Robot Science, Spacewalk Preps Ahead of Japanese Cargo Mission

Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev
Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev lays cable for the installation of the Icarus animal-tracking experiment on the Zvezda service module during a spacewalk that lasted seven hours and 46 minutes.

The Expedition 56 crew members explored using algorithms to remotely control a robot on the ground and satellites from the International Space Station today. The orbital residents are also cleaning up after a Russian spacewalk while preparing for a pair of upcoming U.S. spacewalks and a Japanese cargo mission.

Astronaut Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency is testing the ability to control a robot on a planetary surface from an orbiting spacecraft. The study seeks to bolster the success and safety of future space missions with astronauts and robots sharing decision-making responsibilities.

Commander Drew Feustel joined Flight Engineer Ricky Arnold in the Japanese Kibo lab module monitoring a pair of tiny internal satellites, also known as SPHERES. They are evaluating an algorithm that controls the operation of the SPHERES in formation using six degrees of freedom.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev are cleaning up after Wednesday’s spacewalk enabling new science outside of the space station. The two dried out their Russian Orlan spacesuits and water feed lines then began stowing spacewalk tools and gear.

At the end of the day, Gerst started charging U.S. spacesuit batteries ahead of two maintenance spacewalks planned for Sept. 20 and 26. Gerst and fellow spacewalkers Feustel and Arnold will replace batteries on the Port 4 truss structure’s power channels. The Japanese “Kounotori” HTV-7 cargo ship is targeted to deliver the new batteries ahead of the two spacewalks on Sept. 14.


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Cosmonauts Wrap Up Russian Spacewalk for Science Work

Cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev
Cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev hand-deploys a SiriusSat nano-satellite into Earth orbit while tethered to the Pirs airlock on the International Space Station

Expedition 56 Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos have completed a spacewalk lasting 7 hours and 46 minutes.

The two cosmonauts opened the hatch to the Pirs docking compartment to begin the spacewalk at 12:17 p.m. EDT. They re-entered the airlock and closed the hatch at 8:03 p.m. EDT.

During the spacewalk, the duo manually launched four small technology satellites and installed an experiment called Icarus onto the Russian segment of the space station.

It was the 212th spacewalk in support of International Space Station assembly, maintenance and upgrades, the third in Artemyev’s career and the first for Prokopyev.

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

Cosmonauts Working Outside Station for Russian Spacewalk

Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev
Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev are conducting the 7th spacewalk of the year at the International Space Station today.

Expedition 56 Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos began a spacewalk when they opened the hatch of the Pirs docking compartment of the International Space Station at 12:17 p.m. EDT.

Artemyev will be designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1) for the spacewalk wearing the Russian Orlan spacesuit with red stripes. Prokopyev will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2) wearing the Russian Orlan spacesuit with blue stripes.

Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Views from a camera on Artemyev’s helmet are designated with the number 20, and Prokopyev’s is labeled with the number 18.

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

Watch Russian Spacewalk Broadcast Live on NASA TV

 

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev works outside the International Space Station during a 5-hour, 11-minute spacewalk that took place Aug. 18, 2014, when he was an Expedition 40 Flight Engineer.

Expedition 56 Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are preparing for their exit from the station’s Pirs docking compartment airlock at approximately 11:58 a.m. EDT. The spacewalk is planned to last about six hours outside of the International Space Station‘s Russian segment.

The primary objectives during the spacewalk will be to manually launch four small technology satellites, retrieve material science samples from the hull of the Zvezda service module, and install an experiment called Icarus onto the Russian segment of the space station.

Icarus is a collaborative environmental experiment between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Roscosmos to study the migratory patterns of small animals on Earth. It consists of an antenna and GPS hardware to track the movements of animals that have been tagged with small GPS receivers. The experiment may provide data about how animals move from one location to another, how animal population density shifts over time, and how diseases spread.

Coverage of the spacewalk is now underway on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

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

Crew Preps for Russian, U.S. Spacewalks While Juggling Space Research

Russian Orlan spacesuit
A Russian Orlan spacesuit is pictured inside the Pirs airlock where Russian spacewalks are staged.

The Expedition 56 crew is getting ready for a spacewalk Wednesday outside the International Space Station’s Russian segment. Meanwhile, the orbital residents continued apace with space science and preparation for a pair of September spacewalks.

Two cosmonauts will suit up inside their Orlan spacesuits and exit the Pirs airlock Wednesday at 11:58 a.m. EDT for about six hours of science and maintenance work. Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev will toss four tiny satellites into space, install antennas and cables for the Icarus animal-tracking experiment and collect exposed science experiments.

NASA astronauts Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold and Serena Auñón-Chancellor assisted the cosmonauts throughout Tuesday and reviewed their roles for tomorrow’s spacewalk. NASA TV begins its live spacewalk coverage Wednesday at 11:15 a.m.

Arnold started his morning replacing gear inside the Combustion Integrated Rack then ended his day with plumbing duty on the Water Processing Assembly. Auñón-Chancellor checked on mice being observed for the Rodent Research-7 study that observes how internal microbes impact organisms living in space.

Finally, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst spent the afternoon working on U.S. spacesuits. He, Feustel and Arnold are gearing up for two spacewalks at the end of September to replace batteries on the Port 4 truss structure’s power channels.


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

Station Gears Up for Spacewalk During Advanced Science Work

Expedition 56 Flight Engineer Ricky Arnold
Expedition 56 Flight Engineer Ricky Arnold inspects U.S. spacesuits and tethers in the Quest airlock ahead of a pair of U.S. spacewalks currently planned for September.

Two Expedition 56 cosmonauts packed a Russian resupply ship today before preparing for Wednesday’s spacewalk. The other four International Space Station crew members worked on a variety of space science experiments and lab maintenance duties.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev are loading a Progress 69 (69P) cargo craft with trash ahead of its departure next week. The 69P delivered over three tons of food, fuel and supplies in February. The spacecraft will undock on Aug. 22 for a fiery disposal over the Pacific Ocean one week later after a series of engineering tests.

The cosmonauts then turned their attention to Wednesday’s spacewalk when they will hand-deploy four tiny satellites, install antennas and cables and collect exposed science experiments. They continued setting up their spacewalking gear inside the Pirs airlock today. They will exit Pirs Wednesday at 11:58 a.m. EDT for about six hours of work outside the station’s Russian segment inside their Orlan spacesuits. NASA TV’s live coverage of the spacewalk begins at 11:15 a.m.

Commander Drew Feustel and Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor performed the majority of the science work today onboard the orbital complex. Feustel explored how proteins crystallize and grow in microgravity to help scientists develop safer, more advanced drug therapies on Earth. Auñón-Chancellor started her day with a blood draw before researching radio spectrum usage in space which may benefit satellite communications. Finally, she studied the sedimentation of quartz and clay particles possibly assisting future planetary exploration missions and the petroleum industry on Earth.

Flight Engineer Ricky Arnold spent some time inspecting U.S. spacesuit lights and replacing fan filters before assisting Feustel with the protein crystal growth experiment. Alexander Gerst of ESA checked out U.S. spacesuit batteries then moved on to verifying the functionality of fire extinguishers and breathing masks.


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

Cosmonauts Get Suits Ready for Next Spacewalk as Rest of Crew Relaxes

Empty Russian Orlan spacesuits
Empty Russian Orlan spacesuits are pictured in the Pirs Docking Compartment.

Two Expedition 56 cosmonauts are getting ready for a spacewalk set for next week as the rest of the International Space Station crew took the day off. A Russian cargo craft is also poised to take out the trash and depart the orbital lab at the end of the month.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev will put on their Orlan spacesuits and work outside the station’s Russian segment for about seven hours on Aug. 15. The duo will toss tiny satellites into Earth orbit, install antennas and cables on the Zvezda service module and retrieve experiments that analyzed external station surfaces and observed plasma waves.

They spent Monday installing batteries that will power their spacesuits next week for the duration of their spacewalk. Artemyev and Prokopyev also ensured their suits were sized properly and conducted leak checks. Finally, they reviewed the procedures they will use next week when they exit and enter the airlock inside the Pirs docking compartment.

The rest of the crew is relaxing today after an intense week of completing crucial space science and loading the time-sensitive research samples inside the Dragon cargo craft for its return to Earth. Dragon splashed down in the Pacific Ocean Friday and was quickly retrieved so scientists and engineers could begin analyzing the science and refurbishing the station hardware.

The next spacecraft due to leave the station is Russia’s Progress 69 (69P) resupply ship on Aug. 22 packed with trash and discarded gear. It launched Feb. 13 and arrived two days later loaded with over three tons of food, fuel and supplies. The 69P will deorbit on Aug. 29 after a week of engineering tests for a fiery but safe disposal over the Pacific Ocean.

Dragon Packing, Eye Science and Spacewalk Preps Today

Alexander Gerst and Sergey Prokopyev
Astronaut Alexander Gerst practices cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as cosmonaut Sergey Prokopev looks on during an emergency training session aboard the International Space Station.

The Expedition 56 crew has nearly completed loading the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship with cargo for retrieval back on Earth this Friday. The orbital residents are also busy with an intense day of space research and Russian spacewalk preparations.

Dragon is due to be released Friday at 12:37 p.m. EDT from the International Space Station carrying several tons of experiment results and orbital lab hardware. The crew has been packing the crucial research samples this week inside specialized, portable freezers onboard the commercial space freighter.

SpaceX technicians will pick up Dragon with its precious cargo after it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean and return to shore in southern California. Scientists and engineers will then begin the process of analyzing the critical space science and refurbishing station hardware.

Astronauts Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Alexander Gerst spent Wednesday morning helping doctors understand how living in space impacts the human eye. They are exploring the hypothesis that upward fluid shifts in the body caused by microgravity increases pressure on the brain possibly pushing against the eyes. This may affect the shape of the eye and permanently affect vision.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev are getting ready for a spacewalk on Aug. 15. The duo reviewed the translation paths to their work sites on the outside of the station’s Russian segment. During the near seven-hour excursion, the spacewalkers will hand-deploy four tiny satellites, install antennas and cables on the Zvezda service module and collect exposed science experiments.


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

Crew Packs Up on Science and Cleans Up After Spacewalk

NASA astronaut Drew Feustel is pictured tethered to the International Space Station
NASA astronaut Drew Feustel is pictured tethered to the International Space Station just outside of the Quest airlock during a spacewalk he conducted with fellow NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold (out of frame) on June 14, 2018.

The Expedition 56 crew‘s schedule is full of space science today as cleanup continues after last week’s spacewalk. The International Space Station’s three newest crew members also brushed up on their safety skills.

Biology and physics were just part of the microgravity research taking place aboard the orbital laboratory today. NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor started her day collecting blood and urine samples for a trio of ongoing human research studies. She then joined European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst for the Myotone study observing how long-term space missions impact the biochemical properties of muscles. Gerst also researched ways to simplify and speed up procedures for astronauts for the Everywear experiment.

Auñón-Chancellor, Gerst and cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev also gathered midday to review the location of safety gear throughout the space station. The trio also practiced emergency communication in the station’s Russian segment.

NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold spent the day cleaning soot created in a burner during a run of the Advanced Combustion Microgravity Experiment. That study is exploring ways to improve fuel efficiency, reduce pollution and prevent fires in space. Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Prokopyev explored how living in microgravity affects their daily exercise regimen.

Commander Drew Feustel worked in the Quest airlock today continuing cleanup activities after Thursday’s six-hour, 49-minute spacewalk. Feustel scrubbed the U.S. spacesuit water loops then tested water samples for conductivity before wrapping up his day.

Spacewalkers Complete HD Camera Installation Work

Astronaut Ricky Arnold
Astronaut Ricky Arnold exits the Quest airlock beginning the sixth spacewalk of 2018. Credit: @OlegMKS

Expedition 56 Commander Drew Feustel and Flight Engineer Ricky Arnold of NASA completed the sixth spacewalk at the International Space Station this year at 2:55 p.m. EDT, lasting 6 hours, 49 minutes. The two astronauts installed new high-definition cameras that will provide enhanced views during the final phase of approach and docking of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner commercial crew spacecraft that will soon begin launching from American soil.

They also swapped a camera assembly on the starboard truss of the station, closed an aperture door on an external environmental imaging experiment outside the Japanese Kibo module, and completed two additional tasks to relocate a grapple bar to aid future spacewalkers and secured some gear associated with a spare cooling unit housed on the station’s truss.

This was the 211th spacewalk in support of assembly and maintenance of the unique orbiting laboratory where humans have been living and working continuously for nearly 18 years. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 54 days, 23 hours and 29 minutes working outside the station.

During the ninth spacewalk of Feustel’s career, he moved into third place for total cumulative time spent spacewalking with a total of 61 hours and 48 minutes. It was Arnold’s fifth spacewalk with a total time of 32 hours and 4 minutes.

For updates about the crew’s activities on the unique orbiting laboratory, 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.