Tag Archives: Soyuz

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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Dragon Splashes Down in Pacific With NASA Science Experiments

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Sept.17, 2017: International Space Station Configuration

The departure of the SpaceX Dragon Sunday morning leaves three spaceships parked at the space station including the Progress 67 resupply ship and the Soyuz MS-05 and MS-06 crew ships.

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo craft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at approximately 10:14 a.m. EDT, southwest of Long Beach, California, and the recovery process is underway, marking the end of the company’s twelfth contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA.

Expedition 53 Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) and International Space Station Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA released the Dragon spacecraft earlier this morning at 4:40 a.m.

A variety of technological and biological studies are returning in Dragon. NASA and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the non-profit organization that manages research aboard the U.S. national laboratory portion of the space station, will receive time-sensitive samples and begin working with researchers to process and distribute them within 48 hours.

The Lung Tissue experiment used the microgravity environment of space to test strategies for growing new lung tissue. The ultimate goal of this investigation is to produce bioengineered human lung tissue that can be used as a predictive model of human responses allowing for the study of lung development, lung physiology or disease pathology.

Samples from the CASIS PCG 7 study used the orbiting laboratory’s microgravity environment to grow larger versions of an important protein implicated in Parkinson’s disease. Developed by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Anatrace and Com-Pac International, researchers will look to take advantage of the station’s microgravity environment which allows protein crystals to grow larger and in more perfect shapes than earth-grown crystals, allowing them to be better analyzed on Earth. Defining the exact shape and morphology of LRRK2 would help scientists to better understand the pathology of Parkinson’s and aid in the development of therapies against this target.

Mice from NASA’s Rodent Research-9 study also will return live to Earth for additional study. The investigation combined three studies into one mission, with two looking at how microgravity affects blood vessels in the brain and in the eyes and the third looking at cartilage loss in hip and knee joints. For humans on Earth, research related to limited mobility and degrading joints can help scientists understand how arthritis develops, and a better understanding of the visual impairments experienced by astronauts can help identify causes and treatments for eye disorders.

Dragon launched to the space station Aug. 14 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and arrived at the station Aug. 16, delivering more than 6,400 pounds of supplies and cargo.

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New Station Crew Arrives to Home In Space

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Station Viewed from Soyuz

The space station is viewed from the Soyuz spacecraft as it aligns itself with the Poisk module’s docking port. Credit: NASA TV

The Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft docked to the International Space Station at 10:55 p.m. EDT while both spacecraft were flying 252 statute miles over the Pacific Ocean off to the west of Chile.

Aboard the space station, Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA and Flight Engineers Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) will welcome Soyuz crew members Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA and Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos when the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened following standard pressurization and leak checks.

Watch the hatch opening targeted for 12:40 a.m. and welcome ceremony live on NASA TV beginning at 12 a.m. on the agency’s website.

For live coverage and more information about the mission, visit: www.nasa.gov/station. Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram at: @iss and on Twitter @Space_Station and @ISS_Research.


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New Crew Launching Today Live on NASA TV

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Expedition 53-54 Crew Members

The Expedition 53-54 crew members wave goodbye before entering their Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 53-54 Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA and Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos are preparing for their launch to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz MS-06. Their journey to the station will begin with a lift off at 5:17 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 12  (3:17 a.m. Baikonur time on Sept. 13). Live launch coverage will begin at 4:15 p.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The three will join Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA and Flight Engineers Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of the ESA (European Space Agency). The Expedition 53 crew members will contribute to more than 250 experiments in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.

Below is the crew’s launch timeline in EDT:

EDT                        L-Hr/M/Sec                        Event

12:47:02pm     4:30                 Crew suit up
1:12:02pm       4:05                 Booster loaded with liquid Oxygen
1:47:02pm       3:30                 Crew meets family members on other side of the glass
2:12:02pm       3:05                 First and second stage oxygen fueling complete
2:17:02pm       3:00                 Crew walkout from 254 and boards bus for the launch pad
2:22:02pm       2:55                 Crew departs for launch pad (Site 1)
2:42:02pm       2:35                 Crew arrives at launch pad (Site 1)
2:52:02pm       2:25                 Crew boards Soyuz; strapped in to the Descent module
3:42:02pm       1:35                 Descent module hardware tested
3:57:02pm       1:20                 Hatch closed; leak checks begin
4:15:00pm      1:02:02            NASA TV LAUNCH COVERAGE BEGINS
4:17:02pm       1:00                 Launch vehicle control system prep; gyro activation
4:30:00pm      :47:02              NASA TV: Crew pre-launch activities played (B-roll)
4:32:02pm       :45                   Pad service structure components lowered
4:33:02pm       :44                   Clamshell gantry service towers retracted
4:40:02pm       :37                   Suit leak checks begin; descent module testing complete
4:43:02pm       :34                   Emergency escape system armed
5:02:02pm       :15                   Suit leak checks complete; escape system to auto
5:07:02pm       :10                   Gyros in flight readiness and recorders activated
5:10:02pm       :07                   Pre-launch operations complete
5:11:02pm       :06                   Launch countdown operations to auto; vehicle ready
5:11:54pm      :05:08              The ISS flies directly over the Baikonur Cosmodrome
5:12:02pm       :05                   Commander’s controls activated
5:13:02pm       :04                   Combustion chamber nitrogen purge
5:14:02pm       :03                   Propellant drainback
5:14:17pm       :02:45              Booster propellant tank pressurization
5:15:32pm       :01:30              Ground propellant feed terminated
5:16:02pm       :01:00              Vehicle to internal power
5:16:27pm       :00:35              First umbilical tower separates
Auto sequence start
5:16:32pm       :00:30              Ground umbilical to third stage disconnected
5:16:47pm       :00:15              Second umbilical tower separates
5:16:50pm       :00:12              Launch command issued
Engine Start Sequence Begins
5:16:52pm       :00:10              Engine turbopumps at flight speed
5:16:57pm       :00:05              Engines at maximum thrust
5:17:02pm      :00:00              LAUNCH OF SOYUZ MS-05 TO THE ISS
5:25:47pm      +8:45               THIRD STAGE SHUTDOWN; ORBITAL INSERTION

The next update will be after the crew safely reaches orbit.

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


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Space Science Work Today as New Crew Waits for Launch

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Expedition 53-54 Prime and Backup Crew Members

Expedition 53-54 prime and backup crew members pose in front of the Soyuz MS-06 rocket that will launch Sept. 12 carrying Alexander Misurkin, Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba to the space station. Credit: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center/Irina Peshkova

Today’s science tasks included an inspection on an advanced microscope and readying a magnetic field experiment. The crew also worked on a failed electrical device that was robotically transferred to the Kibo laboratory module in early August.

Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli removed a failed Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) from Kibo’s airlock today. The duo swapped out some electronics gear in the MBSU and tested the device while it was connected to a laptop computer.

Nespoli started his day setting up the Magvector magnetic field experiment for operations set to begin next week. The study investigates how Earth’s magnetic field interacts with an electrical conductor potentially improving electrical experiments in space.

As Bresnik was wrapping up his MBSU maintenance work, Nespoli began inspecting advanced microscope gear. The variety of new Light Microscopy Module gear had been recently launched and was being checked for shattered materials.

Three new Expedition 53 crew members are at the Baikonur Cosmodrome just five days away from their launch to the International Space Station. Two NASA astronauts and a Roscosmos cosmonaut are in final preparations checking their Sokol launch and entry suits and examining their Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft.


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Touchdown! Expedition 52 Back on Earth

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Expedition 52 Lands

The Soyuz MS-04 vehicle is pictured the moment it touches down with the Expedition 52 crew inside. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who set multiple U.S. space records during her mission aboard the International Space Station, along with crewmates Jack Fischer of NASA and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos, safely landed on Earth Saturday at 9:21 p.m. EDT (7:21 a.m. Kazakhstan time, Sept. 3), southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

While living and working aboard the world’s only orbiting laboratory, Whitson and Fischer contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, welcomed several cargo spacecraft delivering tons of supplies and research experiments, and conducted a combined six spacewalks to perform maintenance and upgrades to the station.

Among their scientific exploits, Whitson and Fischer supported research into the physical changes to astronaut’s eyes caused by prolonged exposure to a microgravity environment. They also conducted a new lung tissue study that explored how stem cells work in the unique microgravity environment of the space station, which may pave the way for future stem cell research in space.

Additional research included an antibody investigation that could increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment, and the study of plant physiology and growth in space using an advanced plant habitat. NASA also attached the Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass Investigation (ISS CREAM) on the outside of the space station in August, which is now observing cosmic rays coming from across the galaxy.

The crew members received a total of seven cargo deliveries during their mission. A Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle launched to the space station in December 2016 delivering new lithium-ion batteries that were installed using a combination of robotics and spacewalks. Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the station in April on the company’s seventh commercial resupply mission. Three SpaceX Dragon spacecraft completed commercial resupply missions to the station in February, June and August. And, Russian ISS Progress cargo spacecraft docked to the station in February and June.

Whitson’s return marks the completion of a 288-day mission that began last November and spanned 122.2 million miles and 4,623 orbits of the Earth – her third long-duration mission on the station. During her latest mission, Whitson performed four spacewalks, bringing her career total to 10. With a total of 665 days in space, Whitson holds the U.S. record and places eighth on the all-time space endurance list.

Fischer, who launched in April, completed 136 days in space, during which he conducted the first and second spacewalks of his career. Yurchikhin, who launched with Fischer, now has a total of 673 days in space, putting him seventh place on the all-time endurance list.

Expedition 53 continues operating the station, with Randy Bresnik of NASA in command, and Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) serving as flight engineers. The three-person crew will operate the station until the arrival of NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba, and Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos. Vande Hei, Acaba and Misurkin are scheduled to launch Sept. 12 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram and Twitter at:

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Record-Setting NASA Astronaut, Crewmates Prepare for Return to Earth

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Expedition 52 Crew Members

Expedition 52 crew members (from left) Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson prepare the Sokol launch and entry suits they will wear when they undock and land in their Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft.

Record-breaking NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and her Expedition 52 crewmates, Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, are scheduled to depart the International Space Station and return to Earth Saturday, Sept. 2. NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide complete coverage of their departure and landing.

The trio will undock their Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft from the space station at 5:58 p.m. EDT and land in Kazakhstan at 9:22 p.m. (7:22 a.m. Sept. 3, Kazakhstan time). NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik has taken over command of the station from Yurchikhin.

The complete schedule of return coverage is as follows (all times EDT):

  • 2:15 p.m. – farewell and hatch closure (hatch closure at 2:40 p.m.)
  • 5:30 p.m. – undocking (undocking at 5:58 p.m.)
  • 8 p.m. – deorbit burn and landing (deorbit burn at 8:29 p.m. and landing at 9:22 p.m.)
  • 11 p.m. – replay of hatch closure, undocking and landing activities

Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crew members, at: www.nasa.gov/station

Get breaking news, images, videos and features from the station on social media at:

As a result of the impacts of Hurricane Harvey, NASA plans a modified return to Houston of Whitson and Fischer and the science samples landing in the Soyuz spacecraft. The crew will participate in standard post-flight medical evaluations. Working with our International Space Station partners, NASA secured the services of ESA (European Space Agency) to return the crew from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, to Cologne, Germany.  NASA’s G-5 will depart Houston on Saturday to meet the crew and science samples in Cologne. They’re expected to return to Houston on Sunday night.  All necessary facilities onsite at NASA’s Johnson Space Center necessary to support crew and science objectives are being checked out, and readied for the return to Houston.

While living and working aboard the space station, the Expedition 52 crew pursued hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanity’s only orbiting laboratory.

Expedition 53 will begin when Whitson, Fischer and Yurchikhin depart with Randy Bresnik of NASA in command, and Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency), on board. The three-person crew will operate the station until the arrival of three new crew members later this month.

NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba, and Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos, are scheduled to launch Sept. 12 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.


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New Crew Docks to Station

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The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft docked to the International Space Station at 5:54 p.m. EDT while both spacecraft were flying over Germany.

Aboard the space station, Expedition 52 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos and Flight Engineers Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer of NASA will welcome Soyuz crew members NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) when the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened following standard pressurization and leak checks.

Watch the hatch opening targeted for 7:40 p.m. and welcome ceremony live on NASA TV beginning at 7 p.m.: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

For live coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram at: @iss and on Twitter @Space_Station and @ISS_Research.


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New Crew Blasts Off to Station

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The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft

The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft with three Expedition 52-53 crew members blasts off on time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz MS-05 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 11:41 a.m. EDT Friday, July 28 (9:41 p.m. in Baikonur). About four minutes prior to launch, the space station flew over the launch site and was flying about 250 miles above south central Russia, just over the northeast border of Kazakhstan, at the time of launch. NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) are now safely in orbit.

The crew will orbit Earth four times en route to the spacecraft’s arrival and docking to the space station’s Rassvet module, at 6 p.m. Tune in at 5:15 p.m. to NASA Television or the agency’s website to watch the docking live.

Below is the docking timeline in EDT:

5:15 p.m.         NASA TV: Docking coverage begins

6:00 p.m.         Scheduled time for docking to the Rassvet module

7:00 p.m.         NASA TV: Hatch opening coverage begins

7:40 p.m.         Hatches scheduled to open

The Expedition 52 crew will conduct new science investigations arriving on SpaceX’s 12th NASA-contracted commercial resupply mission targeted to launch in August. Investigations the crew will work on include a study developed by the Michael J. Fox Foundation of the pathology of Parkinson’s disease to aid in the development of therapies for patients on Earth. The crew will use the special nature of microgravity in a new lung tissue study to advance understanding of how stem cells work and pave the way for further use of the microgravity environment in stem cell research. Expedition astronauts also will assemble and deploy a microsatellite investigation seeking to validate the concept of using microsatellites in low-Earth orbit to support critical operations, such as providing lower-cost Earth imagery in time-sensitive situations such as tracking severe weather and detecting natural disasters.

For live coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram at: @iss and on Twitter @Space_Station and @ISS_Research.


Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

 

Trio Ready to Begin Space Mission Lasting till Mid-December

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Soyuz MS-05 Rocket

The Soyuz MS-05 rocket stands at its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

It is less than one day before three new International Space Station crew members start a 4-1/2 month mission in space. The trio from Russia, United States and Italy will launch aboard the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft Friday at 11:41 a.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy and astronauts Randy Bresnik and Paolo Nespoli will dock to the Rassvet module having left Earth just six hours and 19 minutes earlier. After pressure checks the hatches will open and the crew will fly into their new home. They will join their Expedition 52 crewmates Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer.

Meanwhile, space research continues apace as scientists on the ground and the crew observe microgravity’s effects on humans, plants and animals. Research on the station also runs the gamut of physics, technology, earth observations and more, benefitting life on Earth and future crews in space.

All three crew members orbiting Earth today once again explored a lower body suit that has the potential to reverse the headward flow of body fluids in space. Whitson then studied new methods to manage liquid and gas mixtures on spacecraft life support systems. Fischer began setting up gear for an upcoming Japanese plant experiment.


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