Hatches Between Soyuz and Station Closed

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 63 crewmembers Ivan Vagner (left) and Anatoly Ivanishin (center) of Roscosmos and Chris Cassidy of NASA (right) pose for pictures March 25 in front of their Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft as part of pre-launch training activities.

At 4:24 p.m. EDT, the hatch closed between the Soyuz spacecraft and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are scheduled to undock their Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft at 7:32 p.m.

NASA Television will air live coverage of the undocking beginning at 7 p.m.; their landing in Kazakhstan is targeted for approximately 10:55 p.m.

At the time of undocking, Expedition 64 will begin aboard the station, with Kate Rubins of NASA, new station commander Sergey Ryzhikov and cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos comprising a three-person station crew until the arrival of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission targeted to launch in November. NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, will launch on the first long-duration commercial crew mission to the station.

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

NASA TV live for Crew Farewell and Hatch Closure

(Front row from left) Expedition 64 crew members Kate Rubins, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov join Expedition 63 crew members (back row from left) Ivan Vagner, Anatoly Ivanishin and Chris Cassidy inside the space station's Zvezda service module.
(Front row from left) Expedition 64 crewmembers Kate Rubins, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov join Expedition 63 crew members (back row from left) Ivan Vagner, Anatoly Ivanishin and Chris Cassidy inside the space station’s Zvezda service module.

NASA is providing live coverage on NASA TV and its website beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT as NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of the Russian space agency Roscosmos prepare to conclude their six-month mission aboard the International Space Station and return to Earth.

The trio will say goodbye to NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, new station commander Sergey Ryzhikov and cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos and close the hatch to their Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft at 4:10 p.m. EDT in preparation for their departure. They will conduct a series of leak checks before undocking at 7:32 p.m. from the Poisk module’s space-facing port. A parachute-assisted landing is set for 10:55 p.m. EDT (8:55 a.m. Oct. 22 Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan on the steppe of Kazakhstan.

Follow along with landing activities and get more information at: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. Learn more about space station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Homecoming Day Arrives for Three Station Crewmates

(From left) Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner will return to Earth completing a 196-day research mission aboard the space station.
(From left) Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner will return to Earth completing a 196-day research mission aboard the space station.

It is departure day aboard the International Space Station for three Expedition 63 crew members.

The entire six-member space station crew slept in and shifted their schedules to accommodate tonight’s homecoming activities. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner will board their Soyuz MS-16 crew ship and undock from the Poisk module at 7:32 p.m. EDT, soar through Earth’s atmosphere and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan at 10:55 p.m. (Oct. 22, 7:55 a.m. Baikonur time).

All the activities will be broadcast live on NASA TV. Coverage of crew farewells and hatch closing will begin at 3:30 p.m. Undocking coverage will begin at 7 p.m., and Soyuz deorbit burn and landing coverage at 9:30 p.m.

The trio is wrapping up final cargo loading today as they pack station hardware, research samples and personal items inside the Soyuz. After landing, the crew will have logged 196 days in space and circled Earth over 3,100 times for a total of just over 83 million miles.

Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos will assume command of the orbiting lab at the moment the departing crewmates undock tonight. He will be leading Expedition 64 Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov during their planned 185-day space research mission.

Veteran Space Residents Swap Command Today

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy (left) will hand over command of the station to Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov (right) today.
NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy (left) will hand over command of the station to Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov (right) today.

Two veteran International Space Station crew members will swap command of the orbiting lab during the traditional Change of Command Ceremony this afternoon.

The six-member space station crew will gather together at 4:15 p.m. EDT when Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA ceremonially hands control of the station to Expedition 64 cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos. Ryzhikov will officially begin his command on Wednesday when Cassidy and Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner undock from the station at 7:32 p.m. inside the Soyuz MS-16 crew ship. All the activities will be broadcast live on NASA TV.

Meanwhile, science and maintenance activities are moving right along inside the space station. Cassidy and NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins both had time set aside today collecting blood, saliva and urine for stowage and later analysis. Rubins then checked out research hardware and plumbing gear before familiarizing herself with station systems.

Ryzhikov and Vagner spent a couple of hours swabbing surfaces in the Russian segment of the station collecting microbial samples and placing them in petri dishes for incubation and analysis. Vagner also joined Ivanishin to test the Lower Body Negative Pressure suit for its ability counteract some adverse effects of long-duration spaceflight and prepare the duo for the return to Earth’s gravity.

New space flyer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov synchronized cameras with clocks on station laptop computers and worked on Russian plumbing tasks. The cosmonaut also is getting used to living and working in space for the first time.

Crews Change Command on Tuesday; Leak Temporarily Sealed

The sun's first rays burst over the Earth's horizon during an orbital sunrise as the International Space Station orbited above the Indian Ocean southwest of Australia.
The sun’s first rays burst over the Earth’s horizon during an orbital sunrise as the International Space Station orbited above the Indian Ocean southwest of Australia.

Two veteran International Space Station residents will have a Change of Command ceremony on Tuesday before the Expedition 63 crew returns to Earth the following day. Meanwhile, the Russian portion of the crew has temporarily sealed a leak on the orbiting lab.

Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA will hand over control of the space station to cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov on Tuesday. The duo will be joined by the rest of their crewmates for the traditional event live on NASA TV starting at 4:15 p.m. EDT.

Cassidy will spend one more night in space with Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner before departing the station on Wednesday inside the Soyuz MS-16 crew ship. They will undock from the Poisk module at 7:32 p.m., re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere just over three hours later and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan at 10:55 p.m. (Oct. 22, 7:55 a.m. Baikonur time). All the activities will be broadcast live on NASA TV.

Expedition 64 officially begins when Cassidy undocks with his two Russian crewmates. New station Commander Ryzhikov will stay in space until April with Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos.

Russian crew members were able to temporarily seal the air leak teams have been investigating aboard the station. The leak, which has been investigated for several months, continues to pose no immediate danger to the crew at the current leak rate. Roscosmos engineers are working with the station crew to develop a forward plan to permanently seal the suspected leak location.

Space Science Picking Up Before Trio Departs for Earth

Expedition 63 Flight Engineer Ivan Vagner transfers biological samples into a science freezer for stowage and later analysis aboard the International Space Station.
Expedition 63 Flight Engineer Ivan Vagner transfers biological samples into a science freezer for stowage and later analysis aboard the International Space Station.

Science is doubling up on the International Space Station with the addition of three new space residents. However, they will split up on Oct. 21 before four more astronauts launch to join the Expedition 64 crew in November.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, on her second station mission, is stepping into her role as space scientist today while getting up to speed with life on orbit. She wore virtual reality goggles to explore how her sense of perception is adapting to microgravity. Rubins later serviced a biology research device that can produce up to 2g of artificial gravity.

Rubins’ fellow crewmates Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov will stay with her in space until April. Ryzhikov, on his second stay aboard the orbiting lab, unpacked cargo from the new Soyuz MS-17 crew ship today. First-time space-flyer Kud-Sverchkov checked out Russian science hardware.

Station Commander Chris Cassidy is nearing the end of his stay onboard the station with crewmates Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. The trio have been packing cargo and personal items inside the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft that will parachute the crew back to Earth on Oct. 21. Cassidy will hand over command of the station to Ryzhikov on Oct. 20.

All six station residents got together in the middle of the day and reviewed their emergency roles and responsibilities.

Meanwhile, four astronauts are planning to launch to the station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle. The company’s first operational crew mission is targeted to launch no sooner than early-to-mid November. Commander Mike Hopkins of NASA will lead Pilot Victor Glover and Mission Specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi and stay in space until the Spring.

Hatches Open, Station Crew Expands to Six

(Front row from left) Expedition 64 crew members Kate Rubins, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov join Expedition 63 crew members (back row from left) Ivan Vagner, Anatoly Ivanishin and Chris Cassidy inside the space station's Zvezda service module.
(Front row from left) Expedition 64 crew members Kate Rubins, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov join Expedition 63 crew members (back row from left) Ivan Vagner, Anatoly Ivanishin and Chris Cassidy inside the space station’s Zvezda service module.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos joined Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner aboard the International Space Station when the hatches between the Soyuz spacecraft and the orbiting laboratory officially opened at 7:07 a.m. EDT.

The arrival temporarily restores the station’s crew complement to six for the remainder of Expedition 63.

Expedition 64 begins Wednesday, Oct. 21, with the departure of Cassidy, Vagner, and Ivanishin in the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft that brought them to the station on April 9. Cassidy will hand command of the station to Ryzhikov during a ceremony with all crew members that is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20 and will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The Expedition 64 crew will conduct research in technology development, Earth science, biology, human research and more. During Rubins’ first spaceflight in 2016, she became the first person to sequence DNA in space. Research conducted in microgravity helps NASA prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars, and contributes to improvements for life on Earth. Follow Rubins during her space mission on Facebook and Instagram.

This is the second spaceflight for Rubins and Ryzhikov. Kud-Sverchkov becomes the 241st person to visit the unique microgravity laboratory, and the trio will be aboard to celebrate the 20th anniversary of uninterrupted human presence since the Expedition 1 crew arrived Nov. 2, 2000. Humanity’s home in space has hosted more than 3,000 research and educational investigations from people in 108 countries and areas.

During Expedition 64, the arrival of Crew-1 aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon on the first operational commercial mission to the space station will bring four more crew members, expanding a long-duration Expedition crew to seven people for the first time. Crew-1 is currently targeted for launch in November.

For continued coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. Get space station news, images and features via social media on Instagram at: @iss, ISS on Facebook, and on Twitter @Space_Station and @ISS_Research.

Expedition 64 Crew Docks to Station to Begin Six-Month Mission

The Soyuz MS-17 crew ship with the Expedition 64 crew inside is pictured just a few meters away from the Rassvet module's docking port.
The Soyuz MS-17 crew ship with the Expedition 64 crew inside is pictured just a few meters away from the Rassvet module’s docking port.

The Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov docked to the International Space Station at 4:48 a.m. EDT while both spacecraft were flying about 261 miles above the Mediterranean Sea.

Aboard the space station, Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner will welcome the new crew members when the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened following standard pressurization and leak checks.

Watch the hatch opening on NASA TV and the agency’s website beginning at 6 a.m. for hatch opening targeted for 6:45 a.m.

For continued coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. Get space station news, images and features via social media on Instagram at: @iss, ISS on Facebook, and on Twitter @Space_Station and @ISS_Research.

NASA TV Broadcasting Launch of Expedition 64 Crew to Station

The Soyuz rocket that will launch three Expedition 64 crewmates to the station on Wednesday stands its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Roscosmos
The Soyuz rocket that will launch three Expedition 64 crewmates to the station on Wednesday stands its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Roscosmos

Live launch coverage is underway on NASA Television and the agency’s website for the targeted lift off at 1:45 a.m. EDT (10:45 a.m. in Baikonur), of a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos will begin a three-hour journey to the International Space Station. Their journey will be the first time a Soyuz crew has taken the fast-track, two-orbit rendezvous path to the space station.

The new crew members will dock to the station’s Rassvet module at 4:52 a.m. They will join Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who will complete their station mission and land on Earth on the steppe of Kazakhstan Wednesday, Oct. 21, U.S. time, in the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft that brought them to the station on April 9.

About two hours after docking, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open, and the six crew members will greet each other.

For launch coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. Get space station news, images and features via social media on Instagram at: @iss, ISS on Facebook, and on Twitter @Space_Station and @ISS_Research.

Three Space Travelers Countdown to Early Wednesday Launch

(From left) NASA astronaut Kate Rubins with Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov will launch to the space station for a six-month research mission.
(From left) NASA astronaut Kate Rubins with Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov will launch to the space station for a six-month research mission.

A trio of space travelers, including NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, is scheduled to launch aboard the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 1:45 a.m. EDT (10:45 a.m. Kazakhstan time) Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Beginning at 12:45 a.m., NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide live coverage of the crew’s launch. Teams at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan are making final preparations for the liftoff of Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.

The launch will send the crew members on a two-orbit, three-hour journey to the space station, where they will join Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, temporarily increasing the orbiting laboratory’s population to six people.

It will be the second spaceflight for Rubins and Ryzhikov and the first for Kud-Sverchkov. During their six-month mission, the Expedition 64 crew will conduct research in technology development, Earth science, biology, human research and more. Work on the unique microgravity laboratory advances scientific knowledge and demonstrates new technologies, making research breakthroughs that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration of the Moon and Mars.

Below is the crew’s launch timeline in EDT:

Oct. 13 EDT  L-Hr/M/Sec Event

15:00:04pm 10:45:00        Crew wakeup at Cosmonaut Hotel
18:45:04pm    7:00:00        Crew departs Cosmonaut Hotel
19:30:04pm    6:15:00        Crew arrives at Site 254
20:00:04pm    5:45:00        Batteries installed in booster
20:15:04pm    5:30:00        Crew suit up
20:45:04pm    5:00:00        Tanking begins
21:40:04pm    4:05:00        Booster loaded with liquid oxygen; crew meets with officials
21:59:04pm    3:46:00        Crew walkout from 254; boards bus for the launch pad
22:04:04pm    3:41:00        Crew departs for launch pad at Site 31
22:40:04pm    3:05:00        First and second stage oxygen fueling complete
23:14:04pm    2:31:00        Crew arrives at launch pad at site 31
23:20:04pm    2:25:00        Crew boards Soyuz; strapped in to the Descent module

Oct. 14 EDT

00:10:04am    1:35:00        Descent module hardware tested
00:25:04am    1:20:00        Hatch closed; leak checks begin
00:45:00am   1:00:04        NASA TV LAUNCH COVERAGE BEGINS
00:45:04am    1:00:00        Launch vehicle control system prep; gyro activation
01:00:04am      :45:00        Pad service structure components lowered
01:01:04am      :44:00        Clamshell gantry service towers retracted
01:05:04am     :40:00         NASA TV: Crew pre-launch activities played (B-roll)
01:08:04am      :37:00        Suit leak checks begin; descent module testing complete
01:11:04am      :34:00        Emergency escape system armed
01:30:04am      :15:00        Suit leak checks complete; escape system to auto
01:35:04am      :10:00        Gyros in flight readiness and recorders activated
01:38:04am      :07:00        Pre-launch operations complete
01:39:04am      :06:00        Launch countdown operations to auto; vehicle ready
01:40:04am      :05:00        Commander’s controls activated
01:41:04am      :04:00        Combustion chamber nitrogen purge
01:42:04am     :03:00        Propellant drainback
01:42:21am      :02:43        Booster propellant tank pressurization
01:43:34am      :01:30        Ground propellant feed terminated
01:44:04am      :01:00        Vehicle to internal power
01:44:19am       :00:45        ISS FLIES OVER THE BAIKONUR COSMODROME
01:44:29am       :00:35        First umbilical tower separates
Auto sequence start
01:44:34am      :00:30        Ground umbilical to third stage disconnected
01:44:49am      :00:15        Second umbilical tower separates
01:44:52am      :00:12        Launch command issued
Engine Start Sequence Begins
01:44:54am      :00:10        Engine turbopumps at flight speed
01:44:59am      :00:05        Engines at maximum thrust
01:45:04am     :00:00        LAUNCH OF SOYUZ MS-17 TO THE ISS
01:53:50am     +8:46         Third stage separation and orbital insertion for the
                                                Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft

For launch coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. Get space station news, images and features via social media on Instagram at: @iss, ISS on Facebook, and on Twitter @Space_Station and @ISS_Research.