Meanwhile, the Next Billionaire to Go to Space Continues Training

The Japanese billionaire and his assistant are heading to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz ship in December. Maezawa has also booked a trip around the moon aboard SpaceX’s Starship vehicle for himself a group of people he’s taking with him.

NASA Enables Commercial Crew, Private Astronaut Missions

The SpaceX Crew Dragon is pictured after undocking from the forward port on the Harmony module beginning its short trip to the space-facing port. (Credit: NASA TV)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — When SpaceX launches its Inspiration4 mission with four crew members to space, it will be the company’s first fully private launch with astronauts to orbit. Although not a NASA mission, the flight embodies the agency’s vision and work to foster a strong space economy, with private companies providing commercial transportation to space for people and cargo as well as creating future commercial destinations in space.

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Two Flight Engineers’ Stay on ISS Extended; Biology, Maintenance Work Pick Up

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Two International Space Station crew members have had their stay onboard the orbiting lab extended to nearly a year. Meanwhile, space biology and life support maintenance kept the Expedition 65 crew busy on Tuesday.

With the plans for Russian spaceflight participants to visit the space station as part of the Soyuz MS-19 crew in October 2021, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Roscosmos cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov will remain aboard the station until March 2022. Upon return to Earth, Vande Hei will hold the record for longest single spaceflight for an American. [Editor’s Note: The Russians are sending an actress and director to shoot a movied named “Challenge.”]

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NASA, SpaceX Continue Planning for Next Crew Rotation Missions to International Space Station

The SpaceX Crew Dragon is pictured after undocking from the forward port on the Harmony module beginning its short trip to the space-facing port. (Credit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX are continuing plans to launch Crew-3 astronauts to the International Space Station as early as Sunday Oct. 31, and targeting the return home of Crew-2 astronauts in the early-to-mid November timeframe.

Crew-3 will be the third crew rotation mission with astronauts on an American rocket and spacecraft from the United States to the space station, and the fourth flight with astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight in 2020, Crew-1 mission in 2020-21, and the ongoing Crew-2 flight as part of the Expedition 65 crew.

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NASA Coverage of Rescheduled Spacewalk Preparing for New Solar Array

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough (left) and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet maneuver the first ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) into place on the space station’s port 6 truss structure during a spacewalk June 16, 2021. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Astronauts Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will venture outside the International Space Station for a spacewalk Sunday, Sept. 12.

NASA will provide details about the procedures scheduled for the upcoming spacewalk during a news conference at 2 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 10, from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Live coverage of the news conference and the spacewalk will air on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

This will be the first spacewalk, or extravehicular activity (EVA) conducted by two international partner astronauts out of the space station’s Quest airlock. U.S. EVA 77, originally scheduled to take place Tuesday, Aug. 24, will focus on attaching a support bracket in preparation for future installation of the orbiting laboratory’s third new solar array. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is recovering from a minor medical issue and will provide support for Pesquet and Hoshide from inside the space station.

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New Augmented Reality Applications Assist Astronaut Repairs to Space Station

NASA astronaut and Expedition 65 Flight Engineer Megan McArthur wears the specialized Sidekick headset and tests using augmented reality aboard the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA)

by Leah Cheshier
International Space Station Program Research Office
NASA Johnson Space Center

HOUSTON — Most often, communications delays between the International Space Station crew and ground are nearly unnoticeable as they are routed from one Tracking and Data Relay Satellite to another as the station orbits about 250 miles above Earth. As NASA prepares to explore the Moon, about 240,000 miles away, and eventually Mars, which averages about 245 million miles away, NASA is developing tools to increase astronaut autonomy to operate spacecraft or systems without assistance from the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston because communication delays from Earth will last longer.

The T2 Augmented Reality (T2AR) project demonstrates how station crew members can inspect and maintain scientific and exercise equipment critical to maintaining crew health and achieving research goals without assistance from ground teams.

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Researchers Successfully Biomine Vanadium Aboard the Space Station

Preflight fluorescence microscopy image of biofilm of Spingomonas desiccabilis growing over and into the surface of a basalt slide as part of Biorock experiment. Organisms are stained with DNA binding dye, Sybr Gold. Growth can be seen into the rock cavities. (Credits: ESA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — For centuries, humans have mined materials to build the tools we use every day, from batteries and cell phones to airplanes and refrigerators. While the process of obtaining these important minerals used to rely entirely on heavy machinery, fire, and human labor, scientists have learned how to harness the natural power of microbes to do some of the work.

This process, called biomining, has become common as a cost efficient and environmentally friendly way to obtain the metals around us in nature. As humans plan expeditions deeper into space, biomining offers a way to obtain needed materials for use on other planetary bodies rather than transporting them from Earth.

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Space BD Strengthening Relationship with the Australian Space Industry to Promote the Space Business in Australia

Two Australian academic satellites successfully launched on August 29

TOKYO — Space BD, a leading Japanese space startup, announces the launch of two Australian satellites through Space BD’s small satellite deployment service on August 29, 2021 at 3:14 a.m. (EDT). Space BD has been appointed by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as the private partner for the small satellite deployment service from the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module Kibo since 2018. And it has led to the commercialization of Japanese space assets as a private sector.

This was the first satellite launch for the State of Western Australia, the first satellite launch for of the Australian Research Council Training Centre for CubeSats, Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles and their Applications (CUAVA), and the first overseas satellite launch for Space BD.

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NASA Sets Coverage for Two Russian Spacewalks Outside Space Station

Expedition 65 flight engineer and Roscosmos cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov, pictured during a spacewalk to perform work on the Pirs docking compartment. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Two Russian cosmonauts will venture outside the International Space Station Friday, Sept. 3, and Thursday, Sept. 9, to conduct the first pair of up to 11 spacewalks to prepare the new Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for operations in space. NASA will provide live coverage for both spacewalks, or extravehicular activities (EVA), on NASA Television, the NASA app, and agency’s website.

Coverage Friday, Sept. 3, will begin at 10 a.m. EDT, with the spacewalk scheduled to begin at approximately 10:35 a.m., and coverage Thursday, Sept. 9, begins at 10:30 a.m. with the spacewalk expected to begin about 11 a.m. The first spacewalk, called Russian EVA 49, could last up to seven hours, while the second spacewalk, Russian EVA 50, is scheduled to last about five hours.

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Cargo Dragon Docks with International Space Station

Credit: NASA

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — While the International Space Station was traveling about 260 miles over the Western Australia, a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft autonomously docked to the forward-facing port of the orbiting laboratory’s Harmony module at 10:30 a.m. EDT, Monday, Aug. 30. Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA monitored operations.

Among the science experiments Dragon is delivering to the space station are:

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Space BD to Start Space Delivery Project with Global Research & Educational Institutions and Private Sector to Launch Research Objects & Mementos

TOKYO (Space BD PR) — The leading Japanese space  startup Space BD announced the start of the Space  Delivery Project to launch and expose to outer space  various items such as research materials, photographs, and illustrations collected from 10 research institutes, educational institutions, and private companies in Japan and overseas.

The primary purpose of this project is research by academic institutions. In addition, mementos produced by private companies and educational institutions will also be exposed to outer space and returned to Earth. The items will be carried to the International Space Station (ISS) via the ISS resupply vehicle by the end of fiscal year 2021.

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Cutting-Edge Science Launches on NASA’s SpaceX Cargo Resupply Mission

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped with the uncrewed Dragon spacecraft, soars upward after lifting off from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida at 3:14 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. Dragon will deliver new science investigations, supplies, and equipment to the International Space Station for NASA and SpaceX’s 23rd commercial resupply services mission. (Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The latest SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft is bound for the International Space Station after launching at 3:14 a.m. EDT Sunday on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying more than 4,800 pounds of science experiments, crew supplies, and spacecraft hardware.

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Going to Extremes with MISSE: Advancing New Materials and Technology Outside the ISS

Photo documentation of the Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility (MISSE-FF) platform aboard the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., August 27, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The International Space Station (ISS) is an incredible research platform that has hosted more than 3,000 experiments—but not all that research takes place inside the orbiting laboratory. On the outside of the ISS, the extreme space conditions provide an unparalleled environment to test new materials and advance technologies in ways not possible on Earth.

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Poor Weather Pushes Cargo Dragon Launch to Sunday, Aug. 29

Cargo Dragon CRS-23 atop a Falcon 9 booster. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Due to poor weather conditions in the area for today’s planned launch of SpaceX’s 23rd Commercial Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station, SpaceX and NASA are now targeting liftoff for 3:14 a.m. EDT Sunday, Aug. 29. Launch coverage will begin at 2:45 a.m. on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

A launch Sunday would lead to docking Monday, Aug. 30, for the Dragon to deliver important research, crew supplies and hardware to the crew aboard the orbiting laboratory. Docking coverage will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the spacecraft planned to arrive at the space station around 11 a.m.

Follow launch activities at the mission blog and @NASAKennedy and learn more about space station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

SpaceX Set to Launch Cargo Dragon Vehicle to ISS on Saturday Morning

Cargo Dragon CRS-23 atop a Falcon 9 booster. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Saturday, August 28 for Dragon’s launch of its 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-23) mission. Liftoff is targeted for 3:37 a.m. EDT, or 7:37 UTC, from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. A backup launch opportunity is available on Sunday, August 29 at 3:14 a.m. EDT, or 7:14 UTC.

Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously supported SpaceX’s Crew-1 and Crew-2 missions, which launched astronauts to the International Space Station, and launch of SXM-8. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “A Shortfall of Gravitas” droneship, which will be located in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Dragon spacecraft supporting this mission previously supported SpaceX’s 21st Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-21) mission. Dragon will separate from Falcon 9’s second stage about twelve minutes after liftoff and autonomously dock to the space station on Sunday, August 29 at approximately 11:00 a.m. EDT, 15:00 UTC.

You can watch the live launch webcast starting about 15 minutes before liftoff.