NASA Sets Coverage for SpaceX Crew-3 Briefings, Events, Broadcasts

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts (from left) Matthias Maurer, Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron pose for a portrait during preflight training at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission with astronauts to the International Space Station. This is the third crew rotation mission with astronauts on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and the fourth flight with astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight, as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

The launch is targeted for 2:21 a.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 31, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon Endurance is scheduled to dock to the space station at 12:10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 1. Prelaunch activities, launch, and docking will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

(more…)

Oleg Novitsky, Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild Recount Expedition to ISS

Actress Yulia Peresild, cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and film director Klim Shipenko discuss their stays aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, film director Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild returned to Earth on October 17, 2021 on the “Yu.A. Gagarin” (Soyuz MS-18). Now they are undergoing post-flight rehabilitation at the Cosmonaut Training Center, where one of the sites for an online press conference was organized.

(more…)

NASA Requests Information for American Crew Transportation to Space Station

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays intended to augment power on the International Space Station. The roll-up arrays arrive on the SpaceX-22 resupply mission. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center/Boeing)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA released a request for information from American industry capable of providing safe, reliable, and cost-effective human space transportation services to and from the International Space Station to ensure a continuous human presence aboard the microgravity laboratory.

(more…)

NASA, SpaceX Adjust Next Crew Launch Date to Space Station

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts (from left) Matthias Maurer, Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron pose for a portrait during preflight training at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX now are targeting 2:21 a.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 31, for the agency’s Crew-3 launch to the International Space Station to allow additional time for spacecraft processing. The backup launch time and date is 1:10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari, mission commander, Tom Marshburn, pilot, and Kayla Barron, mission specialist as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, also a mission specialist, will launch on the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft and its Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The international crew entered their official quarantine Oct. 16, and will travel to Kennedy in the coming days for final training and preparations prior to launch.

Crew-3 astronauts are scheduled for a long-duration science mission aboard the orbiting laboratory, living and working as part of what is expected to be a seven-member crew. Launch on Oct. 31 would have Crew-3 arriving at the space station early on the morning of Monday, Nov. 1, for a short handover with the astronauts who flew to the station in April as part of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission.

With the Crew-3 launch date adjustment, return of Crew-2 with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, currently is planned for early November with splashdown of Crew Dragon Endeavour at one of seven landing zones off the coast of Florida.

Long-term Space Travel Could Cause Brain Damage

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays intended to augment power on the International Space Station. The roll-up arrays arrive on the SpaceX-22 resupply mission. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center/Boeing)

A study led by researchers at the University of Gothenburg indicates that long-duration spaceflight could result in brain damage. The study, published in the JAMA Neurology scientific journal, involved the study of five Russian cosmonauts who lived on the International Space Station (ISS).

Blood samples were taken from the cosmonauts 20 days before their departure to the ISS. On average, they then stayed in space for 169 days (approximately five and a half months). The participants’ mean age was 49.

After their return to Earth, follow-up blood samples were taken on three occasions: one day, one week, and about three weeks respectively after landing. Five biomarkers for brain damage were analyzed. They were neurofilament light (NFL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), total tau (T-tau), and two amyloid beta proteins.

For three of the biomarkers — NFL, GFAP and the amyloid beta protein Aβ40 — the concentrations were significantly elevated after the space sojourn. The peak readings did not occur simultaneously after the men’s return to Earth, but their biomarker trends nonetheless broadly tallied over time.

“This is the first time that concrete proof of brain-cell damage has been documented in blood tests following space flights. This must be explored further and prevented if space travel is to become more common in the future,” says Henrik Zetterberg, professor of neuroscience and one of the study’s two senior coauthors.

Zetterberg and his colleagues are discussing follow-up studies.

NASA to Provide TV Coverage of Russian Station Cargo Ship Activities

Russia’s ISS Progress 78 resupply ship approaches the International Space Station for a docking to the Poisk module on July 2, 2021, two days after lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage as an uncrewed Russian cargo spacecraft arrives to a new port at the International Space Station this week, and as another Russian freighter launches and docks to the orbiting outpost next week.

The Progress 78 spacecraft will undock from the station at 7:42 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 20. While there will be no live coverage of the undocking, NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app will offer live coverage of the rendezvous and redocking beginning at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21.

(more…)

Funding the Future of European Space Through OSIP in 2021

Credit: ESA

PARIS (ESA PR) — What do high-tech sponges, aircraft shaped like falcons and 3D printers on the Moon have in common?

They can all be found among the topics of the 87 research and development activities funded by ESA’s Discovery & Preparation programme between November 2020 and April 2021.

ESA set up the Open Space Innovation Platform (OSIP) to discover and invest in new unconventional ideas that could greatly benefit and advance European space industry and academia.

(more…)

Soyuz Crew Prepares to Return Home

ISS crew (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — In accordance with the Russian flight program of the International Space Station, on October 17, 2021, it is planned to return the crew of the Yu.A. Gagarin “(Soyuz MS-18). Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and space flight participants – director Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild will return to Earth.

(more…)

Astronauts to Receive Health Boost Thanks to UK Research

Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) wears virtual reality goggles for GRIP, an investigation exploring how microgravity affects ability to grip and manipulate objects. (Credits: NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — British scientists are set to use the microgravity environment of the International Space Station to investigate the health challenges ESA astronauts could experience on proposed long-duration missions to the Moon and beyond.

The projects will tackle medical issues such as muscle loss, and stress and anxiety caused by isolation.

(more…)

NASA Sets Landing Coverage for Russian Cosmonaut, Actress, Producer

Actress Yulia, Peresild, cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, director Klim Shipenko and and backup crew member Alena Mordovina. (Credit: Roscosmos)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA will provide complete coverage as three space travelers living aboard the International Space Station, including a Russian actress and her producer-director, return to Earth just after midnight on Sunday, Oct. 17.

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos will be at the controls of the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft, flanked by Russian actress Yulia Peresild and Russian producer-director Klim Shipenko, for the spacecraft’s undocking from the station’s Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module Saturday, Oct. 16. The trio will make a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan a little more than three hours later, at 12:36 a.m. EDT (10:36 a.m. Kazakhstan time) Sunday, Oct. 17.

(more…)

Japanese Astronaut to Fly Aboard SpaceX Crew-5 Spacecraft

Koichi Wakata

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — JAXA astronaut, Koichi Wakata, currently preparing and training for the ISS Expedition, has been decided to board the fifth operational Crew Dragon developed by SpaceX. The launch is scheduled for autumn 2022 or later.

This is his fifth Space flight, marking the highest number of flights as a Japanese astronaut. The flight schedule will be announced when more details are available.

Comment From Astronaut Wakata

“It has been decided that I will be boarding the SpaceX’s fifth Crew Dragon. I have been training for a long duration mission aboard the ISS and it is an honor to board this new space vehicle for three consecutive years for JAXA Astronauts, succeeding Soichi Noguchi and Akihiko Hoshide.

“It will be my fifth flight to space, following three U.S. Space Shuttle fights in 1996, 2000, and 2009, and a Russian Soyuz flight in 2013. This coming flight is going to be my first flight onboard a commercialsSpace vehicle. I recognize remarkable developments in the space field and acknowledge dynamic activities by the private sector on the low Earth orbit.

“As the world is still coping with COVID-19, I will continue my focus on training and ask you for continued support.”

Filming for Russian “Challenge” Movie Continues on Space Station

Credit: Roscosmos

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Usually Saturday and Sunday for the crew of the International Space Station are days off. 

Astronauts can do their own business at their own discretion – read books, watch films, respond to messages from subscribers on social networks or “live” letters delivered on board the International Space Station using “space” mail, communicate with family and friends by calling the Earth, play sports outside of the compulsory physical activity. 

Meanwhile, the crew of the scientific and educational project “Challenge” consisting of actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko continues to work – it is already the fourth shooting day of the project in near-earth orbit. 

In the evening, October 8, 2021, Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of the State Corporation Roscosmos, held a video session with the crew of the Call project on board the International Space Station. Russian doctors note the good health of the space flight participants. 

As a reminder, Roskosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, as well as space flight participants – actress Peresild and director Shipenko – went to the ISS on the Soyuz MS-19 manned transport spacecraft from the Baikonur cosmodrome on October 5, 2021. The spacecraft docked to the Dawn module of the International Space Station almost 3.5 hours after launch. The return of the crew to Earth is expected next Sunday.

Boeing Starliner Update: Valves Continue to be a Problem, No Launch Date in Sight

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft returned Aug. 19, 2021, from the United Launch Alliance Vertical Integration Facility to the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where teams will work to diagnose and resolve a valve issue detected during the Aug. 3 launch attempt of NASA Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2. (Credit: Boeing)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (Boeing PR) — The NASA, Boeing team continues to make progress on the investigation of the oxidizer isolation valve issue on the Starliner service module propulsion system that was discovered ahead of the planned uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission to the International Space Station in August.

(more…)

NASA Seeks Commercial Spacesuit Services Proposals

Illustration of Artemis astronauts on the Moon. NASA’s Artemis mission will establish a sustainable presence on the Moon to prepare for missions to Mars. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Artemis moonwalkers exploring the lunar South Pole will wear revolutionary spacesuits that stand up to the Moon’s harsh environment and keep them safe. NASA is embracing commercial partnerships to optimize spacesuit technology and inspire pioneering in the space market.

NASA published a request for proposal (RFP) Sept. 29  for companies to compete for the agency’s future purchase of spacesuits and support services for spacewalks on the International Space Station, during Artemis lunar surface missions, and as needed on Gateway in lunar orbit. 

(more…)

Cosmonauts Prepare Soyuz for Return to Earth

The three new residents aboard the station (front row, from left) are Russian actress Yulia Peresild, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, and Russian Producer Klim Shipenko. In the back, are Expedition 65 crew members Shane Kimbrough, Oleg Novitskiy, Thomas Pesquet, Megan McArthur, Pyotr Dubrov, Mark Vande Hei, and Akihiko Hoshide. (Credit: NASA TV)

MOSCOW, October 7, 2021 (Roscosmos PR) — Russian crewmembers of the 65th long-term expedition to the International Space Station work in accordance with the flight task. Today, October 7, 2021, in preparation for the upcoming landing, the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft crew is swapping the Soyuz MS-19 and Soyuz MS-18 seat liners. Return to Earth is scheduled for October 17, 2021.

The crew also continues to work on filming the scientific and educational project ‘Challenge’. The health condition of the cosmonauts and spaceflight participants is good.

The seat liners act as shock absorbers evenly distributing the loads to protect the crew during the landing. Each seat liner is made individually for each cosmonaut as part Kazbek-UM chair shock-absorbing chair of Soyuz MS spacecraft, where the cosmonaut (or spaceflight participant) stays during the flight.

Three times in the history of Russian cosmonautics the seat liners saved the lives of the crews returning from Earth orbit in 1969 (Boris Volynov), in 1980 (Valery Kubasov and Bertalan Farkash), in 1997 (Vasily Tsibliev, Alexander Lazutkin). The impact on the ground was so strong that the astronauts survived largely thanks to the seat liners.

The spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko, who flew to the International Space Station as part of the scientific and educational project ‘Challenge’ will return to Earth on October 17 on the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft together with Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, who has been at the ISS since April. Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov will spend another 174 days at the station.

According to preliminary data from the TsNIImash Mission Control Center (part of Roscosmos), the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft is scheduled to undock at 01:12 UTC on October 17, 2021. The descent capsule is expected to land at 04:36 UTC of the same day, 147 km from the city of Zhezkazgan.