Astronauts Continue Spacewalk Prep and Install New ELF Experiments

Expedition 46 Spacewalkers U.S. Spacewalk 35
NASA’s Timothy Kopra and ESA’s Timothy Peake will perform 6.5 hour spacewalk on January 15.

Preparation continues for Tim Peake and Tim Kopra for Friday’s 7:55 a.m. EST spacewalk. Today, they will be re-familiarizing themselves with the tools needed to perform the Sequential Shunt Unit (SSU) change out.

Aside from spacewalk preparation, Commander Scott Kelly and Tim Peake will also be setting up the JAXA Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) equipment. It will be installed into the Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack 2 (MSPR2) work volume inside of the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM).

Commander Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko continue their fluid shift activities with help from Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov. Today’s activities are the third part of this experiment in which the Russian Chibis (Lower Body Negative Pressure – LBNP) is worn and ultrasound measurements of their eyes are taken.

Astronauts Prepare for Busy Week of Fluid Shift Experiments and End of Week Spacewalk

Astronauts prepare for busy week of fluid shift experiments and end of week spacewalk
NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra help ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Tim Peake with his Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) fit check.

Astronauts Tim Peake and Tim Kopra continue to prepare for their 6.5 hour spacewalk on Friday of this week. During the spacewalk they will be replacing a failed voltage regulator which will return power to one of the eight power channels.

Meanwhile, Commander Scott Kelly is gathering hardware for the fluid shifts experiment. Tomorrow, he and his one-year mission crewmate Mikhail Kornienko will be putting on the Russian Chibis suit, a lower body suit which redistributes fluids back to their legs. During this part of the experiment, they will be taking ultrasounds of their eyes to explore the correlation between body fluid distribution and potential changes in vision.

Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov has been taking readings for the Vibrolab experiment. Monitoring micro vibrations can help to understand how tiny movements affect science experiments on station.

Astronauts Ready Spacesuits as Commander Observes Moment of Silence

Expedition 46 Crew Members
Four crew members of Expedition 46 pose for the camera after taking turns getting a quick haircut onboard the International Space Station. From left to right: Roscosmos cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov, NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Timothy Peake.

Two astronauts were back at work today preparing the spacesuits and tools they will use next week during a maintenance spacewalk. The crew also wrapped up some plumbing work while continuing a wide variety of space science.

Flight Engineers Tim Kopra and Tim Peake checked out their U.S. spacesuits ensuring a good fit and readied their spacewalk tools. The duo from the United States and Britain will exit the International Space Station Jan. 15 to replace a failed voltage regulator and work on other maintenance tasks.

The station’s restroom, the Waste and Hygiene Compartment, is back in operation after some parts and cables were replaced. That work was completed after a leak was discovered.

Commander Scott Kelly joined his fellow One-Year crewmate Mikhail Kornienko for the ongoing Fluid Shifts study. That experiment explores how microgravity increases brain pressure pushing back on a crew member’s eye possibly affecting their vision.

Kelly observed a moment of silence this morning to mark the 5th anniversary of the shootings in Tucson, AZ. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, married to Kelly’s twin brother and ex-astronaut Mark Kelly, was gravely wounded that day. Kelly, who was in space that day as commander of Expedition 26, was joined by his crewmates today for the silent moment.

More Spacewalk Preps as Crew Researches Effects of Space on Life

Cygnus and Soyuz
Two docked spacecraft, the Cygnus with its circular solar arrays (left) and the Soyuz, are seen with the Earth below.

Two astronauts are counting down to a spacewalk planned for next Friday to replace a failed voltage regulator. While those preparations are under way, the crew is also exploring human research, life science and advanced physics.

Next week’s spacewalkers are NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake. They will replace a voltage regulator to restore power to one of eight power channels and take care of other maintenance tasks. The duo worked on their spacesuit batteries then joined Commander Scott Kelly to review procedures for their Jan. 15 spacewalk.

Kelly also worked on exercise research to improve fitness in space. Kopra studied heart function and Fine Motor Skills while Peake looked at arteries and how they stiffen in space.

Cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko explored magnetic fields and coulomb crystals and transferred cargo from the newest Progress 62 cargo craft. His fellow flight engineers Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov reported on the station’s scientific achievements for a Russian educational research program.

Crew Getting Spacesuits Ready While Researching Life Science

Astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake
Astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake work on U.S. spacesuits inside the Quest airlock where spacewalks are staged. Credit: NASA TV

Two astronauts are preparing a pair of U.S. spacesuits to get ready for next week’s spacewalk to continue the maintenance of the International Space Station. In the midst of those preparations, the six-member Expedition 46 crew is proceeding with ongoing space science to improve life on Earth and benefit future astronauts.

Tim Kopra from NASA and Tim Peake from the European Space Agency will be the spacewalkers on Jan. 15. They will work outside for about six-hours and 30-minutes to replace a failed voltage regulator, rig cables for future International Docking Adapters and perform other maintenance tasks.

The station residents also worked throughout the day on a variety of experiments exploring human research, physics and other advanced subjects.

Commander Scott Kelly joined cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko for the Fluid Shifts study. That experiment observes how microgravity increases brain pressure which may push back on a crew member’s eyes, resulting in changes to their vision. Peake and Kopra also participated in life science experiments exploring heart function during long-term space missions and the efficacy of medications in space.

Peake and Kopra to Conduct First Spacewalk of the New Year

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra
NASA astronaut Tim Kopra is seen floating during a spacewalk on Dec. 21, 2015.

Astronauts Tim Peake and Tim Kopra are getting ready for a spacewalk next week to replace a failed voltage regulator. The duo are scheduled to work outside for 6.5 hours on Jan. 15 for the replacement work and other tasks.

In preparation, Kopra worked on the U.S. spacesuits today that he and Peake will wear next week. Peake, a British astronaut with the European Space Agency, began collecting and configuring their spacewalk tools.

The Expedition 46 crew also continued more advanced space science research onboard the International Space Station. Commander Scott Kelly joined his fellow One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko for the Fluid Shifts study. That experiment explores how microgravity increases brain pressure which pushes back on a crew member’s eyes, resulting in changes to their vision.

Cosmonaut Sergey Volkov studied radiation exposure, how international crews relate during missions and worked on maintenance tasks. His fellow cosmonaut and flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko looked at magnetic fields and coulomb crystals and transferred cargo from the newest Progress 62 cargo craft.

New Year Begins With Eye to Next Spacewalk

Tropical Cyclone Ula
Tropical Cyclone Ula, a category 3 storm at the time this image was captured, is seen from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

The Expedition 46 crew begins its first full week of the New Year planning for a spacewalk scheduled for Jan. 15. The orbiting residents are also busy with numerous science experiments benefitting life on Earth and future astronauts.

A pair of spacewalkers will replace a failed voltage regulator to return power to one of eight power channels next Friday. Two crew members will exit the Quest airlock and work outside for 6.5 hours for the replacement work. They will also rig cables for the future installation of docking adapters that will enable commercial crew vehicles to dock at the International Space Station. Final spacewalking roles will be confirmed following spacesuit hardware checkouts taking place today.

NASA astronauts Tim Kopra and Commander Scott Kelly collected and stowed blood and urine samples this morning for the Fluid Shifts study. That experiment observes the headward fluid shift caused by microgravity that increases brain pressure and pushes back on the eye. British astronaut Tim Peake also explored particles suspended in fluids, or colloids, which could benefit the design of advanced materials on Earth.

Fourth Russian Cargo Ship This Year Docks to Station

The Progress 62 Spacecraft Docks
Engineering video from a camera on the Progress 62 spacecraft shows the docking target on the Pirs docking compartment.

Traveling about 253 miles over western Mongolia, the unpiloted ISS Progress 62 Russian cargo ship docked automatically with the Pirs docking compartment of the International Space Station at 5:27 a.m. EST today. Progress is delivering 2.8 tons of food, fuel, and supplies to the crew aboard the station.

The spacecraft launched Monday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Following a by-the-book rendezvous and docking with the Progress’ upgraded Kurs automated system, hooks formed a hard mate between the spacecraft and the Pirs docking compartment. Once the crew completes leak checks, the hatches will open, allowing the crew to unload the cargo.

The Progress spacecraft will remain docked until early July 2016.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit:


Crew Waits for Christmas Delivery After Monday Spacewalk

NASA Astronaut Tim Kopra
NASA astronaut Tim Kopra is seen floating during a spacewalk on Dec. 21, 2015.

A pair of spacewalkers are cleaning up and reporting back to ground controllers after a short spacewalk Monday morning. A Christmas delivery is also due at the International Space Station Wednesday at 5:31 a.m. EST/10:31 a.m. UTC.

Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Tim Kopra quickly prepared over the weekend for the spacewalk to release a stalled robotic transporter. As the pair suited up in the Quest airlock Monday, a Progress 62 (62P) cargo spaceship launched on a two-day trip to deliver 2.8 tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the Expedition 46 crew.

The stalled robotic transporter needed to be moved then latched to its worksite ahead of the Progress arrival triggering Monday’s spacewalk. The Progress is a modified design and Russian mission controllers are testing its upgraded software and telemetry systems during its flight to the Pirs docking compartment.

Cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko and Sergey Volkov are preparing for the Progress arrival by testing the TORU tele-robotic rendezvous system. The TORU system would be used in the unlikely event it would be necessary to manually guide the vehicle to a docking.

The crew also had time set aside for advanced space science today. The orbiting lab residents explored plant growth and life science as humans learn to live longer and farther in space.

Astronauts Make Quick Work of Short Spacewalk

Spacewalkers Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra
Spacewalkers Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra work to move stalled robotic transporter before moving on to “get-ahead” tasks. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra ended their spacewalk at 11:01 a.m. EST with the repressurization of the U.S. Quest airlock after accomplishing all objectives. They released brake handles on crew equipment carts on either side of the space station’s mobile transporter rail car so it could be latched in place ahead of Wednesday’s docking of a Russian cargo resupply spacecraft. The ISS Progress 62 resupply mission launched at 3:44 a.m. EST this morning (2:44 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

After quickly completing their primary objective for the spacewalk, Kelly and Kopra tackled several get-ahead tasks. Kelly routed a second pair of cables in preparation for International Docking Adapter installment work to support U.S. commercial crew vehicles, continuing work he began during a November spacewalk. Kopra routed an Ethernet cable that ultimately will connect to a Russian laboratory module. They also retrieved tools that had been in a toolbox on the outside of the station, so they can be used for future work.

The three-hour and 16-minute spacewalk was the third for Kelly, who is nine months into a yearlong mission and the second for Kopra, who arrived to the station Dec. 15. It was the 191st in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Crew members have now spent a total of 1,195 hours and 20 minutes working outside the orbital laboratory.

Stay up-to-date on the latest ISS news at: