Veteran Trio Will Move Soyuz to New Port Friday

Soyuz TMA-16M Spacecraft
The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft is seen approaching the International Space Station before docking to the Poisk module on March 27, 2015.

Commander Gennady Padalka will back the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from its Poisk module docking port Friday morning. One-Year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko will come along for the 25-minute ride and redock to the Zvezda service module port.

The trio reviewed their procedures for the Soyuz relocation maneuver scheduled to begin Friday at 3:12 a.m. EDT. NASA TV will cover the activities live starting at 2:45 a.m.

Japan’s fifth “Kounotori” resupply ship is being unloaded today bringing fresh fruit, research gear and other supplies. Meanwhile, the six-member Expedition 44 crew worked numerous science experiments today studying eye health, plant growth, circadian rhythms and the risk of infection by microorganisms during a space mission.

Japanese Delivery Heads to Station, Taxi Crew Checks Soyuz Systems

Japan's Fifth “Kounotori” H-II Transfer Vehicle
The fifth “Kounotori” H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5) from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched Wednesday morning on a five-day trip to the station. Credit: JAXA

A new Japanese cargo ship is on its way to the International Space Station after a successful launch from southern Japan. Meanwhile, the Expedition 44 crew was conducting more vision and physics research.

The fifth “Kounotori” H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5) from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched Wednesday morning on a five-day trip to the station. It is delivering more than 9,500 pounds of research and supplies for the six-person station crew.

The Expedition 44 crew conducted more eye checks for the Ocular Health study which observes microgravity’s long term effects on an astronaut’s vision. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly booted up a pair of micro-satellites for the SPHERES-Vertigo experiment that studies 3D visual inspection and navigation techniques.

Back on Earth at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, three new Soyuz taxi crew members tried on their Sokol spacesuits and checked their Soyuz systems. They will wear the spacesuits when they launch Sept. 2 on the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft for a ten day mission to the orbital laboratory.

 

High-Flying Research as Cargo and Crew Missions Ready for Launch

Japanese Astronaut Kimiya Yui
Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui soars through the Destiny lab module.

The six-member Expedition 44 crew participated in a wide array of science today as Japan counts down to Wednesday morning’s launch of its fifth resupply mission. Meanwhile, three new Soyuz taxi crew members flew to the launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome to finalize their mission preparations.

The majority of the station crew members had their blood pressure and vision checked today for the long-running Ocular Health study. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui had his legs scanned with an ultrasound for the SPRINT exercise study. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren explored fluid physics and surface tension for the Capillary Beverage experiment.

Back on Earth, veteran station cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and first time Soyuz Flight Engineers Andreas Mogensen and Aidyn Aimbetov are getting ready for their 10-day mission to the International Space Station. The trio will launch Sept. 2 inside the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Volkov will stay in space until next year. Mogensen and Aimbetov will return Sept. 11 with Gennady Padalka who has been in space since March.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is getting ready to roll out its H-IIB rocket this afternoon at the Tanegashima Space Center. JAXA is scheduled to launch the “Kounotori” HTV-5 cargo craft at 7:50 a.m. EDT (11:50 a.m. UTC) Wednesday for a five day trip to the space station. The HTV-5 will deliver more than 4.5 tons of research and supplies, including water, spare parts and experiment hardware.

Russian Cargo Craft Leaves Space Station

ISS Progress 58 resupply ship
Russia’s ISS Progress 58 resupply ship flies away from the International Space Station after undocking on time Friday morning. Credit: NASA TV

The Russian ISS Progress 58 cargo spacecraft separated from the International Space Station at 6:19 a.m. EDT while the spacecraft were flying 250 miles over northwestern China.

The Progress spacecraft will now move away from the orbiting laboratory to a safe location where it will remain until Russian flight engineers command it to reenter Earth’s atmosphere. The intense heat of reentry will cause the vehicle to burn up over the Pacific Ocean.

The departure of the Progress 58 vehicle will clear the Zvezda docking port for the relocation of the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft on August 28. Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal space Agency (Roscosmos), Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscocmos will move their Soyuz from the Poisk module to the Zvedzda docking port. The relocation will enable delivery of a new Soyuz to the station on Sept. 2, which will then bring Kelly and Kornienko home next March to conclude their one-year mission.

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

The International Space Station is seen from the cameras of the ISS Progress 58 cargo craft shortly after it undocked. Credit: NASA TV
The International Space Station is seen from the cameras of the ISS Progress 58 cargo craft shortly after it undocked. Credit: NASA TV

Science Work, Spacewalk Preps as New Crew Readies for Launch

Typhoon Soudelor
ISS044E030713 (08/05/2015) — Typhoon Soudelor photographed from the International Space Station on Aug. 5, 2015 while the storm was traveling in the western Pacific. The Soyuz TMA-17M (left) and the Progress 60 (right) cargo craft are visible.

The Expedition 44 crew members continued a wide variety of science experiments Friday as a pair of cosmonauts prepared for a spacewalk Monday morning. On the ground, a new Soyuz crew is preparing for their mission to swap a pair of station residents in September.

One-Year crew member Scott Kelly set up free-floating microsatellites for the long-running SPHERES-Slosh experiment which observes how liquids such as rocket fuel behave in space. New station residents Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui explored vision changes in space as they scanned each other’s eyes with an ultrasound and measured their blood pressure for the Ocular Health study.

Spacewalkers Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko tested their spacesuits Friday. The cosmonauts will spend 6-1/2 hours upgrading hardware, retrieving an external experiment and photographing the exterior condition of the Russian modules.

In Russia, three new Soyuz crew members completed a series of mission simulations ahead of their departure to the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site in Kazakhstan. Veteran cosmonaut Sergei Volkov will command the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft when he launches Sept. 2 with fellow crew members Andreas Mogensen and Aidyn Aimbetov. Volkov will swap places with Padalka who will return to Earth Sept. 12 with Mogensen and Aimbetov.

Biomedical Studies and Russian Spacewalk Preps for International Crew

Astronaut Kjell Lindgren
Astronaut Kjell Lindgren floats through the Destiny lab module.

The International Space Station crew worked a variety of biomedical experiments in the midst of preparations for Monday’s spacewalk. Meanwhile on the ground, a new Soyuz crew is getting ready for its launch next month to the orbital laboratory.

The orbiting crew took part in studies observing how the human body adapts to weightlessness during long duration missions in space. Scientists are looking at how astronauts interact with touch-based technologies and repair sensitive equipment for the Fine Motor Skills experiment. The crew also participated in ultrasound scans for the Sprint study to help doctors explore new experiment techniques for improving crew productivity.

A pair of cosmonauts are getting the station’s Russian segment and their tools ready for Monday’s six-hour spacewalk. They will replace external experiments and photograph the exterior condition of the Russian modules.

Back on Earth, three new Soyuz crew members are conducting mission simulations before their departure to the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site on Aug. 18. Soyuz Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Engineers Andreas Mogensen and Aidyn Aimbetov will launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft Sept. 2.

Russian and U.S. Spacesuit Work Ahead of August Spacewalk

Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren
Astronauts Scott Kelly (left) and Kjell Lindgren are in the Quest airlock servicing a U.S. spacesuit. Credit: NASA TV

Two cosmonauts are getting ready for the first spacewalk from the International Space Station since March. Two NASA astronauts are also working to bring a U.S. spacesuit back to service.

The three newest Expedition 44 crew members joined Commander Gennady Padalka during their afternoon for a familiarization session with emergency equipment inside the orbital lab. Having arrived just last week, new flight engineers Oleg Kononenko, Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui are still getting used to their new home in space.

Padalka and One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko checked out Russian spacesuit gear ahead of an Aug. 10 spacewalk. The duo will replace external experiments and photograph the exterior condition of the space station’s Russian segment.

Lindgren and One-Year crew member Scott Kelly worked on a U.S. spacesuit replacing internal parts to return the unit to service. Kelly also continued more research for the Twins study comparing him to his Earth-bound twin brother and ex-astronaut Mark Kelly.

Station Avoids Satellite Fragment, Spacewalk Preps Start

The new Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft
The new Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft is pictured docked to the Rassvet module.

The International Space Station moved out of the way of a piece of satellite debris late Saturday night. There were no impacts to crew safety or operations. The maneuver may replace one of three reboosts planned for the orbital laboratory ahead of the Sept. 2 launch of the Expedition 45/Visiting Taxi Crew.

Commander Gennady Padalka and One-Year crew member Mikhail Kornienko are getting ready for an Aug. 10 spacewalk. They will work outside for six hours replacing experiments and equipment and photographing the condition of the station’s Russian segment.

The six-member Expedition 44 crew also moved full speed ahead with more science and maintenance work. One-Year crew member Scott Kelly worked on the Twins experiment that compares his adaptation in space with his Earth-bound brother and ex-astronaut Mark Kelly. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren tended to lettuce plants being grown for the Veggie study then moved on to U.S. spacesuit maintenance.

Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui looked at how microorganisms can affect a crew member’s immune system in space for the Microbiome study. Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko worked on unpacking gear from the new Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft, stowing discarded gear in the ISS Progress 58 space freighter and updating the station’s inventory management system.

Six-Member Expedition 44 Crew Back to Work After Docking Activities

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren
NASA astronaut and new Expedition 44 crew member Kjell Lindgren works inside the Destiny laboratory module. Credit: NASA TV

The International Space Station is at full strength now with six crew members from Japan, Russia and the United States. The newly-expanded orbital team got together today to review their roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency in space.

New station residents Oleg Kononenko, Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui will be familiarizing themselves with their new home in space over the next few days. While they adapt to their new workplace the trio will also be getting up to speed with daily science research and orbital maintenance tasks.

Lindgren spent some time with the Veggie botany experiment before working on a spacesuit battery. Yui explored protein crystal growth with the potential to help scientists create advanced drugs on Earth then moved on to cargo transfers from the brand new Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft. Kononenko looked at the effect of space radiation on viruses, researched protein crystals and checked out Russian space hardware.

New Crew Joins Expedition 44 for Five Month Mission

Expedition 44 crew members
All six Expedition 44 crew members gathered inside the Zvezda service module for a crew greeting ceremony with new crewmates (front row from left) Kimiya Yui, Oleg Kononenko and Kjell Lindgren. In the back from left are Mikhail Kornienko, Gennady Padalka and Scott Kelly. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) joined their Expedition 44 crewmates when the hatches between the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft and the International Space Station officially opened at 12:56 a.m. EDT. Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos, as well as Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos welcomed the new crew members aboard their orbital home.

The crew will support several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science — research that impacts life on Earth.

Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yiu are now the 217th and 218th people to board the International Space Station. This is the first visit for both Lindgren and Yiu, and the third for Kononenko.

Lindgren, Kononenko and Yui will remain aboard the station until late December. Kelly and Kornienko, who have been aboard since March 27, will return to Earth in March 2016 at the end of their one-year mission. Padalka, who also has been aboard since March 27, will return to Earth in September, leaving Kelly in command of Expedition 45. Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth in March 2016 with Expedition 46 after 342 days in space.

You can follow the crew’s activities in space on social media. Follow space station activities via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Follow Twitter updates from Kjell Lindgren, Kimiya Yui, and Scott Kelly, and follow Kelly on Instagram.

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station on Twitter, follow the hashtag #ISS. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect.