Tag Archives: Roscosmos

Eye Checks and Cargo Ops Ahead of Thursday Spacewalk

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Astronaut Joe Acaba

Astronaut Joe Acaba calculates his mass inside the Columbus laboratory module using the Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMD). The device generates a known force against a crew member mounted on an extension arm with the resulting acceleration used to calculate the subject’s mass.

Three Expedition 53 astronauts conducted eye exams Tuesday morning two days ahead of a spacewalk. The crew is also preparing for a pair of upcoming commercial cargo missions.

Commander Randy Bresnik, who is leading all three spacewalks this month, joined his fellow spacewalkers for a periodic eye exam. Bresnik and Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba scanned their eyes using an ultrasound device with guidance from doctors on the ground monitoring the crew’s health.

Paolo Nespoli, from the European Space Agency, did some rearranging inside the Japanese Kibo laboratory module today. He is preparing Kibo for new science gear arriving on a pair of private space freighters in November. Orbital ATK’s Cygnus resupply ship is due to launch mid-November and the SpaceX Dragon is planned to launch at the end of November.


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Station Crew Gearing Up for Three October Spacewalks

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Astronauts Richard Arnold and Joseph Acaba

Astronauts Richard Arnold (bottom) and Joseph Acaba are pictured during a spacewalk in March of 2009. The duo were visiting the space station as STS-119 mission specialists aboard space shuttle Discovery.

Two astronauts are getting ready for a spacewalk set to begin Thursday at 8:05 a.m. EDT. This will be the first of three spacewalks taking place this month for maintenance at the International Space Station.

NASA TV is broadcasting a live briefing at 2 p.m. today describing what will take place during the three spacewalks planned for Oct. 5, 10 and 18. NASA astronauts Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei will go outside for the first two spacewalks. NASA astronaut Joe Acaba will join Bresnik for the third and final spacewalk.

The first spacewalk will focus on the removal and replacement of one of the Canadarm2’s latching end effectors (LEE). The second and third spacewalks will concentrate on the lubrication of the LEE and the installation of a pair of external cameras. You can watch all three spacewalks live on NASA TV beginning at 6:30 a.m. here… https://www.nasa.gov/live

Ground controllers are remotely maneuvering the Canadarm2 to the correct worksite today to allow the spacewalkers access to its LEE. The three astronauts are also installing rechargeable batteries on their spacesuits and reviewing their tasks with specialists in Mission Control.


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NASA Discusses Spacewalks on Monday

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Astronaut Randy Bresnik

Astronaut Randy Bresnik works outside the space station’s Columbus laboratory module during a spacewalk in November 2009. Bresnik last visited the station aboard space shuttle Atlantis during the STS-129 mission.

International Space Station managers and spacewalk experts will talk next week about a series of three spacewalks taking place in October. NASA TV will broadcast a briefing Monday at 2 p.m. EDT to describe the spacewalk activities planned for Oct.5, 10 and 18.

Commander Randy Bresnik will lead all three spacewalks partnering with NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei on the first two and Joe Acaba on the third. The three NASA astronauts are heading into the weekend checking their resizable U.S. spacesuits to ensure a good fit next week.

Bresnik last conducted a pair of spacewalks in November 2009 when he visited the station as a mission specialist for STS-129. Acaba also conducted two previous spacewalks that took place in March 2009 during STS-119. Vande Hei will be participating in his first two spacewalks.

The spacewalkers will first replace a latching end effector (LEE) on the tip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Next, the replacement LEE will be lubricated and a pair of external station cameras will be replaced.


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Station Orbiting Higher as Crew Checks Spacesuits

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Astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Paolo Nespoli

Astronauts Mark Vande Hei (left) and Paolo Nespoli work on science gear inside the Destiny laboratory module.

The International Space Station boosted its orbit Wednesday to prepare for the arrival of a pair of Russian spaceships before the end of the year. Meanwhile, the Expedition 53 crew continued getting ready for next week’s spacewalk and explored how living in space affects their bodies.

The docked Progress 67 resupply ship fired its engines Wednesday for three minutes and 40 seconds lifting the space station to a higher orbit. The reboost is the first of three with the next two taking place in November. The reboosts will place the station at the correct altitude to receive a Progress 68 resupply ship in mid-October and the Soyuz MS-07 crew ship in mid-December.

Spacewalkers Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei are getting their U.S. spacesuits ready ahead of an Oct. 5 spacewalk. They inspected their suits today, scrubbed the cooling loops and filled them with water. The duo will work outside for about 6.5 hours next Thursday and replace a latching end effector at the tip of the Canadarm2.

NASA astronaut Joe Acaba attached sensors to himself and worked out on the station’s exercise bike today to help scientists understand how microgravity affects physical exertion. The VO2max study is researching how astronauts expend energy in space and how it may impact emergency situations and spacewalks.


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Crew Looks for Neutron Radiation While Prepping for Spacewalks

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Expedition 53 crew portrait

The six Expedition 53 crew members gather together in the Destiny laboratory module for a group portrait. From left are astronauts Joe Acaba, Paolo Nespoli and Mark Vande Hei, Commander Randy Bresnik and cosmonauts Sergey Ryazanskiy and Alexander Misurkin.

Sensors are being installed today in the International Space Station to detect neutron radiation. The crew is also setting up a botany study, conducting human research and getting ready for next week’s spacewalk.

Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy handed over a set of radiation sensors to NASA astronaut Joe Acaba today. Acaba then installed the sensors in the station’s U.S. segment to measure only the neutron radiation levels the orbital lab is exposed to. The data from the Radi-N2 study will help scientists understand the exposure risk to crew members and develop advanced protective measures.

Acaba also continued installing hardware for the Veggie-3 experiment to get the station ready for a new crop of lettuce and cabbage. Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei strapped himself into the station’s exercise bike for the VO2max experiment that observes physical exertion during a space mission.

A pair of spacewalkers took a look at the procedures they will use Oct. 5 to replace a latching end effector at the tip of the Canadarm2. Vande Hei will join Commander Randy Bresnik for that spacewalk and a second planned for Oct. 10. Acaba will join Bresnik for a third spacewalk set for Oct. 18.


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Station Readied for Crops, Crew Runs Biomedical Studies

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NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei jogs on a treadmill inside the space station.

The International Space Station is once again providing a platform to test the growth of cabbage and lettuce for future human consumption in space. Aside from today’s botany set up, the Expedition 53 crew also explored how living in space affects the human physiology.

NASA astronaut Joe Acaba began setting up hardware for the Veggie-3 experiment Tuesday morning to grow a variety of lettuce and cabbage. Scientists are studying how plants grow in space to learn how to sustain future crews as NASA plans longer missions farther out in space.

Acaba also joined European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli collecting blood and urine samples for a pair of biomedical experiments. The long-running Biochemical Profile and Repository studies are documenting the various changes the human body experiences during a long-term space mission.

Commander Randy Bresnik continued gathering spacewalk equipment with Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei ahead of an Oct. 5 spacewalk. The pair also checked out their emergency jet packs and sized their spacesuits. This will be the first of three spacewalks in October to replace a latching end effector on the tip of the Canadarm2 and replace a pair of external cameras.


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Astronauts Research Adapting to Space and Plan for Spacewalks

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NASA Astronaut Joe Acaba

NASA astronaut Joe Acaba works inside the cupola as the space station orbits above the Indian Ocean near Australia.

The Expedition 53 crew members continued testing a new exercise device today while also exploring how their bodies are adapting to living in space. The station residents are also gearing up for three spacewalks planned in October.

Commander Randy Bresnik joined Paolo Nespoli for a workout session on the new Miniature Exercise Device-2 (MED-2). The duo tested the MED-2 for its ability to provide motion and resistance during crew workouts. The device is significantly smaller than previous space exercise systems potentially providing more room on future spacecraft.

Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei installed new lights on his crew quarters to test their ability to improve circadian rhythms, sleep, and cognitive performance. NASA astronaut Joe Acaba collected and stowed his blood and urine samples for a pair of experiments observing the physiological changes taking place in space.

Bresnik and Vande Hei are moving ahead with preparations for the first of three spacewalks set to begin Oct. 5. The spacewalkers inspected the tethers that will keep them attached to the station and began setting up their tools. The duo will remove and replace a leading end effector on the tip of the Canadarm2 during the first spacewalk scheduled to last about 6.5 hours.


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Spacewalk VR Training, Muscle and Bone Research Today

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Spacewalker Joe Acaba

NASA astronaut Joe Acaba is seen during a spacewalk in March 2009. He was working on the Starboard-1 truss structure while space shuttle Discovery was docked to the station during STS-119.

The Expedition 53 crew is getting ready for a trio of spacewalks next month while helping scientists understand what living in space does to the human body.

NASA astronauts Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei trained for a spacewalk emergency today wearing virtual reality gear. The spacewalkers practiced maneuvering specialized jet packs attached to their spacesuits in the unlikely event they become untethered from the station.

The duo will go on a pair of spacewalks on Oct. 5 and 10. NASA astronaut Joe Acaba will join Bresnik Oct. 18 for the third and final spacewalk. The three spacewalkers will replace and lubricate one of two end effectors on the tip of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. They will also replace a pair of cameras located on the station’s truss structure.

More muscle and bone research continued today as cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy joined Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli for the Sarcolab-3 study. The research observes leg muscle and tendon changes caused by microgravity using an ultrasound scan and other sensors during an exercise session. Bresnik collected his breath sample to help document any bone marrow and blood cell changes his body may be experiencing in space.


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Astronomy Gear Work and Muscle Scans on Tuesday’s Schedule

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The Spectacular Aurora Borealis, or the "Northern Lights"

The spectacular aurora borealis, or the “northern lights,” over Canada is sighted from the space station near the highest point of its orbital path. The station’s main solar arrays are seen in the left foreground.

The Expedition 53 crew worked on a variety of astronomy gear today that looks at meteors in Earth orbit and harmful radiation from deep space. The crew also explored how microgravity affects human bones and muscles.

Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei worked on a camera for the Meteor experiment, ongoing since March 2016, which peers out of a specialized window in the Destiny laboratory module. The camera observes meteors and meteor showers and analyzes the imagery to determine their physical and chemical composition.

Flight Engineer Joe Acaba installed the Fast Neutron Spectrometer in the Unity module today to explore a new technique that measures deep space radiation. The new technology may be used to provide a more accurate assessment of the mixed radiation future crews and spacecraft may be exposed to.

Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy strapped himself into the Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System (MARES) chair today for a look at his calf muscle and tendons. Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli assisted Ryazanskiy into the MARES chair and Commander Randy Bresnik collected ultrasound imagery of his leg. The data is being collected for the Sarcolab-3 experiment that is observing space-induced chemical and structural changes in muscle fibers.


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Three Spacewalks Scheduled, Crew Researches Life Science

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Night Time View of Southern Europe

This night time view of southern Europe prominently features the “boot” of Italy, the home of current Expedition 53 crew member Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency.

Expedition 53 is gearing up for three maintenance spacewalks set to take place in October over a period of two weeks. Meanwhile, the six-member crew continued researching today how their long-term missions in space affect their bodies.

Commander Randy Bresnik began unpacking spacewalking gear today ahead of the first of three spacewalks set to begin Oct. 5. He will lead all three spacewalks with NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba. Vande Hei will join him on the first two and Acaba will participate in the final spacewalk. The trio will replace one of the two end effectors on the Canadarm2 robotic arm, lubricate the new component and replace cameras at two locations on the station’s truss.

Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli and Sergey Ryazanskiy are exploring how living in space impacts their bone marrow. The study takes a look at blood and breath samples with the blood being processed in a centrifuge. Bresnik is also collecting his blood and urine samples that scientists will later analyze for any physiological changes caused by microgravity.


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