Advanced Science in Full Gear Today as Cosmonauts Relax

Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Shannon Walker of NASA installs an airborne particulate monitor in the Tranquility module.
Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Shannon Walker of NASA installs an airborne particulate monitor in the Tranquility module.

Five Expedition 64 astronauts had their day packed with microgravity research while the two cosmonauts had a light duty day aboard the International Space Station following last week’s spacewalk.

All seven crew members started the day measuring their body mass with an instrument that follows Newton’s second law of motion to account for the lack of gravity. Known as SLAMMD, or Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device, it applies a known force to an astronaut with the resulting acceleration used to calculate the person’s mass.

New station Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover continued studying how microgravity impacts dexterous manipulation today. Their inputs for the Grip study could help scientists and engineers develop safer, more advanced spacecraft systems and interfaces.

Astronaut Soichi Noguchi of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) removed a CubeSat deployer from the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock during Monday morning. During the afternoon, he configured life support hardware in the Harmony module.

NASA Flight Engineer Shannon Walker relaxed Monday morning before spending the rest of the afternoon exploring how to manufacture high quality, next generation fiber optic cables in space. Kate Rubins, on her second station mission, studied how water droplets behave in space to help engineers design improved spacecraft fuel and life support systems.

The two station cosmonauts worked on a pair of docked Russian Progress cargo ships, but otherwise relaxed Monday. Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov are winding down several days of cleaning their spacesuits and stowing their tools following Wednesday’s six-hour and 48-minute spacewalk.

Space Science Ramps Up as Spacewalkers Sleep In

SpaceX Crew-1 Pilot and Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Victor Glover is pictured inside the Crew Dragon vehicle.
SpaceX Crew-1 Pilot and Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Victor Glover is pictured inside the Crew Dragon vehicle.

Three Expedition 64 crewmates slept in today following Wednesday’s spacewalk to upgrade the International Space Station for a new Russian module. Meanwhile, the station’s four newest crew members are adjusting to life in space, working science and unloading cargo from the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins had a long day Wednesday as she assisted cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov during their six-hour and 48-minute spacewalk. The trio had an extended sleep shift Thursday having also adjusted their schedules at the beginning of the week to welcome the four astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon.

The extended crew woke up at 7 a.m. EST and jumped right into a busy workday getting familiarized with station systems and working space research. At the end of the day, the quartet also briefed mission controllers and discussed their experience riding in the Crew Dragon vehicle.

Flight Engineers Victor Glover and Soichi Noguchi partnered up Wednesday morning and transferred cargo from Crew Dragon into the station. The duo then split up as Glover participated in the Vection study to understand how astronauts visually perceive and adapt to the space environment. Noguchi spent a good portion of his day inside the Japanese Kibo lab module servicing the Cell Biology Experiment Facility, an incubator that can generate artificial gravity.

Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins, who is also the Crew Dragon commander, explored water droplets to help engineers design improved spacecraft fuel and life support systems. Flight Engineer Shannon Walker studied ceramic manufacturing to boost the aviation industry and the commercialization of space.

Cosmonauts Wrap Up Spacewalk at Station

An external station camera captures spacewalkers (from left) Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov readying the orbiting lab for a new Russian module.
An external station camera captures spacewalkers (from left) Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov readying the orbiting lab for a new Russian module.

Expedition 64 Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos have completed a spacewalk lasting 6 hours and 48 minutes.

The two cosmonauts opened the hatch to the Poisk module‘s airlock to begin the spacewalk at 10:12 a.m. EST. They re-entered the airlock and closed the hatch at 5 p.m. EST.

During the spacewalk, the duo inspected the Poisk airlock for leaks, relocated an antenna from the Pirs module to Poisk, retrieved hardware that measures space debris impacts, and repositioned an instrument used to measure the residue from thruster firings. Additionally, the team retrieved and installed an impact tray on the Zvezda service module and took photos of the plume deflectors. The cosmonauts deferred the task of replacing the fluid flow regulator on the Zarya module to a future spacewalk.

It was the 232nd spacewalk in support of International Space Station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades, the eighth spacewalk of 2020, and the first spacewalk for both Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov.

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 Begin Spacewalk to Ready Station for New Module

(From left) Expedition 64 Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, both cosmonauts representing Roscosmos, are embarking on their first spacewalk.
(From left) Expedition 64 Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, both cosmonauts representing Roscosmos, are embarking on their first spacewalk.

Expedition 64 Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos began a spacewalk when they opened the hatch of the Poisk mini-research module‘s airlock of the International Space Station at 10:12 a.m. EST.

Ryzhikov, designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1), is wearing a Russian Orlan spacesuit with red stripes, and Kud-Sverchkov is wearing a spacesuit with blue stripes as extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2).

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

NASA TV Broadcasts Russian Spacewalk at Station Today

Cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov is pictured wearing a Russian Orlan spacesuit during a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station in August of 2014.
Cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov is pictured wearing a Russian Orlan spacesuit during a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station in August of 2014.

Expedition 64 Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are preparing for their exit from the station’s Poisk docking compartment airlock at approximately 9:30 a.m. EST to begin a spacewalk planned for about six hours to service the International Space Station.

The primary objective during the spacewalk will be to relocate an antenna from the Pirs docking compartment to the Poisk module, the first in a series of tasks that will prepare the Pirs module for decommissioning, undocking, and disposal. The Earth-facing Pirs module will be replaced by the new Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module, named “Nauka,” Russian for “science.”

The cosmonauts will also conduct leak inspections outside the Poisk hatch, replace a fluid flow regulator on the Zarya module, retrieve hardware that measures space debris impacts, and reposition an instrument used to measure the residue from thruster firings.

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.

New Crew Sleeps as Cosmonauts Prep for Wednesday Spacewalk

The four Commercial Crew astronauts (front row from left) Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi are welcomed aboard the station. In the back row from left are, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.
The four Commercial Crew astronauts (front row from left) Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi are welcomed aboard the station. In the back row from left are, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.

The Expedition 64 crew expanded to seven members overnight after four Commercial Crew astronauts docked the SpaceX Crew Dragon to the International Space Station. Now two cosmonauts are gearing up for a spacewalk set to start Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. EST.

The newest station crew members are asleep today following a 27-hour-and-half trip from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to the Harmony module’s forward-facing port. Commander Michael Hopkins and Pilot Victor Glover, alongside Mission Specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi, docked on Monday at 11:01 p.m. The hatches were opened two hours later, and the quartet entered the station to begin a six-month research mission.

All seven crewmembers gathered in the Harmony module for a welcoming ceremony and congratulations from NASA and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) mission officials. Afterward, safety briefings were given to the new quartet showing potential lab hazards, emergency equipment locations and escape routes.

This is the first long-duration crew comprised of seven members in space station history. The station has hosted up to 13 visitors before but only for a few days at a time during crew swap operations.

Today, NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins helped Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov get ready for their first spacewalk. The Russian duo will spend about five-and-a-half hours servicing external station hardware and science experiments. Their prime task will be to prepare the station’s Russian segment for the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module due to arrive in 2021.

NASA TV coverage of the spacewalk will begin Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. This will be the first spacewalk for the duo and the first spacewalk staged from the Poisk module. The Pirs docking compartment is being decommissioned to make room for the Nauka module.

Station Deploys Tiny Satellites During Ongoing Spacewalk Preps

A set of CubeSats is pictured after being deployed from a small satellite deployer outside Japan's Kibo laboratory module in February of 2014.
A set of CubeSats is pictured after being deployed from a small satellite deployer outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module in February of 2014.

The Expedition 64 crew is staying focused on spacewalk preparations while also working on International Space Station life support systems today. Several tiny satellites were also deployed into Earth orbit today from outside the orbiting lab.

Two cosmonauts continue gearing up for a spacewalk in their Russian Orlan spacesuits scheduled for Nov. 18. Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov studied the paths they will take outside the station’s Russian segment for the six-hour job of maintenance and science tasks. The duo reviewed their worksites on a computer and peered out station windows to get ready for their first career spacewalks.

This will be the first spacewalk to be staged from the space station’s Poisk module. Previous Russian spacewalks began inside the Pirs docking compartment which will be disconnected from the orbiting lab early next year for disposal to accommodate a new Russian laboratory module. U.S. spacewalks are staged from the Quest airlock.

In the afternoon, NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins handed over a selection of U.S. spacewalking tools to Kud-Sverchkov that he and Ryzhikov will use during their excursion. U.S. and Russian crew members often share tools such as tethers, cameras and helmet lights to support their respective spacewalks.

Rubins started her day swapping components inside a device that removes carbon dioxide from the station’s atmosphere. Afterward, she worked in the cupola and photographed a set of CubeSats that were deployed outside the Japanese Kibo laboratory module. The CubeSats will orbit Earth providing insights into oceanography, weather, ship and aircraft tracking, as well as GPS and satellite communication technologies.

Ryzhikov spent the rest of the afternoon checking ventilation systems and air flow sensors. Kud-Sverchkov had a hearing test after the spacewalk reviews then contributed to the ventilation work.

Space Botany and Spacewalk Preps Wrap Up Work Week

Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko is pictured in December of 2018 during a spacewalk to inspect a Soyuz crew ship.
Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko is pictured in December of 2018 during a spacewalk to inspect a Soyuz crew ship.

Space botany and CubeSats were the dominant research theme Friday as the Expedition 64 crew looks ahead to its first spacewalk in November.

NASA and its international partners are exploring ways to sustain healthy crews on space missions farther away from Earth. Growing food on spacecraft and space habitats is critical if astronauts are going to successfully explore the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Flight Engineer Kate Rubins, who was also a scientist before being recruited as a NASA astronaut, put on her green thumb today and installed new components inside the Advanced Plant Habitat. The botany research gear resides in Europe’s Columbus laboratory module and allows scientists to observe how plants grow and thrive in microgravity.

Rubins also spent some time Friday reviewing an upcoming CubeSat deployment that will take place outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. She will be readying several tiny satellites that will provide insights into oceanography, weather, ship and aircraft tracking, as well as GPS and satellite communication technologies.

Two cosmonauts are getting ready for a spacewalk targeted for Nov. 18 on the outside of the International Space Station’s Russian segment. Commander Sergey Ryzhikov joined Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov on Friday and began setting up the Poisk module where they will stage their tools and suit up for the planned six-hour excursion. The duo will be primarily be servicing external station hardware and science experiments during their mission’s first spacewalk.

Spacex Crew Dragon Is on Its Way Home

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken (left) and Doug Hurley
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken (left) and Doug Hurley participate in a fully integrated test of SpaceX Crew Dragon flight hardware at the SpaceX processing facility in Florida on March 30.

Crew Dragon has completed all four planned departure burns to begin its journey back to Earth with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley 

With the spacecraft on its path home, the astronauts will settle in for an eight-hour sleep period. While they’re asleep, a six-minute departure phasing burn at 1:48 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 2 will set the Dragon Endeavour on the proper orbital path to a planned splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.

NASA’s live coverage of the crew’s return home to Earth continues through the night.

Behnken and Hurley will begin their last day in space at 7:40 a.m. tomorrow.

The Crew Dragon will separate from its trunk and jettison it at 1:51 p.m., followed five minutes later at 1:56 p.m. with the start of the deorbit burn to commit the spacecraft to a trajectory to splashdown at 2:48 p.m.

More details about the return can be found in the Top 10 Things to Know for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 Return and the splashdown weather criteria fact sheet. 

More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found in the press kit online and by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew  and commercial crew on Facebook

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

Robotics, Biomedicine Research Today During Crew Departure Preps

Sunrise casts long shadows from the clouds across the Philippine Sea
Sunrise casts long shadows from the clouds across the Philippine Sea as the International Space Station orbited about 200 miles east of Taiwan.

The Expedition 63 crew focused on robotic assistants and biomedicine today while preparing for two crew members to depart this weekend. The International Space Station residents are also cleaning U.S. spacesuits and unloading a Russian cargo craft.

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are packing up for their return to Earth this weekend after two months aboard the orbiting lab. The duo is scheduled to enter their SpaceX Crew Dragon on Aug. 1 and undock from the Harmony module’s international docking adapter for a nominal splashdown the next day, they will be retrieved by SpaceX and NASA personnel. NASA TV is covering all the events live including briefings this week highlighting the agency’s first crewed mission aboard a commercial spacecraft.

Hurley still managed to work a pair of different experiments today as he trained to operate the AstroBee free-flying robots and explored light-manipulating materials. Behnken continued his post-spacewalk activities throughout Monday as he cleaned and serviced the spacesuits he and Commander Chris Cassidy wore during last week’s spacewalk.

Cassidy began his workday retrieving and stowing a small satellite deployer inside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. The station commander next checked out hardware that analyzes how DNA from a variety of organisms adapts to microgravity.

In the Russian segment of the station, veteran cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin continued unpacking the Progress 76 resupply ship that docked last week to the Pirs docking compartment. First-time space flyer Ivan Vagner juggled two different studies as he observed the enzymes of microorganisms and photographed the Earth to help forecast natural and man-made catastrophes.