biomedical science activities today. The trio collected blood and urine samples and participated in a vision test to help doctors understand the effects of living in space on astronauts.

Cosmonauts Sergey Volkov and Mikhail Kornienko continued studying how blood circulates in space. Volkov then moved on to an experiment observing how the vacuum of space and space radiation may influence organisms off Earth. Kornienko explored new Earth photography techniques.

Lindgren and Yui are returning home Dec. 11 with Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko after 141 days in space. The three Expedition 45 home-bound crew members checked the spacesuits they will wear on the way home for leaks.

Station Ramping Up for New Crew and New Supplies

The Sun's light
The Sun’s light is reflected off a body of water as the space station orbit’s Earth.

A trio of International Space Station residents is getting ready to return to Earth while a new crew in Kazakhstan is preparing to replace them. Meanwhile, a pair of space freighters, the Orbital ATK Cygnus and Russia’s Progress 62 (62P), is being readied for liftoff as another docked cargo craft is being packed before it’s undocking.

The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft will launch Thursday at 5:55 p.m. EST to the station. The 61P is scheduled for a Dec. 21 liftoff. While mission managers are preparing three different spacecraft for launch this month, the Expedition 45 crew is performing research to help scientists benefit life on Earth and crews in space.

The next home-bound astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui checked their vision and blood pressure today for the Ocular Health study. The duo will return home with Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko Dec. 11 officially ending the Expedition 45 mission. Kononenko participated in a pair of blood circulation experiments, Cosmocard and Cardiovector, and prepared the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft for its departure in less than two weeks.

Commander Scott Kelly, who is staying in space until March with Flight Engineer Sergey Volkov and fellow One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko, sampled and tested the station’s water quality. Volkov and Kornienko explored veins in the lower body to understand blood flow during a long-term space mission.

The next crew to live on the space station, Expedition 46, is at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site counting down to its Dec. 15 liftoff inside the Soyuz TMA-19M rocket. First-time British astronaut Timothy Peake is joining veteran station crew members Timothy Kopra and Yuri Malenchenko for the six-month mission aboard the orbital laboratory.

Astronauts Prepare for Dec. 6 Commercial Cargo Shipment

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The next cargo mission to the International Space Station is set to launch Dec. 3 at 5:55 p.m. EST.  The Orbital ATK Cygnus commercial cargo craft will arrive Dec. 6 when it will be grappled with the Canadarm2 and berthed to the Unity module.

Commander Scott Kelly joined Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui and trained for Cygnus arrival. They used computer training software and practiced the rendezvous and grapple techniques they will use while operating the Canadarm2 from inside the cupola.

The crew was back at work Monday conducting more science to benefit life on Earth and astronauts in space. They explored a variety of subjects including human research, botany and physics.

Kelly looked at working with touch-based technologies, explored liquid crystals and tended plants. His One-Year crewmate Mikhail Kornienko downlinked earthquake data captured on the orbital lab and stowed trash inside a Russian resupply ship.

Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko researched veins in the lower extremities of crew members and performed a vision test. Flight Engineer Sergey Volkov participated in Crew Medical Officer training and photographed the condition of the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft windows.

Yui researched intracranial pressure caused by microgravity potentially affecting an astronaut’s vision. He also began a 24-hour data take while attached to an electrocardiogram. Lindgren studied new exercise techniques using gear that measures respiratory and cardiovascular functions.

 

 

Crew Explores Human Research and Cleans Orbital Lab

Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko
Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko is pictured with photography gear floating in front of him.

The Expedition 45 crew is continuing more biomedical and psychological research today. Ground controllers are also remotely operating the Canadarm2 robotic arm for a video scan of Russian solar arrays.

Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui were back at work Wednesday with more Ocular Health science conducting eye scans and cardiac exams. Lindgren also worked on gear that fuels combustion science experiments while Yui talked to his Japanese support team and cleaned inside the Kibo laboratory module.

Commander Scott Kelly collected and stowed a urine sample for the Twins study then participated in research that explores how international space crews operate under stress. Kelly also replaced Trace Contaminant Control System gear inside the Tranquility module.

Cosmonaut Sergey Volkov explored the effect of micro-vibrations in the Russian segment of the station. He also explored the relationship between a crew and Mission Control during a long term spaceflight. One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko studied chemical reactions in Earth’s upper atmosphere. He, Volkov and cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko also worked on Russian cleaning and maintenance tasks.

Crew Readying Spacewalk Gear and Studying Life Science

Kimiya Yui, Kjell Lindgren and Sergey Volkov
Expedition 45 crew members Kimiya Yui, Kjell Lindgren and Sergey Volkov work inside the Quest airlock to get a pair of spacesuits ready for upcoming spacewalks. Credit: NASA TV

The International Space Station crew is gearing up for a couple of spacewalks to service and upgrade the orbital laboratory. Meanwhile, the crew is also working long-term life science to improve life on Earth and in future space crews.

The U.S. Quest airlock is getting busy as NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren get their spacesuits and tools ready for a pair of spacewalks set for Oct. 28 and Nov. 26. They are checking their suit electronics and safety systems and also building custom tools.

The first spacewalk is set to last six-hours and 30-minutes after Kelly and Lindgren set their spacesuits to battery power. The duo will exit Quest to place a thermal cover over a dark matter detection experiment, lubricate the 57.7 foot Canadarm2 robotic and route power cables for a future docking port.

The entire crew still continued the work of on-orbit science, the primary purpose of the space station. Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, along with Kelly and Lindgren performed cardiac scans with an ultrasound for the Ocular Health study. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui set up a mouse habitat inside the Cell Biology Experiment Facility.

Crew Works Spacesuit and Tool Preps and Life Science Experiments

Scott Kelly, Sergey Volkov and Mikhail Kornienko
ISS045E020492 (09/22/2015) — NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (left) and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Volkov (center) and Mikhail Kornienko (right) review procedures aboard the International Space Station.

The deployment of two Cubesats is on hold after they failed to eject a couple of weeks ago. Also, more spacesuit servicing and biomedical investigations took place today.

The deployer mechanism that ejected 14 of 16 Cubesats is back inside the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock. Two of the Cubesats did not deploy due to a secondary latch mechanism that hung up inside a deployer slot.

Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui scrubbed cooling loops inside the spacesuits that NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren will wear on two upcoming spacewalks. Lindgren also collected and organized spacewalk tools he and Kelly will use during the Oct. 28 and Nov. 6 spacewalks. The duo will exit the U.S. Quest airlock to service and upgrade hardware outside the International Space Station.

Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko joined Kelly, his One-Year crewmate, and Lindgren for Ocular Health eye exams in the afternoon. Veteran cosmonauts Sergey Volkov and Oleg Kononenko partnered up for two different experiments. They first studied heart and lung activity in microgravity then moved on to exploring using sound waves to determine the location of micrometeoroid impacts.

Biomedical Studies and Spacewalk Review Start the Crew Week

NASA Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren
NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren will conduct two spacewalks on Oct. 28 and Nov. 6. Credit: NASA TV

The crew continued more biomedical studies today so scientists can learn how long-term missions affect humans in space. The International Space Station residents also reviewed procedures for a pair of upcoming spacewalks and conducted an emergency training session.

Commander Scott Kelly joined his fellow One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko and Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui for vision tests and blood pressure checks as part of the Ocular Health study. That study, which has been ongoing since March 2013, observes the visual changes, vascular changes, and central nervous system changes that occur in crew members while living in space.

Kornienko also joined his fellow cosmonauts Sergey Volkov and Oleg Kononenko for heart evaluations while riding an exercise bicycle. They also explored crew motion disturbances in space and remote control of a robot from a spacecraft to the ground.

Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren are gearing up for a pair of spacewalks on Oct. 28 and Nov. 6. The duo joined Yui, who will choreograph the spacewalks from inside the station, for procedure reviews and a conference with specialists on the ground.

On the first spacewalk, Kelly and Lindgren will service the Canadarm2, route power cables and place a thermal shroud over the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. During the second spacewalk, the pair will return the port truss cooling system back to its original configuration after repair work completed back in 2012.

Commander Scott Kelly Breaks Time-in-Space Record

Just before the 15th anniversary of continuous human presence on the International Space Station, NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, is breaking spaceflight records. Today, Kelly begins his 383rd day living in space, surpassing U.S. astronaut Mike Fincke’s record of 382 cumulative days. Read more... http://go.nasa.gov/1LxDrvd
Just before the 15th anniversary of continuous human presence on the International Space Station, NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, is breaking spaceflight records. Today, Kelly begins his 383rd day living in space, surpassing U.S. astronaut Mike Fincke’s record of 382 cumulative days. Read more… http://go.nasa.gov/1LxDrvd

International Space Station Commander Scott Kelly set a new record today becoming the NASA astronaut with the most cumulative days in space, 383 days and counting. Mike Fincke, a two-time space station resident, was the previous record holder at 382 days. Kelly is scheduled to return to Earth on March 2, 2016, for a total of 522 days in space.

Meanwhile, the six-member Expedition 45 crew was working station maintenance, biomedical science and emergency training on Friday.

Kelly, was inside the Kibo laboratory module retrieving two CubeSat nanosatellites from the laboratory’s porch, using the Kibo airlock. His fellow NASA astronaut, Kjell Lindgren, joined Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui for eye scans with an ultrasound and heart exams with an echocardiogram. Kelly then partnered with Lindgren practicing spacewalk rescue techniques using virtual reality goggles.

Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko got together with Kelly for more eye checks using a Fundoscope. Flight Engineer Sergey Volkov installed a storage unit then serviced a video camera. Kelly’s fellow One-Year crew member, Mikhail Kornienko, worked on a radiation detection experiment before moving on to routine maintenance in the station’s Russian segment.

NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly
NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren (left) and Scott Kelly talk about two upcoming spacewalks the duo will be conducting Oct. 28 and Nov. 6. Credit: NASA TV

Eye and Heart Checks as Spacewalkers Check Suits

Kjell Lindgren and Sergey Volkov
NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren of Expedition 45 (left) provides a haircut to Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov (right) aboard the International Space Station. Not having a convienent barbershop 250 miles above the Earth, the crew helps each other out with a trimming of the locks from time to time.

The Expedition 45 residents worked on biomedical experiments Thursday observing how humans adapt to long-term missions in space. A pair of NASA astronauts is also getting ready for two upcoming spacewalks outside the International Space Station.

Commander Scott Kelly joined Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren, Kimiya Yui and Oleg Kononenko for eye exams throughout the day as part of the ongoing Ocular Health study. Doctors on the ground assisted the crew with remote guidance. Cosmonauts Sergey Volkov and Mikhail Kornienko attached sensors to themselves and monitored their hearts while they exercised on a cycle device.

Meanwhile, Kelly and Lindgren are counting down to a pair of spacewalks, now targeted for Oct. 28 and Nov. 6. The duo serviced their spacesuits today replacing lithium batteries, checking their gloves and verifying power to video cameras.

On the first spacewalk, the spacewalkers will lubricate the tip of the robotic arm Canadarm2, route power cables and place a thermal shroud over the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. During the second spacewalk, Kelly and Lindgren will refill coolant reservoirs and configure the port truss cooling system back to its original configuration after repair work completed back in 2012.

Crew Prepares for Spacewalks and December Cygnus Mission

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, wearing an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuit. Photo credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz

In two weeks, NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren will step outside the U.S. Quest airlock for the first of two maintenance spacewalks. The International Space Station is also being readied to host the next Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo mission set for early December.

Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui has been servicing the two spacesuits Kelly and Lindgren will wear on the two six-hour spacewalks scheduled for Oct. 28 and Nov. 6. The spacewalkers will lubricate the tip of the International Space Station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2. He and Lindgren started their day, though, with eye checks for the ongoing Ocular Health study.

Kelly and Lindgren have also been preparing the Unity module where the Cygnus commercial cargo craft will be attached when it arrives in December after a 14-month hiatus. Kelly installed a Unity power adapter in the Destiny lab module then joined Lindgren to adjust power connectors inside Unity.

The three cosmonauts continued their routine maintenance tasks and science experiments in the station’s Russian segment. Flight Engineer Sergey Volkov explored crystal magnetism, while Oleg Kononenko and Mikhail Kornienko studied how a crew member adapts to motion during a spaceflight.