Cosmonauts Conclude First Spacewalk To Ready New Module

Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov during a spacewalk to connect power and ethernet cables to the Nauka laboratory module.
Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov during a spacewalk to connect power and ethernet cables to the Nauka laboratory module.

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos concluded their spacewalk at 6:35 p.m. EDT after 7 hours and 54 minutes. It is the first of up to 11 spacewalks to prepare the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for operations in space.

Novitskiy and Dubrov completed the major objective for today to connect power cables between the recently arrived Nauka module and the Zarya module to enable the routing of electricity from the U.S. segment of the station to Nauka. Checkouts of the two electrical power cable systems from Zarya to Nauka were successful. They also partially installed one new handrail.

Tasks deferred to a future spacewalk are to install two additional handrails to enable spacewalkers to maneuver to and about Nauka more easily, make the final connection for the ethernet cable the duo partially routed today, deploy a science investigation, jettison the ethernet cable reel following the completion of the connection, and take imagery of the Russian segment of the station.

The duo will continue work during a second spacewalk on Thursday, Sept. 9; coverage on NASA Television, the NASA app, and agency’s website will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the spacewalk expected to begin about 11 a.m. and last about five hours.

This was the 10th spacewalk this year and the 242nd overall in support of space station assembly, maintenance and upgrades. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 63 days, 15 hours, and 35 minutes working outside the station.

It is the second spacewalk for both cosmonauts, both of whom have now spent a total of 15 hours and 13 minutes spacewalking.

In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed its 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique research and technological demonstrations that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars and also improve life on Earth. In that time, 244 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.

Two Cosmonauts Exit Station for Spacewalk

Cosmonauts (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are conducting their second spacewalk together.
Cosmonauts (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are conducting their second spacewalk together.

Expedition 65 Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos began a spacewalk to prepare the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for operations in space when they opened the hatch of the Poisk docking compartment airlock of the International Space Station at 10:41 a.m. EDT.

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

Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. Views from a camera on Novitskiy’s helmet are designated with the number 22, and Dubrov’s is labeled with the number 20.

The duo’s primary tasks for today’s spacewalk are to connect power and ethernet cables to the new module and install handrails to enable spacewalkers to maneuver to and about its exterior more easily.

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

NASA TV Coverage of Spacewalk is Underway

Cosmonauts (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are conducting their second spacewalk together.
Cosmonauts (from left) Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are conducting their second spacewalk together.

NASA Television coverage of today’s spacewalk with cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos is now underway and is also available on the NASA app and the agency’s website.

The crew members of Expedition 65 are preparing to exit the International Space Station‘s Poisk module on the space-facing side of the station’s Russian segment for a spacewalk expected to begin at approximately 10:35 a.m. EDT and last as long as seven hours.

It will be the first of up to 11 spacewalks to prepare the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for operations in space. Watch a video animation preview of today’s spacewalk and planned activities at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfacX6864b4

During the spacewalk today and subsequent spacewalk planned for Sept. 9, the cosmonauts will install handrails on Nauka and connect power, ethernet, and data cables between the recently arrived module and the Zvezda service module. Nauka launched on a Russian Proton-M rocket July 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and docked autonomously to the Earth-facing Zvezda port July 29.

This will be the second spacewalk for both Novitskiy and Dubrov; the 242nd spacewalk in support of space station assembly, maintenance and upgrades; and the 10th and spacewalk at the station in 2021.

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 Get Ready for Friday Spacewalk, New Science Kicks Off

Cosmonauts (from left) Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy prepare Russian Orlan spacesuits.
Cosmonauts (from left) Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy prepare Russian Orlan spacesuits.

Two cosmonauts will exit the International Space Station on Friday to begin powering up the new Russian science module. While they prepare today for the excursion, the rest of the Expedition 65 crew focused on new science experiments and reviewed an upcoming U.S. spacewalk.

Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module, attached to the station since July 29, will be connected to the station’s ethernet and power systems during a spacewalk set to start Friday at 10:35 a.m. EDT. Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov will exit the Poisk airlock to begin about seven hours of routing and mating cables on the outside of Nauka.

The spacewalking cosmonauts were joined on Thursday by NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei and Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for a review of Friday’s spacewalk procedures. Vande Hei will also assist the spacewalkers in and out of their Russian Orlan spacesuits inside the Poisk module.

Novitskiy and Dubrov have another spacewalk scheduled on Sept. 9 to continue outfitting Nauka with handrails and cables. Both spacewalks will be broadcast live on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

New space investigations recently delivered aboard the SpaceX Cargo Dragon are just getting under way aboard the orbiting lab. NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur kicked off the Genes In Space-8 study today to explore how medicines may act differently in microgravity. A student-designed experiment, started today by NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough, looks at the mating habits of tardigrades living inside mixture tubes and stowed in a NanoRacks research device.

Kimbrough also swapped out science components inside the Fluids Integrated Rack. Hoshide worked in the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace cleaning and removing sample cartridges. Vande Hei installed a new incubator, a temperature controlled device that supports a variety of biology and physics research, in JAXA’s Kibo laboratory module.

The next spacewalk following the Russian excursions is planned for Sept. 12 with Hoshide and Pesquet. The duo reviewed procedures today tasked for the scheduled six-and-a-half hour excursion. They will exit the U.S. Quest airlock to modify the Port-4 (P4) truss structure preparing it for a new Roll-Out Solar Array due to arrive next year aboard the Space Cargo Dragon space freighter.

New Dragon Science Under Way Ahead of Friday’s Spacewalk

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle approaches the International Space Station on Aug. 30, 2021.
The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle approaches the International Space Station on Aug. 30, 2021.

The Expedition 65 crew continued unloading a variety of cargo including rodents from the SpaceX Cargo Dragon today. The International Space Station residents are also headlong into preparations for two Russian spacewalks and one U.S. spacewalk.

Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) spent Wednesday morning transferring rodents from the Cargo Dragon into a habitat in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module. The animals are being observed for the Rodent Research Demonstration-1 experiment that is exploring how microgravity affects the healing process.

Space botany is also a critical part of the station research program as scientists learn to support astronauts longer and farther in space. During a break in today’s rodent transfers, Kimbrough serviced petri plates for the new APEX-08 investigation that is studying how plants adapt to space-caused stress.

NASA Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei also partnered together unpacking science gear from Dragon. McArthur installed a new NanoRacks module, recently delivered aboard the U.S. space freighter, during the morning that will soon host science experiments. Vande Hei helped out in the afternoon continuing to unload the more than 4,800 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware.

Pesquet will join Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for a spacewalk on Sept. 12 to modify the station’s Port-4 (P4) truss structure. They will install a modification kit that will prepare the P4 for future Roll-Out Solar Array installation work. Hoshide worked Wednesday afternoon cleaning their U.S. spacesuit cooling loops today with assistance from Vande Hei.

The first two spacewalks will be conducted by Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. The duo will first exit the Poisk airlock on Friday at 10:35 a.m. EDT to route and mate power and ethernet cables on the Nauka multipurpose laboratory. The second spacewalk will be on Sept. 9 to install handrails and finish the cable work on Nauka. NASA TV will broadcast both excursions live.

Crew Unpacks Dragon and Gears Up for Spacewalks

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet works during a spacewalk on June 25 to install the second roll out solar array on the station's Port-6 truss structure.
Astronaut Thomas Pesquet works during a spacewalk on June 25 to install the second roll out solar array on the station’s Port-6 truss structure.

The Expedition 65 crew is unpacking brand new science experiments that arrived Monday when the SpaceX Cargo Dragon docked to the International Space Station. Two cosmonauts are also getting ready for the first of two spacewalks to power up Russia’s new science module.

NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur opened the Cargo Dragon’s hatch and entered the U.S. space freighter about two hours after it docked to the Harmony module’s forward port on Monday morning. Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) followed her shortly after and began unloading over 4,800 pounds of cargo including some of the 2,300 pounds of new science experiments.

NASA Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough and Mark Vande Hei started transferring research gear and preserved samples Tuesday morning from Dragon into science freezers, incubators, and other locations. The new experiments will look at how microgravity affects plant genetics, robotic assistants, bone tissue and astronaut vision among other phenomena.

Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) also joined his crewmates and helped to unpack the new space shipment. The three-time station visitor is also preparing for another spacewalk set for Sept. 12 with Pesquet. He worked on a 360-degree virtual reality camera that will film him and Pesquet during the spacewalk and began filling U.S. spacesuit water tanks. The duo will begin preparing the Port-4 (P4) truss structure for a new Roll-Out Solar Array.

Two cosmonauts are gearing up for the first pair of up to 11 spacewalks to outfit the Nauka multipurpose laboratory for science operations. Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov will exit the Poisk airlock on Friday at 10:35 a.m. EDT to route and mate power and ethernet cables on Nauka. The duo will go out again on Sept. 9 to install handrails and finish the cable work on the new module that docked to the Zvezda service module on July 29.

Time Research, Spacewalk Preps as Cargo Dragon Gets Ready for Launch

Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur will monitor the SpaceX Cargo Dragon's arrival on Sunday.
Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur will monitor the SpaceX Cargo Dragon’s arrival on Sunday.

A U.S. cargo craft stands at its Florida launch pad less than 24 hours from a mission to resupply the International Space Station. Back in space, the Expedition 65 crew stayed focused on human research and while moving headlong toward upcoming spacewalks.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Cargo Dragon vehicle atop is counting down to a liftoff from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Saturday at 3:37 a.m. It will arrive at the station on Sunday for an autonomous docking at 11 a.m. packed with over 4,800 pounds of new science experiments, crew supplies and lab hardware. The launch and docking will be broadcast live on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough will be on deck Sunday morning monitoring the Cargo Dragon’s approach and rendezvous as it targets the Harmony module’s forward international docking adapter. The duo was joined Friday afternoon by Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Thomas Pesquet and Commander Akihiko Hoshide to review Dragon’s cargo manifest and upcoming transfer activities.

Continuing ongoing space research, Pesquet and Hoshide started Friday morning taking turns on an ESA (European Space Agency) experiment to understand how living in space affects time perception and cognitive performance. They each wore virtual reality goggles and clicked on a track ball to measure their time reaction and how they estimate time duration.

In the orbiting lab’s Russian segment, cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are getting ready for two spacewalks to configure the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module for upcoming science operations. First on Friday’s schedule, the duo had a cardiovascular exam to monitor their physical fitness ahead of the excursions scheduled for Sept. 3 and 9. Next, the Roscosmos Flight Engineers were joined by Vande Hei in the afternoon installing lights and cameras on the Orlan spacesuit helmets.

The spacewalk that had been scheduled for Aug. 24 is being moved to Sept. 12. This is the earliest opportunity to accomplish U.S. EVA 77 after arrival of the SpaceX CRS-23 cargo Dragon spacecraft and the first two Russian spacewalks to begin outfitting the newly arrived Nauka laboratory. Mark Vande Hei will provide internal support for spacewalkers Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) while Vande Hei continues to recover from a minor medical issue. All spacewalkers are trained in a variety of tasks they may need to perform, and Pesquet has performed similar tasks in previous spacewalks. This will be the first spacewalk conducted out of the Quest airlock by two international partner astronauts at the space station.

Cargo Dragon Nears Launch as Station Ramps Up for Russian Spacewalks

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Cargo Dragon atop stands at its Kennedy Space Center launch pad at in Florida.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Cargo Dragon atop stands at its Kennedy Space Center launch pad at in Florida.

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle is standing at the launch pad counting down to its weekend mission to the International Space Station. Meanwhile, the Expedition 65 crew focused on robotics and biology while gearing up for a pair of Russian spacewalks.

The Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX with the Cargo Dragon spacecraft atop is standing vertical at its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida today. It is scheduled to launch on Saturday at 3:37 a.m. EDT and arrive at the station on Sunday for an autonomous docking at 11 a.m. Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Thomas Pesquet will be on duty Sunday morning monitoring Dragon’s rendezvous and docking to the Harmony module’s forward international docking adapter. NASA TV will broadcast both launch and docking events live.

The two astronauts spent Thursday morning on science, however, working on the Myotones study observing the biochemical properties of muscles in space. The duo took turns marking and measuring their leg and arm muscles to better understand how weightlessness affects muscle tone, stiffness, and elasticity.

A pair of cube-shaped, toaster-sized Astrobee free-flying robotic helpers were turned on today for a mobility test inside the Kibo laboratory module. Commander Akihiko Hoshide activated the devices Thursday afternoon to test their ability to dynamically pass objects, such as cargo, to each other or a science rack robotic arm.

Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough spent the day working inside the U.S. Quest airlock. He was assembling and installing a new stowage platform inside the module where spacewalks in U.S. spacesuits are staged.

The next two spacewalks taking place on the station will occur on Sept. 3 and 9. Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov are preparing for both spacewalks readying their Orlan spacesuits and tools inside the Poisk module. The duo will be exiting Poisk to configure the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module for upcoming science operations.

Weekend Starts with Spacewalk Preps and Space Science

Astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Akihiko Hoshide check their U.S. spacesuits to get ready for a spacewalk prepare the station for its third Roll-Out Solar Array.
Astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Akihiko Hoshide check their U.S. spacesuits to get ready for a spacewalk prepare the station for its third Roll-Out Solar Array.

The Expedition 65 crew is going into the weekend preparing for a spacewalk on Tuesday while juggling a variety of microgravity research.

Astronauts Mark Vande Hei of NASA and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are less than a week away from exiting the U.S. Quest airlock to prepare the International Space Station for its third Roll-Out Solar Array. The two spacewalkers have been gearing up all week checking their spacesuits, configuring their tools, and reviewing their procedures for the planned six-hour and 50-minute excursion.

They will set their U.S. spacesuits to battery power on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. EDT signifying the start of their spacewalk with NASA TV, NASA app, and agency website coverage beginning at 7 a.m.  NASA TV will also broadcast a briefing on Monday at 2 p.m. discussing Tuesday’s spacewalk activities.

The spacewalkers will be assisted by Flight Engineers Megan McArthur of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency). The pair joined Vande Hei and Hoshide today for more spacewalk reviews and a conference with experts on the ground.

Vande Hei, despite preparations for his fifth career spacewalk, also had time today for biology research taking microscopic photographs of engineered tissue samples for the Cardinal Muscle investigation. Observations may help doctors learn how to treat space-caused muscle loss and Earth-bound muscle conditions.

NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough spent his day on human research, physics and botany duties aboard the orbiting lab. First, he collected his urine samples and stowed them in a science freezer for later analysis as part of the Repository human research study. Following that, Kimbrough opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack and swapped fuel bottles to support research into flames and fuels in microgravity. Finally, the three-time space visitor cleaned up debris around the Plant Habitat Facility that is growing Hatch chiles for the Plant Habitat-04 experiment.

Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov spent Friday unpacking hardware and testing cable connections between the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module and the Zvezda service module. The Russian Flight Engineers will also exit the Poisk module’s airlock twice in early September for more configuration work on the outside of Nauka.

Robotics, Muscle Research During Ongoing Spacewalk Preps

Astronaut Megan McArthur works on a muscle study in the Kibo laboratory module as station Commander Akihiko Hoshide poses behind her.
Astronaut Megan McArthur works on a muscle study in the Kibo laboratory module as station Commander Akihiko Hoshide poses behind her.

The Astrobee robotic free-flyers were powered up aboard the International Space Station and cell samples were set up for human muscle research today. The Expedition 65 crew is also headlong into U.S. and Russian spacewalk preparations while working on a variety of other science experiments.

NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur started Thursday morning turning on the cube-shaped Astrobee robotic helpers located inside the Kibo laboratory module. The toaster-sized free-flyers were demonstrating autonomous and coordinated operations during the afternoon. The ReSWARM robotics study may inform future space assembly and satellite repair techniques.

Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was also working in Kibo servicing cell samples for the Anti-Atrophy muscle investigation. The samples are being incubated and observed in the Cell Biology Experiment Facility to learn how to prevent and treat space-caused muscle atrophy and Earth-bound muscle conditions.

Hoshide then joined NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei and checked their U.S. spacesuit components and emergency jet packs during the afternoon. They will exit the U.S. Quest airlock on Aug. 24 to install a modification kit on the Port-4 (P4) truss structure to get ready for upcoming Roll-Out Solar Array installation work.

Two Russian spacewalks are also on the docket for cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov in early September. The duo will exit the Poisk module‘s airlock for both excursions to get the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module ready for science operations. Today, they studied the paths toward their external worksites on a computer then checked their Orlan spacesuits and spacewalk tools in Poisk.

Several other space investigations were also underway today to support space biology research.  ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet worked in the Columbus laboratory module measuring sound levels and setting up hardware for the Eklosion botany study. NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough took a robotics test for the Behavioral Core Measurements human research experiment then checked samples for the Ring Sheared Drop fluid physics study.