Crew Off-Duty for Thanksgiving and Preps for Dragon Cargo Mission

A bright blue, South Atlantic Ocean is pictured as the International Space Station soared nearly 270 miles above, just off the coast of Argentina.
A bright blue, South Atlantic Ocean is pictured as the International Space Station soared nearly 270 miles above, just off the coast of Argentina.

The seven-member Expedition 64 crew from the United States, Russia and Japan will take the day off on Thanksgiving before ending the week with a day full of microgravity research. In the meantime, the crew spent Wednesday on a wide array of space science while getting the International Space Station ready for an upgraded SpaceX Dragon resupply ship.

NASA Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Shannon Walker worked throughout Wednesday readying the station’s Tranquility module for a new commercial airlock from NanoRacks. Dubbed Bishop, the airlock will be delivered on the next SpaceX Dragon cargo mission targeted to launch on Dec. 5. The Bishop airlock will enable private industries to increase research opportunities in the vacuum of space.

Planned for Dec. 6, this will be the first automated docking of the Cargo Dragon to the space-facing port on the Harmony module. Previous Cargo Dragon vehicles were captured with the Canadarm2 robotic arm maneuvered by astronauts. Robotics controllers then took over and remotely installed Dragon to Harmony’s Earth-facing port.

The GRASP human research experiment, sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), was back on the science schedule Wednesday. Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover wore virtual reality goggles and responded to virtual stimuli to help doctors understand how the central nervous system, specifically hand-eye coordination, adapts to weightlessness.

JAXA astronaut and Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi started his day servicing the Kibo laboratory module’s Cell Biology Experiment Facility, a specialized incubator that can generate artificial gravity. Later, he joined Kate Rubins and examined her eyes using optical coherence tomography.

The orbiting lab’s two cosmonauts, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, continued studying ways to make space workouts more effective. The duo later joined Rubins and practiced chest compressions, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, in the event of a medical emergency aboard the space station.

Hatches Open, Crew Dragon Astronauts Join Expedition 64

The expanded seven-member Expedition 64 crew with Flight Engineers Kate Rubins, Victor Glover and Soichi Noguchi, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.
The expanded seven-member Expedition 64 crew with (from left) Flight Engineers Kate Rubins, Victor Glover and Soichi Noguchi, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon have arrived at the International Space Station. Crew-1 joins Expedition 64 crew of Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, both of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA.

The crew members first opened the hatch between the space station and the pressurized mating adapter at 1:02 a.m. EST then opened the hatch to Crew Dragon.

NASA TV will continue to provide live coverage through the welcoming ceremony with NASA’s Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Kathy Lueders joining to greet the crew from the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, and JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa joining from the Tsukuba Space Center in Japan. The welcome ceremony is targeted to begin about 1:40 a.m.

About 2 a.m., NASA will host a news conference following the welcome ceremony with the following participants:

  • Kathy Lueders, associate administrator for human exploration and operations, NASA Headquarters
  • Johnson Center Director Mark Geyer
  • Ven Feng, deputy manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, program manager, International Space Station

Follow along with mission activities and get more information at: https://blogs.nasa.gov/station/. Learn more about commercial crew and space station activities by following @Commercial_Crew, @space_station, and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the Commercial Crew Facebook, ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Crew Dragon Docks to Station, Hatches Open Soon

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying four Commercial Crew astronauts is pictured approaching the International Space Station for a docking.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying four Commercial Crew astronauts is pictured approaching the International Space Station for a docking.

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi arrived at the International Space Station Monday, as the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience docked to the complex a 11:01 p.m. EST over Idaho.

Following Crew Dragon’s link up to the Harmony module, the astronauts aboard the Resilience and the space station will begin conducting standard leak checks and pressurization between the spacecraft in preparation for hatch opening scheduled for 1:10 a.m.

Hopkins, Glover, Walker, and Noguchi will join the Expedition 64 crew of Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, both of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA.

NASA Television and the agency’s website are continuing to provide live continuous coverage of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission.

Follow along with mission activities and get more information at: https://blogs.nasa.gov/station/. Learn more about commercial crew and space station activities by following @Commercial_Crew, @space_station, and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the Commercial Crew Facebook, ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts Approaching Station

The Expedition 64 (left) crew is waiting to greet the SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
The Expedition 64 (left) crew is waiting to greet the SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

NASA Television and the agency’s website are providing live continuous coverage of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission carrying NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi on their way to the International Space Station.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Resilience, began the final phase of its approach to the station at 9:22 p.m. Monday and is scheduled to dock at 11 p.m. Crew Dragon is designed to dock autonomously, but the crew onboard the spacecraft and the space station will monitor the performance of the spacecraft as it approaches and docks to the forward port of the station’s Harmony module.

When the hatches open about 1:10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, the Crew-1 astronauts will join Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA, and station Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos, who arrived to the station Oct. 14.

Follow along with mission activities and get more information at: https://blogs.nasa.gov/station/. Learn more about commercial crew and space station activities by following @Commercial_Crew, @space_station, and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the Commercial Crew Facebook, ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

NASA TV Broadcasting Crew Dragon Tour as it Nears Station

Commercial Crew astronauts (from left) Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi walk out to the launch pad before beginning the SpaceX Crew-1 mission on Nov. 15, 2020.
Commercial Crew astronauts (from left) Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi walk out to the launch pad before beginning the SpaceX Crew-1 mission on Nov. 15, 2020.

Four Commercial Crew astronauts aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon are awake following their first sleep period in space. The quartet from the U.S. and Japan are now focusing on docking to the International Space Station at 11 p.m. EST today.

The SpaceX crew will first give a video tour of the inside of the Crew Dragon today live on NASA TV beginning at 4:48 p.m. Following that mission controllers will give the first “go-no go” for the station approach maneuver at 9:05 p.m.

Today’s wakeup call for the SpaceX Crew-1 mission was Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” and came at 12:10 p.m. All four crewmates slept for eight hours in their Crew Dragon seats while SpaceX mission controllers in Hawthorne, California, monitored vehicle systems.

The three NASA astronauts and one JAXA astronaut are now getting ready to dock to the international docking adapter on the Harmony module’s forward port. Commander Michael Hopkins and Pilot Victor Glover, alongside Mission Specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi, will be at the controls as the Crew Dragon completes a fully automated rendezvous and docking sequence tonight.

Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Kate Rubins is asleep onboard the station and will wake up tonight at 9:05 p.m. Afterward, she’ll begin working joint operations with the approaching Crew Dragon vehicle and ready the orbiting lab for four new crewmates.

SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts Continue Journey to Station

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off with four Commercial Crew astronauts inside the Crew Dragon vehicle from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off with four Commercial Crew astronauts inside the Crew Dragon vehicle from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts are en route to the International Space Station following a successful launch on the first NASA-certified commercial human spacecraft system in history. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission lifted off at 7:27 p.m. EST Sunday from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket propelled the Crew Dragon spacecraft with NASA astronauts Michael HopkinsVictor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), into orbit to begin a six-month science mission aboard the space station.

After reaching orbit, mission teams and the crew prepared for their continued journey to the space station. Teams on the ground moved the spacecraft, named Resilience, into the proper configuration for the trip, and the crew removed their SpaceX spacesuits and prepared the cabin as they wind down their first day in space.

SpaceX engineers completed troubleshooting on heater controls associated with Crew Dragon’s propellant system, and updated the crew. Flight controllers in Hawthorne, California, determined the control limits were set too tightly and resolved the issue by resetting the limits and rebooting the heaters.  They have verified that the heaters are working properly.

Resilience will dock autonomously to the forward port of the station’s Harmony module about 11 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16. NASA Television and the agency’s website are providing ongoing live coverage through docking, hatch opening, and the ceremony to welcome the crew aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Station Gets Ready to Welcome Commercial Crew

The insignias of the Expedition 64 and SpaceX Crew-1 missions.
The insignias of the Expedition 64 and SpaceX Crew-1 missions.

The Expedition 64 crew is getting ready to welcome four new crew members to the International Space Station this weekend. The orbiting trio is also gearing up for a Russian spacewalk that will take place soon afterward.

The SpaceX Crew-1 mission, with Commander Michael Hopkins, Pilot Victor Glover and Mission Specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi, is scheduled to launch to the station on Saturday at 7:49 p.m. EST. The Crew Dragon spacecraft, with the U.S. and Japanese quartet aboard, will dock to the Harmony module’s forward-facing international docking adapter on Sunday at 4:20 a.m.

The four Commercial Crew astronauts suited up today and practiced their countdown procedures inside the Crew Dragon at the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A.

Meanwhile, on the station, NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins configured a laptop computer for operations with the Crew Dragon vehicle after it arrives on Sunday. Rubins also cleaned up inside the Harmony module, stowing cargo to accommodate the new crew.

The two cosmonauts aboard the station, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, are getting ready for their first spacewalk scheduled for Nov. 18 at 9:30 a.m. The Roscosmos duo took turns exercising on a treadmill today for a cardiovascular assessment as part of their spacewalk preparations. Afterward, the pair installed lights, cameras, and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries on their Orlan spacesuits.

Crew Dragon Rolls Out, Station Crew Works Research and Comm Gear

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft atop is seen at its launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft atop is seen at its launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft on top rolled out to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center overnight. Meanwhile aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition 64 crew was busy setting up a variety of research and communications gear today.

Four Commercial Crew astronauts from the United States and Japan are in Florida in quarantine and getting ready for their launch to the space station. Their Dragon crew ship is standing vertical at Launch Complex 39A counting down to a Nov. 14 lift off.

Commander Michael Hopkins, Pilot Victor Glover and Mission Specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi will blast off on Saturday at 7:49 p.m. EST. Eight hours and 30 minutes later the quartet will dock to the Harmony module’s forward-facing international docking adapter. They are scheduled for a five-and-a-half-month research mission aboard the station.

Back in space, NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins spent Tuesday morning setting up a specialized microscope that uses fluorescence to study biological processes in microgravity. During the afternoon, she installed wireless instrumentation gear in the Zvezda service module and handed over radiation detectors to cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.

Commander Sergey Ryzhikov checked out communications systems and biomedical sensors inside a pair of Russian Orlan spacesuits this morning with assistance from Kud-Sverchkov. The cosmonaut duo then spent the rest of the day servicing life support hardware and re-pressurizing the station’s atmosphere with air from the Progress 76 resupply ship.

Physics, Biology and Spacewalk Preps as SpaceX Crew-1 Ramps Up

Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Rubins works in Japan's Kibo laboratory module to set up a small satellite deployer.
Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Rubins works in Japan’s Kibo laboratory module to set up a small satellite deployer.

Space physics and biomedical research kicked off the work week as the Expedition 64 crew continued its spacewalk preparations. Back on Earth, four Commercial Crew astronauts are in Florida counting down to their launch to the International Space Station.

NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins started Monday morning checking out samples exposed to extreme temperatures inside the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace. The advanced research facility provides insights into the thermophysical properties and the synthesis of new materials.

Rubins then serviced components on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device that helps astronauts maintain muscle strength and mass in microgravity. The two-time station resident wrapped up her science work today collecting and stowing saliva samples for the Standard Measures study. The human research experiment collects biological data from astronauts before, during and after missions to understand how humans adapt to living in space.

A spacewalk is scheduled for Nov. 18 for maintenance and science tasks outside the orbiting lab’s Russian segment. Commander Sergey Ryzhikov joined Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and conducted leak checks and valve tests inside their Orlan spacesuits today. The duo then partnered up with Rubins to review tasks and procedures planned for the six-hour spacewalk.

The next crew to visit the space station arrived at the Kennedy Space Center from Houston on Sunday getting ready for a launch on Nov. 14 aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon. The quartet from the United States and Japan is planned to dock about eight-and-a-half hours later the following day to the Harmony module’s forward-facing international docking adapter.

Commander Michael Hopkins, Pilot Victor Glover and Mission Specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi are in quarantine in Florida conducting final mission preparations. They are scheduled for a five-and-a-half-month research mission aboard the station.

Busy Period on Station as Crew Ramps up For Spacewalk and Visitors

The Sun's glint beams off the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay as the space station orbited off the coast of California.
The Sun’s glint beams off the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay as the space station orbited off the coast of California.

Science, robotics training and lab maintenance took precedence Friday alongside ongoing spacewalk preparations aboard the International Space Station. The Expedition 64 crew is also getting ready to expand with the addition of four Commercial Crew astronauts.

It is a busy period for NASA and its international partners as SpaceX gets ready to launch its next Crew Dragon vehicle with three U.S. astronauts and one Japanese astronaut on Nov. 14. Two Russian cosmonauts aboard the orbiting lab are also gearing up for their first spacewalk on Nov. 18.

Meanwhile, NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins stayed busy this week on a technology study that explores how water evaporation can keep spacesuits cool. Today, she collected and stowed water samples for analysis that could help engineers improve heat rejection and temperature controls in spacesuits.

Rubins started the day practicing her robotics skills on a computer before installing student-controlled camera gear that photographs Earth landmarks. The two-time station visitor also put on her technician cap today and serviced life support gear that removes carbon dioxide from the station’s atmosphere.

Commander Sergey Ryzhikov has been gearing up for his first spacewalk with Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov. The duo from Roscosmos spent Friday activating and inspecting their Orlan spacesuits and checking control panels in the Poisk module. They will exit Poisk into the vacuum of space for a six-hour spacewalk for maintenance and science work on the Russian segment of the station.

Back on Earth, four astronauts are preparing to launch Saturday, Nov. 14, to the station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. The quartet, with Commander Michael Hopkins, Pilot Victor Glover and Mission Specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi, are in quarantine as part of routine “flight crew health stabilization.” They will head to Florida from Houston on Sunday for final mission preparations. For a launch on time, the first operational crew mission from SpaceX would dock about eight-and-half-hours later to the Harmony module’s forward-facing international docking adapter.