Russian Soyuz Crew Docks to Station, Hatches Open Soon

Five spaceships are parked at the space station including Northrop Grumman's Cygnus space freighter; the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle; and Russia's Soyuz MS-18 and MS-19 crew ships and ISS Progress 78 resupply ship.
Five spaceships are parked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter; the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle; and Russia’s Soyuz MS-18 and MS-19 crew ships and ISS Progress 78 resupply ship.

The Soyuz spacecraft carrying Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko docked to the International Space Station at 8:22 a.m. EDT while both spacecraft were flying about 260 miles above Earth to the north of the Philippine islands.

When the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened following standard pressurization and leak checks, the trio will join Expedition 65 Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronauts Mark Vande HeiShane Kimbrough and Megan McArthurAki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov.

Watch the hatch opening on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app beginning at 9:30 a.m. for hatch opening targeted for about 10 a.m.

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

Russian Trio in Orbit Racing to Station This Morning

The Soyuz MS-19 rocket with three Russian crewmates aboard ascends into space shortly after launching under clear blues skies in Kazakhstan.
The Soyuz MS-19 rocket with three Russian crewmates aboard ascends into space shortly after launching under clear blues skies in Kazakhstan.

Nearly nine minutes after a successful launch at 4:55 a.m. EDT of the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko safely reached orbit. They have begun a two-orbit, three-hour flight to reach the International Space Station and join the Expedition 65 crew. At the time of launch, the station was flying about 260 miles over southwest Kazakhstan.

The spacecraft’s docking to the station’s Rassvet module is expected to take place at 8:12 a.m., with NASA TV coverage on the agency’s website, and the NASA app beginning at 7:30 a.m.

About two hours after docking, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open. The trio will then join Expedition 65 Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronauts Mark Vande HeiShane Kimbrough and Megan McArthurAki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. Coverage of the hatch opening will begin at 9:30 a.m.

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

Russian Soyuz Crew Launching to Station Today Live on NASA TV

The Soyuz MS-19 crew with (from left) Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, producer Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild.
The Soyuz MS-19 crew with (from left) Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, producer Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild.

Live launch coverage is underway on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app for the targeted lift off at 4:55 a.m. EDT (1:55 p.m. Baikonur time).

Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and producer Klim Shipenko will the launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station, where they will film segments for a movie. The launch will mark the expansion of commercial space opportunities to include feature filmmaking.

Their Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft will make a fast-track, two-orbit journey to dock to the station’s Rassvet module. They will join Expedition 65 Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronauts Mark Vande HeiShane Kimbrough and Megan McArthurAki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov.

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

Russian Crew Ship Rolls Out; Station Keeps Up Science and Spaceship Tasks

The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship is pictured docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.
The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship is pictured docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

Russia rolled out its Soyuz rocket in Kazakhstan early Friday morning that will launch three crewmates to the International Space Station next week. On the other side of the Earth, the SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle completed its mission Thursday night after splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean.

The next mission to the orbiting lab is due to blast off on Tuesday at 4:55 a.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov will command the near three-and-a-half hour ride to the station’s Rassvet module aboard the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship. Sitting to either side of Shkaplerov during the short flight will be Russian spaceflight participants Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild.

NASA TV starts its live coverage of the Soyuz launch on Tuesday at 4:15 a.m. on the NASA app and the agency’s website. NASA TV will be back on the air at 7:30 a.m. broadcasting the docking set for 8:12 a.m. and again at 9:30 a.m. for the hatch opening planned for 10:05 a.m.

Back on orbit, the seven-member Expedition 65 crew juggled a variety of science activities and maintenance tasks. The orbital residents also worked on U.S. crew ship inspections and Russian cargo transfers.

NASA Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough swapped roles as crew medical officer on Friday morning. The duo took turns scanning each other’s neck, shoulder, and leg veins with the Ultrasound 2 device. In the afternoon, Kimbrough took charge again and examined the eyes and retinas of NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei using near infrared imaging gear. Doctors on the ground assisted the astronauts in real time during the vein scans and eye checks.

Kimbrough and McArthur also partnered up during the afternoon inspecting life support systems inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour. The pair along with astronauts Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) are due to return to Earth aboard Endeavour in November.

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy is packing up and gathering items, getting ready for his return to Earth on Oct. 18 inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship. Novitskiy will be parachuting to a landing in Kazakhstan with the two spaceflight participants Shipenko and Peresild. Vande Hei and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov, who launched to space with Novitskiy in April, will stay on the station for another five months.

Dubrov, meanwhile, worked on cargo transfers inside the ISS Progress 78 resupply ship today. The first-time space flyer also joined Novitskiy before lunchtime testing a specialized suit, the lower body negative suit, that counteracts the space-caused pooling of fluids toward the human head.

Dragon Heads Home, Crew Ship Nears Launch as Research Continues

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle is pictured approaching the station on Aug. 30 for an autonomous docking to the Harmony module's forward international docking adapter.
The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle is pictured approaching the station on Aug. 30 for an autonomous docking to the Harmony module’s forward international docking adapter.

A U.S. resupply ship departed the International Space Station on Thursday morning and will return to Earth in the evening. A Russian rocket is scheduled to roll out on Friday to prepare for next week’s launch with the crew members to the orbiting lab.

NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough was on duty monitoring the SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle during its automated undocking from the Harmony module’s forward international docking adapter today at 9:12 a.m. EDT. It will orbit Earth for several more hours before parachuting to a splashdown off the coast of Florida later tonight. NASA and SpaceX personnel will be on support boats ready to retrieve the cargo craft containing station hardware and completed science experiments for analysis.

The next mission to the orbiting lab will blast off on Tuesday at 4:55 a.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz MS-19 crew ship will carry veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov leading spaceflight participants Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild. The Russian trio will dock to the station’s Rassvet module less than three-and-a-half hours after launch.

Meanwhile, microgravity science activities are ongoing aboard the space station today. Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) swapped samples inside the Fluids Science Laboratory to study the dynamics of granular materials in weightlessness. Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration installed a deployer loaded with small satellites inside the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock.

NASA Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei spent their day on botany and biology studies. McArthur cleaned up debris and took photographs of Hatch chile plants growing inside the Plant Habitat. Vande Hei started his morning processing blood samples in a centrifuge then spent the afternoon stowing biological samples in a science freezer for the Food Physiology experiment.

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy monitored his blood pressure while wearing the lower body negative pressure suit that counteracts the effect of microgravity pulling fluids toward the human head. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov photographed microbe samples swabbed from station surfaces to understand the risk to spacecraft and future human missions.

Soyuz Crew Ship Docks to New Science Module Port

The International Space Station configuration as of Sept. 28, 2021 with the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.
The International Space Station configuration as of Sept. 28, 2021, with the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft that first launched and arrived to the International Space Station April 9 has now successfully relocated with its crew aboard from the station’s Earth-facing Rassvet module to the “Nauka” Multipurpose Laboratory Module. The spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy, commander of the Soyuz, and Pyotr Dubrov along with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, docked at 9:04 a.m. EDT.

It is the first time a spacecraft has attached to the new Nauka module, which arrived at the station in July, and is the 20th Soyuz port relocation in station history and the first since March 2021.

The relocation frees the Rassvet port for the arrival October 5 of another Soyuz spacecraft, designated Soyuz MS-19, which will carry Soyuz commander and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and spaceflight participants Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild.

Vande Hei and Dubrov are scheduled to remain aboard the station until March 2022. At the time of his return, Vande Hei will have set the record for the longest single spaceflight for an American. Novitskiy, Shipenko, and Peresild are scheduled to return to Earth in October aboard the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft.

For more than 20 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. As a global endeavor, 244 people from 19 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 3,000 research and educational investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

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

Soyuz Crew Ship Undocks to Begin Port Relocation

The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft with three Expedition 65 crewmates inside backs away from the station to relocate to a new docking port.
The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft with three Expedition 65 crewmates inside backs away from the station to relocate to a new docking port. Credit: NASA TV

The Russian Soyuz MS-18 undocked from the Rassvet module on the International Space Station at 8:21 a.m. EDT. Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy, who is the commander of the Soyuz spacecraft, and Pyotr Dubrov along with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, are aboard the spacecraft for the short trip to a nearby parking space.

The trio are relocating the Soyuz to the new “Nauka” Multipurpose Laboratory Module and are expected to dock again at 9 a.m. Nauka arrived at the station in July and was attached to the station’s Zvezda module, providing a new laboratory and robotic arm aboard the orbiting outpost to conduct experiments and store scientific instruments. In addition, Nauka provides an additional sleeping area and toilet for station crew members.

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

Watch NASA TV as Trio Switches Ports in Soyuz Crew Ship

Expedition 65 Flight Engineers (from left) Mark Vande Hei, Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are pictured in Sokol launch and entry suits they are wearing during today's relocation maneuver.
Expedition 65 Flight Engineers (from left) Mark Vande Hei, Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are pictured in Sokol launch and entry suits they are wearing during today’s relocation maneuver.

NASA is providing live coverage on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website as three residents of the International Space Station prepare to take a short ride aboard a Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft to relocate it in preparation for the arrival of the next set of station crew members.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos are in their spacesuits in the Soyuz and are scheduled to undock from the station’s Earth-facing Rassvet module at 8:21 a.m. EDT. The same trio launched and arrived to the space station in that spacecraft on April 9.

They will dock again at the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module at 9 a.m. This will be the first time a spacecraft has attached to the new Nauka module, which arrived at the station in July. This will be the 20th Soyuz port relocation in station history and the first since March 2021.

The relocation will free the Rassvet port for the docking of another Soyuz spacecraft, designated Soyuz MS-19, scheduled to arrive October 5 with Soyuz commander and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and spaceflight participants Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild following a launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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

New Robotic Arm Being Set Up Before Crew Ship Switches Ports

The city lights of northwest America, highlighted by an aurora, are pictured as the space station orbited above.
The city lights of northwest America, highlighted by an aurora, are pictured as the space station orbited above.

Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module continues being outfitted today before operations begin with Europe’s new robotic arm. In the meantime, three Expedition 65 crewmates are preparing to move their Soyuz crew ship to a new port on the International Space Station next week.

Soon, there will be three robotic arms from three different countries operating on the orbiting lab. The newest arm, the European robotic arm (ERA), was delivered in July attached to Nauka. ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet joined Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov inside Nauka today and configured ERA controller hardware and software. The other two robotic manipulators are Japan’s robotic arm which services the Kibo laboratory module, and the Canadarm2 robotic arm which captures and installs spaceships, maneuvers spacewalkers, and performs other fine-controlled tasks on the station.

The three NASA Flight Engineers, Megan McArthur, Shane Kimbrough, and Mark Vande Hei, worked in the station’s U.S. segment on science and maintenance activities throughout Wednesday. Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) worked primarily in the Kibo laboratory module on space biology activities.

McArthur started her day replacing fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack before swabbing microbe samples from station surfaces for later analysis. Kimbrough disassembled an old device that measured electrical charges building up around the station’s main solar arrays. Finally, Vande Hei serviced communications hardware inside Kibo then moved on and switched samples inside the Materials Science Laboratory.

Three-time Roscosmos Flight Engineer Oleg Novitskiy checked components inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship today before it moves to a new port next week. He will be flanked by Vande Hei and Dubrov inside the Soyuz when it undocks from the Rassvet module on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 8:21 a.m. EDT. They will dock less than 45 minutes later to Nauka for the first time.

Expedition 64 Trio Back On Earth After 185-Day Mission

The Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft just before landing in Kazakhstan on April 17th, 2021. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos landed on Earth at 12:55 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 17 in Kazakhstan. The trio departed the International Space Station in their Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft at 9:34 p.m.

After post-landing medical checks, the crew will split up with Rubins returning to her home in Houston, while the cosmonauts fly back to their training base in Star City, Russia.

Remaining aboard the station is the seven-person crew of Expedition 65, with new station commander Shannon Walker of NASA, NASA astronauts Victor GloverMichael Hopkins, and Mark Vande Hei, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov.

Later this month, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 members – NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet – will join the Expedition 65 members aboard the station. Crew-2 will be the second long-duration mission to fly as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, continuing to provide the capability of regularly launching humans from American soil.

In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed a 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique technological demonstrations and research that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars while also improving life on Earth. To date, 243 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory that has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

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