Expedition 42 Gets Ready for Crew Swap

Expedition 42 Crew Patch
ISS042-S-001 (April 2013)— The rectangular-shaped design portrays the International Space Station orbiting planet Earth with its solar array wings spread wide. Facing the sun with the lower left outboard solar array feathered, the left array portrays a prominent number “4” and the fully deployed arrays on the right form the Roman numeral version of “2,” which signifies the two increment crews which, together, comprise the six-member international Expedition “42” crew. The crew and all supporting personnel around the world are also represented by the six stars adorning the sky around the complex.

Soyuz TMA-14M Commander Alexander Samokutyaev and Flight Engineer Elena Serova are counting to their departure March 11 with Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore. The two cosmonauts trained on Soyuz descent procedures and checked out emergency communications gear. Wilmore also prepared for his departure and began packing gear for the return home.

Meanwhile, One-Year crew members NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are in Star City, Russia, getting ready for final qualification exams in the Soyuz trainer. They are at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center preparing for their launch aboard a Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft March 27 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The veteran space duo will take a six-hour, four-orbit ride to the International Space Station where they will live and work until March 2016.

One-Year Crew Patch
JSC2014-E-077266 (July 2014) — This patch represents the historic one-year expedition to the International Space Station, spanning Increments 43 through 46. The ISS, an orbiting laboratory above the Earth, provides a unique environment in which to study the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body. This one-year mission will pave the way for future pursuits in space exploration of humankind on longer journeys to farther destinations.

Progress 58 Docks to Station’s Zvezda Service Module

International Space Station Configuration
There are now four spacecraft docked to the International Space Station including the newly arrived ISS Progress 58 space freighter as Feb. 17, 2015. Credit: NASA

Traveling about 257 miles above the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Puerto Rico, the unpiloted Progress 58 Russian cargo ship docked at 11:57 a.m. EST to the rear port of the Zvezda service module of the International Space Station. The craft is delivering three tons of food, fuel, supplies and experiment hardware to the six crew members aboard the orbital laboratory. Progress 58 is scheduled to remain docked to the space station until August.

Meanwhile, astronauts in the U.S. segment of the station are reviewing procedures for a trio of spacewalks. The first is set to begin Friday at 7:10 a.m. Spacewalkers Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts will exit the orbital lab to set the stage for a pair of new commercial crew vehicle docking ports to be installed later this year.

Outside the station on Sunday, robotics controllers on the ground maneuvered the Canadarm2 with the Dextre attached to remove and replace a faulty Remote Power Controller Module (RPCM). The RPCM provides backup commanding capability to the port Thermal Radiator Rotating Joint.

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

Dragon Readied for Launch, European Ship Prepped for Departure

Space Station Configuration
There will be five spacecraft at the International Space Station when the Dragon commercial craft arrives Jan. 12. Credit: NASA

The Expedition 42 crew is getting ready for a delivery aboard the Dragon commercial cargo craft as well as next month’s departure of Europe’s fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5).

The weather looks favorable for Saturday’s planned launch of Dragon aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 4:47 a.m. EST. Dragon will arrive at the International Space Station Monday morning carrying more than 5,000 pounds of supplies, payloads and critical research.

› Read more about Saturday’s launch and television coverage
› Read more about the SpaceX CRS-5 mission

Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts worked on readying the ATV-5 resupply craft for it’s undocking from the Zvezda service module and departure Feb. 27. It will reenter the Earth’s atmosphere loaded with trash and discarded gear for a fiery disposal over the Pacific Ocean.

Read more about the launch and docking of the ATV-5 last summer.

New Trio Joins Expedition 42 During Crew Greeting Ceremony

Expediiton 42 Crew Greeting Ceremony
In the front row, from left are the newest Expedition 42 crew members Anton Shkaplerov, Samantha Cristoforetti and Terry Virts. In the back are Elena Serova, Commander Barry Wilmore and Alexander Samokutyaev. They are in the Zvezda service module for a traditional crew greeting ceremony with family and mission officials on the ground. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronaut Terry Virts, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency joined their Expedition 42 crewmates when the hatches between the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft and the International Space Station officially opened at midnight EST. Expedition 42 Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samoukutyaev and Elena Serova of Roscosmos welcomed the new crew members aboard their orbital home.

Expedition 42 will continue to take advantage of the orbital lab’s unique microgravity environment and expand the scope of research. The crew will perform experiments that cover human research, biological and physical sciences, technology development and Earth observations as well as engage in educational activities. They are scheduled to greet a host of cargo vehicles during their mission, including a number of U.S. commercial resupply flights, two Russian Progress resupply missions and the departure of the final European ATV cargo spacecraft. The crew will conduct up to three U.S. spacewalks.

Wilmore, Samoukutyaev and Serova will return home in March 2015. At that time Virts will become commander for Expedition 43. Virts, Shkaplerov and Cristoforetti will return to Earth in May 2015.

To learn more about Expedition 42, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/1yMQKPe.

To follow Twitter updates from NASA’s Expedition 42 astronauts, visit:

http://www.twitter.com/AstroTerry
http://www.twitter.com/AntonAstrey
http://www.twitter.com/AstroSamantha

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Expedition 42 on Twitter, follow the hashtags #ISS, #Exp42 and #Soyuz. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect.

Watch Live Coverage of the Expedition 42 Crew Greeting

Expedition 42 Crew Portrait
ISS042-S-002 (9 July 2014) — Expedition 42 crew members take a break from training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center to pose for a crew portrait. Pictured on the front row are NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore (left), commander; and Terry Virts, flight engineer. Pictured from the left (back row) are Russian cosmonauts Elena Serova, Alexander Samoukutyaev and Anton Shkaplerov and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, all flight engineers. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Stafford

New Expedition 42 crew members Anton Shkaplerov, Terry Virts and are fixing to open the hatches to the International Space Station. Watch NASA TV coverage of their crew greeting with current station residents Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova…. https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

New Expedition 42 Trio Arrives at Station

Expedition 42 Docks
The Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft carrying a new Expedition 42 trio approaches the International Space Station shortly before docking. Credit: NASA TV

The Soyuz TMA-15M vehicle docked to the International Space Station at 9:49 p.m. EST, above the Pacific Ocean, approaching the coast of Ecuador.

Aboard the space station, Expedition 42 Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samoukutyaev and Elena Serova of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) will welcome Soyuz crew members Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency when the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened.

Watch the hatch opening and welcome ceremony live beginning at 11 p.m.: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Live NASA TV Coverage of Expedition 42 Docking Begins

Soyuz and Progress at Night
Night panorama of parts of Europe on Oct. 1, 2014. Kiev, Ukraine is seen near the right edge of the photo in the vertical center. Lights of Constanta, Romania can be seen just below the Russian Progress 56 cargo and the Soyuz TMA-13M docked to the station.

Aboard their Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft, Terry Virts, Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Samantha Cristoforetti are scheduled to dock at 9:53 p.m. EST to the International Space Station’s Rassvet module. NASA Television coverage of the docking will begin at 9:15 p.m. NASA TV will resume at 11 p.m. to cover hatch opening between the two spacecraft and the welcome ceremony.

The Soyuz crew will join Expedition 42 Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samoukutyaev and Elena Serova of the Russian Federal Space Agency. Wilmore, Samoukutyaev and Serova have lived aboard the space station since September.

Watch live starting at 9:15 p.m. on NASA TV: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Expedition 42 Trio Launches on Time to Station

The Soyuz TMA-15M launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 4:01 p.m. EST (3:01 a.m. on Nov. 24 Baikonur time). Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency now are safely in orbit.

Soyuz Launches on Time
The Soyuz TMA-15M launches on time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 4:01 p.m. EST. Credit: NASA TV

Virts, Shkaplerov and Cristoforetti will dock with the station’s Rassvet module at 9:53 p.m. Welcoming them aboard will be the current station residents, Expedition 42 Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samoukutyaev and Elena Serova of Roscosmos. Wilmore, Samoukutyaev and Serova arrived at the space station in September aboard their Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft and will remain aboard until March 2015.

Some of the cargo flown aboard this Soyuz will be used in research investigations that are either ongoing or planned aboard the International Space Station. Items such as questionnaires will be delivered to obtain in-flight data about crew member characteristics, such as day-to-day changes in health or incidence of pain or pressure in microgravity. One such investigation is Space Headaches which uses questionnaires to collect information about the prevalence and characteristics of crew members’ headaches in microgravity. This information is used to develop future countermeasures for headaches often caused by intracranial pressure change.

Read more about Space Headaches
Read more about intracranial pressure change

Researchers will also use biological sample kits delivered by the Soyuz spacecraft to obtain samples of blood, saliva or urine. The ongoing collection of biological samples from crew members help scientists determine if immune system impairment caused by spaceflight increases the possibility for infection or poses a significant health risk during life aboard the space station.

Watch NASA TV for Launch of Expedition 42

Soyuz on Launch Pad
The Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft rests at its launch pad with three Expedition 42 crew members inside waiting for a six hour ride to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft that will carry three additional crew members to the International Space Station stands ready for its 4:01 p.m. EST liftoff. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 3 p.m.

Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency will launch aboard their Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Watch on NASA TV or at: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

View Timeline of Expedition 42 Launch Activities

Expediiton 42
jsc2014e093608 (19 November 2014)— In the Integration Facility at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 42/43 crewmembers Terry Virts of NASA (left), Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos, center) and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency (right) answer questions from reporters Nov. 19 during their second and final pre-launch “fit check” dress rehearsal activities.

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency are preparing for their launch to the International Space Station. Their journey to the station will begin with a 4:01 p.m. EST (3:01 a.m. on Nov. 24 Baikonur time) liftoff. NASA TV will broadcast launch coverage live at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv beginning at 3 p.m.

Below is the crew’s launch timeline, from wakeup to docking.

Sunday, Nov. 23

EST Event
6:10 a.m.               Crew wakeup at Cosmonaut Hotel
9:25 a.m.               Crew departs Cosmonaut Hotel
10:10 a.m.             Crew arrives at Site 254
10:16 a.m.             Batteries installed in booster
10:55 a.m.             Crew suit up
11:01 a.m.             Tanking begins
11:55 a.m.             Crew meets family members on other side of the glass
11:56 a.m.             Booster loaded with liquid Oxygen
12:56 p.m.             First and second stage Oxygen fueling complete
12:15 p.m.             Crew walkout and readiness report to the State Commission
1:20 p.m.               Crew departs for launch pad (Site 31)
1:30 p.m.               Crew arrives at launch pad (Site 31)
1:35 p.m.               Crew boards Soyuz; strapped in to the Descent module
2:26 p.m.               Descent module hardware tested
2:41 p.m.               Hatch closed; leak checks begin
3:00 p.m.              NASA TV: LAUNCH COVERAGE BEGINS
3:01 p.m.               Launch vehicle control system prep; gyro activation
3:16 p.m.               Pad service structure components lowered
3:17 p.m.               Clamshell gantry service towers retracted
3:24 p.m.               Suit leak checks begin; descent module testing complete
3:27 p.m.               Emergency escape system armed
3:46 p.m.               Suit leak checks complete; escape system to auto
3:51 p.m.               Gyros in flight readiness and recorders activated
3:54 p.m.               Pre-launch operations complete
3:55 p.m.               Launch countdown operations to auto; vehicle ready
3:56 p.m.               Commander’s controls activated
3:57 p.m.               Combustion chamber nitrogen purge
3:58:14 p.m.          Propellant drainback
3:58:29 p.m.          Booster propellant tank pressurization
3:59:10 p.m.          ISS flies directly over Baikonur Cosmodrome
3:59:44 p.m.          Ground propellant feed terminated
4:00:14 p.m.          Vehicle to internal power
4:00:39 p.m.          First umbilical tower separates, Auto sequence start
4:00:44 p.m.          Ground umbilical to third stage disconnected
4:00:59 p.m.          Second umbilical tower separates
4:01:02 p.m.          Launch command issued, Engine Start Sequence Begins
4:01:04 p.m.          Engine turbopumps at flight speed
4:01:09 p.m.          Engines at maximum thrust
4:01:14 p.m.         LAUNCH OF SOYUZ TMA-15M TO THE ISS
4:09 p.m.               Third Stage Shutdown; Orbital Insertion
9:15 p.m.              NASA TV: DOCKING COVERAGE BEGINS
9:30 p.m.               Flyaround mode start
9:38 p.m.               Station-keeping start
9:42 p.m.               Final Approach start
9:53 p.m.              DOCKING OF SOYUZ TMA-15M TO THE ISS
10:07 p.m.             Soyuz & station hooks closed
11 p.m.                 NASA TV: HATCH OPENING COVERAGE BEGINS
11:30 p.m.             Hatches between Soyuz and station open

To learn more about Expedition 42, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/1yMQKPe.

To follow Twitter updates from NASA’s Expedition 42 astronauts, visit:

http://www.twitter.com/AstroTerry
http://www.twitter.com/AntonAstrey
http://www.twitter.com/AstroSamantha

To join the online conversation about the International Space Station and Expedition 40 on Twitter, follow the hashtags #ISS, #Exp42 and #Soyuz. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect.