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.

Station to Raise Orbit before June Expedition 43 Undocking

Astronaut Terry Virts and Scott Kelly
Astronaut Terry Virts and Scott Kelly were inside the Quest airlock Friday morning talking to reporters from The Weather Channel and Time Magazine . Credit: NASA TV

The six-member Expedition 43 crew ends its work week with a wide variety of science exploring life in space benefiting both crews in space and humans on Earth. Meanwhile, one space freighter is preparing to fire its thrusters to lift the station’s orbit as another is being packed and readied for splashdown.

One-Year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko participated in the Fine Motor Skills experiment which monitors different phases of a crew member’s microgravity adaptation and recovery back on Earth. Commander Terry Virts took samples of air and surface microbes for the Microbial Observatory-1 study which will be analyzed by scientists on the ground.

Samantha Cristoforetti studied the physics of where fluids and gases meet in Japan’s Kibo lab module. Flight Engineer Gennady Padalka worked on video gear and tested magnetometers in the station’s Russian segment. Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov studied chemical reactions in the Earth’s atmosphere, checked Russian docking systems and photographed windows in the Pirs and Poisk modules.

The ISS Progress 58 resupply ship docked to the Zvezda service module will fire its engines Friday night. The orbital boost will place the International Space Station at the correct altitude for the undocking of Expedition 43 in early June. The SpaceX Dragon loaded with science and gear will be released from the grips of the Canadarm2 May 21 at 7:05 a.m. EDT for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean a few hours later.

Visiting Vehicle Activities and Maintenance Keep Crew Busy

Astronauts Scott Kelly and Terry Virts
ISS043E181459 (05/07/2015) — NASA astronauts Scott Kelly (left) and Terry Virts (right) work on a Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) inside the station’s Japanese Experiment Module.

Expedition 43 is packing the SpaceX Dragon space freighter readying the vehicle for its return home and splashdown May 21. The docked ISS Progress 58 resupply ship will fire its thrusters Friday night placing the International Space Station at the correct orbit for next month’s Soyuz undocking.

The six-member crew also worked a variety of onboard maintenance ensuring crew safety and the upkeep of station hardware. One-Year crew member Scott Kelly worked on science gear in Japan’s Kibo lab module. Commander Terry Virts worked on replacing a Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly blower fan. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti routed cables and configured valves to prepare the Permanent Multipurpose Module for its relocation later this month.

On the Russian side of the orbital lab, Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov photographed the condition of the Zvezda service module windows. Flight Engineer Gennady Padalka partnered up with One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko to study acoustic techniques for immediately locating micrometeoroid impacts on the station’s exterior. The trio also continued the maintenance of the Russian station systems.

The return to Earth for NASA’s Terry Virts, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov now is scheduled for early June. NASA and its international partners set the schedule after hearing the Russian Federal Space Agency’s (Roscosmos) findings on the loss of the Progress 59 cargo craft. The exact date has not yet been established and will be announced in the coming weeks.

Landing Delayed, Life Science and Dragon Packing for Expedition 43

Samantha Cristoforetti
ISS043E160082 (05/03/2015) — ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti enjoys her first drink from the new ISSpresso machine. The espresso device allows crews to make tea, coffee, broth, or other hot beverages they might enjoy.

The return to Earth for NASA’s Terry Virts, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov now is scheduled for early June. NASA and its international partners set the schedule after hearing the Russian Federal Space Agency’s (Roscosmos) findings on the loss of the Progress 59 cargo craft. The exact date has not yet been established and will be announced in the coming weeks.

Full Release

The six-member Expedition 43 crew worked Tuesday on a wide variety of tasks. The International Space Station residents explored life sciences, trained for a robotics experiment, conducted maintenance and prepared for next week’s departure of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft.

Astronaut Scott Kelly worked on an experiment which observes how a crew member’s fine motor skills adapt over a six-month and a year-long mission in space. He then moved on to training for the Robotics Refueling Mission.

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti worked on the Rodent Research experiment during the afternoon. Commander Terry Virts worked on cargo transfers to the Dragon space freighter which is getting ready for its May 21 departure and splashdown.

The three cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko, worked in the Russian segment. The trio cleaned dust filters, changed out a smoke detector and downloaded results from a microbial air sampling.

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 https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

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: https://www.nasa.gov/connect.

Cargo Ship Undocks from Station

ISS Progress 57
ISS042E101429 (01/05/2014) — This image, photographed by one of the Expedition 42 crew members aboard the International Space Station, shows the the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft on the left attached to the Rassvet module on the Earth-facing port of the Russian segment of the station that delivered Expedition 42 crewmembers Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Terry Virts of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency on Nov. 24, 2014 , and to the right, the unpiloted ISS Progress 57 cargo craft that is docked to the Pirs Docking Compartment and which arrived at the station a month earlier on Oct. 29, 2014.

The Russian ISS Progress 57 cargo spacecraft separated from the International Space Station at 2:41 a.m. EDT while the spacecraft were flying 257 miles above northwestern China.

After its departure, the spacecraft will move away from the orbiting laboratory to a safe location where it will remain until commanded to reenter Earth’s atmosphere Sunday morning, April 26. The intense heat of reentry will cause the vehicle to burn up over the Pacific Ocean.

The departure of the Progress 57 vehicle clears the Pirs docking port for the arrival of the new ISS Progress 59 cargo ship. It will launch to the station at 3:09 a.m. Tuesday morning, April 28, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a resupply mission to deliver another two tons of provisions for the station crew members.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/station

Station Crew Prepares for Cargo Ship Undocking

ISS042E101429 (01/05/2014) --- This image, photographed by one of the Expedition 42 crew members aboard the International Space Station, shows the the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft on the left attached to the Rassvet module on the Earth-facing port of the Russian segment of the station that delivered Expedition 42 crewmembers Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Terry Virts of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency on Nov. 24, 2014 , and to the right, the unpiloted ISS Progress 57 cargo craft that is docked to the Pirs Docking Compartment and which arrived at the station a month earlier on Oct. 29, 2014.
ISS042E101429 (01/05/2014) — This image, photographed by one of the Expedition 42 crew members aboard the International Space Station, shows the the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft on the left attached to the Rassvet module on the Earth-facing port of the Russian segment of the station that delivered Expedition 42 crewmembers Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Terry Virts of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency on Nov. 24, 2014 , and to the right, the unpiloted ISS Progress 57 cargo craft that is docked to the Pirs Docking Compartment and which arrived at the station a month earlier on Oct. 29, 2014.

The crew of the International Space Station took a break from research Friday, enjoying some off-duty time as it prepared for the departure of one cargo ship and the arrival of another in short order.

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the Progress 57 spacecraft undocking beginning at 2:15 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 25. Undocking from the Pirs Docking Compartment is scheduled for 2:40 a.m.

Watch the undocking live on NASA Television or at: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

The unpiloted Progress 57 Russian cargo ship delivered more than two tons of food, fuel and supplies for the space station crew in October 2014 and is now filled with trash. After its departure, the spacecraft will move away from the orbiting laboratory to a safe location where it will remain until commanded to reenter Earth’s atmosphere. The intense heat of reentry will cause the vehicle to burn up over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday morning.

Another Russian cargo ship, Progress 59 is scheduled to launch at 3:09 a.m. Tuesday, April 29, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstanj. The launch, and subsequent docking with the station at 9:06 a.m., will be carried live on NASA TV.

Cargo Craft Prepped for Departure as Crew Works New Science

Rainbow Double Aurora
ISS043E108129 (04/11/2015) — “Rainbow double Aurora” greets the astronauts and cosmonauts on board the International Space Station on Apr. 11, 2015.

As Expedition 43 unloads crew supplies from the SpaceX Dragon, another cargo craft is being readied for its undocking. Meanwhile, new research is underway with some of the science gear hauled into space aboard Dragon.

Russia’s ISS Progress 57 space freighter is being packed with trash and discarded gear. It will undock from the Pirs docking compartment early Saturday morning for a fiery descent into the Pacific Ocean.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Terry Virts studied the effects of microgravity on living organisms for the Rodent Research experiment. They are looking at mice and how their body systems change in space. The results may promote the development of new drugs tackling the effects of aging and disease on Earth.

Life Sciences and Cargo Transfers Taking Place on Orbital Lab

Expedition 43 Crew Members
All six Expedition 43 crew members are gathered in the Destiny laboratory on board the International Space Station on Mar 30, 2015 after an emergency procedures training period.

A wide variety of research exploring how life adapts to long-term exposure to microgravity took place on the International Space Station Friday. The crew members also worked on cargo transfers to and from a pair of docked vehicles.

More crew Ocular Health eye checks were on the schedule as scientists study the fluid shifts caused by microgravity and how they affect a crew member’s vision. New software was loaded on computers for the Rodent Research study, a life sciences experiment that was delivered on a SpaceX mission in January.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who collected a saliva sample for stowage in a science freezer, and his twin brother on the ground Mark Kelly are the subjects of the Twins study. That investigation compares the two brothers, one in space and one on the ground, and explores how the different environments affect the twins with identical genes.

On the Russian side of the orbital lab, the crew unloaded gear from the recently docked Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft. The ISS Progress 57 space freighter, docked to the Pirs docking compartment, is also being packed with trash ahead of its departure and fiery disposal April 25.

Eye Checks for Crew as Station Boosts Orbit

Astronaut Scott Kelly
ISS043E059259 (03/28/2015) — NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (left) is happy to be aboard the International Space Station after the hatch opening of the Soyuz spacecraft Mar. 28, 2015.

Medical science and training took a significant portion of the Expedition 43 crew’s schedule Thursday. The newest three crew members are getting used to their new home on orbit. Finally, the International Space Station boosted its orbit.

Several crew members participated in eye checks for the Ocular Health study as scientists study how microgravity affects vision during long duration missions. The newest trio to join Expedition 43 trained to prepare for a medical emergency while also familiarizing themselves with station systems.

A docked ISS Progress 58 space freighter fired its engines boosting the space station’s orbit by eight-tenths of a mile. The reboost readies the station to receive the new ISS Progress 59 supply ship when it launches and docks April 28.