OA-9 Cygnus leaves ISS

OA-9 Cygnus leaves ISS

Following two months attached to the International Space Station, the ninth Cygnus resupply spacecraft was unberthed and released from the orbiting outpost to perform a secondary two-week free-flight mission.

The Northrop Grumman (formerly Orbital ATK) OA-9 Cygnus was unberthed in the early-morning hours of July 15, 2018, before being released at 8:37 a.m. EDT (12:37 GMT).

Read More

Progress MS-09 spacecraft reaches ISS in record time

Progress MS-09 spacecraft reaches ISS in record time

Russia’s Progress MS-09 freighter launched atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and docked with the International Space Station in less than four hours—a mere 2.5 laps around Earth.

Liftoff from Site 31 at the Cosmodrome took place at 5:51 p.m. EDT (21:51 GMT) July 9, 2018. Once in orbit, the spacecraft began a series of automated burns to catch up with and dock to the station’s Pirs docking compartment. Docking took place at 9:31 p.m. EDT (00:31 GMT July 10).

Read More

CRS-15 Dragon brings science experiments, artificial intelligence to ISS

CRS-15 Dragon brings science experiments, artificial intelligence to ISS

SpaceX’s CRS-15 Dragon cargo resupply ship has been attached to the International Space Station. the spacecraft rendezvoused with the orbiting outpost in the early-morning hours of July 2, 2018, and is expected to remain berthed for about a month.

Capture took place at 6:54 a.m. EDT (10:54 GMT) by the 17.6-meter Canadian-built robotic Canadarm2, which was under the control of Expedition 56 NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel at the robotics work station in the station’s cupola window.

Read More

Astronaut Peggy Whitson retires from NASA

Astronaut Peggy Whitson retires from NASA

Peggy Whitson retired from NASA on June 15, 2018, after 32 years with the space agency—22 as an astronaut. Between 2002 and 2017, she participated in three long-duration International Space Station expeditions, accumulating 665 days orbit—a record for any U.S. space flyer.

Whitson, now 58, concluded her most recent mission in September 2017. Her nine-month stay aboard the ISS as part of Expedition 50, 51 and 52 was the longest for any woman and included multiple spacewalks.

Read More

Astronauts install high-definition cameras outside ISS

Astronauts install high-definition cameras outside ISS

Two NASA astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station to perform the sixth spacewalk of 2018 at the orbiting complex. The nearly seven-hour long outing saw the duo install new cameras in preparation for upcoming commercial crew flights.

The primary task for this particular extravehicular activity was to install high-definition cameras to provide enhanced views during the docking of commercial crew spacecraft.

Read More

ISS population doubles with Soyuz MS-09 arrival

ISS population doubles with Soyuz MS-09 arrival

Expedition 56 has three new crew members with the arrival of Soyuz MS-09. The two spent the last two days catching up with the International Space Station before rendezvousing and docking with the 400-metric-ton complex at 9:01 a.m. EDT (13:01 GMT) June 8, 2018.

After docking with the station’s Rassvet module, the Soyuz MS-09 crew spent a couple hours pressurizing the space between the hatches of the two vehicles.

Read More

Soyuz MS-09 on its way to ISS after textbook launch

Soyuz MS-09 on its way to ISS after textbook launch

Three space flyers are on their way to the International Space Station after launching to orbit inside their Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft atop a Soyuz-FG rocket. Liftoff took place at 4:12 p.m. local time (7:12 a.m. EDT / 11:12 GMT) June 6, 2018.

Flying to space to be part of the space station’s in-progress Expedition 56 is Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst.

Read More

Soyuz MS-07 crew back on Earth after 168 days in orbit

Soyuz MS-07 crew back on Earth after 168 days in orbit

Three members of the International Space Station’s Expedition 54/55 crew returned to Earth inside the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft after having spent 168 days in orbit performing hundreds of science experiments and upgrading equipment outside the outpost.

Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, NASA astronaut Scott Tingle and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Norishige Kanai undocked from the ISS inside their Soyuz before landing several hours later at 8:39 a.m. EDT (12:39 GMT) June 3, 2018.

Read More

OA-9 Cygnus cargo ship arrives at ISS

OA-9 Cygnus cargo ship arrives at ISS

Orbital ATK’s OA-9 Cygnus cargo spacecraft rendezvoused with the International Space Station May 24, 2018, after a three-day chase of the orbiting outpost following a successful launch atop an Antares rocket.

When the OA-9 Cygnus spacecraft, named S.S. J.R. Thompson, was within about 10 meters of the football field-sized complex, Expedition 55 Flight Engineer Scott Tingle of NASA used the robotic Canadarm2 to reach out and grab the vehicle.

Read More

Spacewalking astronauts swap ISS coolant pumps

Spacewalking astronauts swap ISS coolant pumps

Two Expedition 55 NASA astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station May 16, 2018, for a 6.5-hour-long spacewalk. They were tasked with rearranging coolant pumps and replacing external cameras and antennas.

The primary task of the spacewalk was to move two pump flow control subassembly, or PFCS, units. These devices are designed to drive and control the flow of ammonia coolant on the exterior of the ISS to regulate the temperature of the station’s power-generating equipment, according to NASA.

Read More