Russian Progress Resupply Ship Docks with International Space Station

Progress MS-18 fires thrusters as it approaches the International Space Station. (Credit: Pyotr Dubrov)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — In accordance with the Russian flight program of the International Space Station, on October 30, 2021, at 04:31:19 Moscow time, the Progress MS-18 transport cargo vehicle was docked. The operations of docking and docking to the Zvezda service module were carried out automatically under the control of specialists from the Mission Control Center of TsNIIMash, the Main Operational Control Group of the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation named after S.P. Korolev (part of the Roscosmos State Corporation) and the Russian crew members of the ISS-66, Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.

(more…)

Weather Delays Crew-3 Flight to Station to Nov. 3

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 1:10 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Nov. 3, for the agency’s Crew-3 launch to the International Space Station due to a large storm system meandering across the Ohio Valley and through northeastern United States this weekend, elevating winds and waves in the Atlantic Ocean along the Crew Dragon flight path for the Oct. 31 launch attempt.

Weather conditions along the ascent corridor are expected to improve for a Nov. 3 launch attempt, and the 45th Weather Squadron forecast predicts an 80% chance of favorable weather conditions at the launch site.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari, mission commander, Tom Marshburn, pilot, and Kayla Barron, mission specialist and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, also a mission specialist, will launch on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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 Nov. 3 would have Crew-3 arriving at the space station later the same day about 11 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, for a short handover with the astronauts that flew to the station as part of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission.

Crew-2 NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet are currently targeting return in early November. Crew-3 astronauts are set to return in late April 2022.

UNOOSA and Airbus Pick African Team to Fly “Free” Climate Monitoring Payload on the International Space Station

Bartolomeo external experiment platform (Credit: NASA)

VIENNA, 26 October 2021 (Airbus PR) — The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Airbus Defence and Space have selected the winner of their joint opportunity for a free one year mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The climate mission supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals will fly on Bartolomeo, the Airbus external payload hosting platform.

(more…)

Upgrading the Space Station’s Cold Atom Lab With Mixed Reality

NASA is looking into whether mixed reality technology could help with repairs and upgrades on the cutting-edge Cold Atom Lab aboard the space station.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Cold Atom Lab is a first-of-its-kind physics laboratory operating in Earth orbit. About the size of a mini-fridge, it hosts multiple experiments that explore the fundamental nature of atoms by cooling them down to nearly absolute zero (the coldest temperature matter can reach). The ultracold atoms provide a window into the quantum realm, where matter exhibits strange behaviors that underpin many modern technologies.

(more…)

ISS National Lab Announces Sustainability Challenge Focused on Plastics Alternatives in Partnership with Estée Lauder

Finalists of this Sustainability Challenge may have the opportunity to launch flight projects to the orbiting laboratory under the sponsorship of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), October 28, 2021 – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc. (CASIS), manager of the ISS National Lab, today announced a sustainability challenge in partnership with leading global prestige beauty brand Estée Lauder. The ISS National Lab Sustainability Challenge: Beyond Plastics aims to utilize the orbiting laboratory to advance sustainability research that addresses the plastics dilemma.

(more…)

A Video Look at Astronaut Thomas Pesquet’s 6 Months on ISS

Video Caption: ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet from France began Alpha – his second mission to the International Space Station – on 23 April 2021. Launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA, on the second operational flight of SpaceX Crew Dragon, he has now spent around six months in orbit on mission Alpha. In addition to science experiments, he has taken part in four spacewalks and countless scientific investigations. On 4 October Thomas became the fourth European International Space Station Commander. He is now the ESA astronaut with the most total time spent in space and on spacewalks.

Follow Thomas: http://bit.ly/ThomasPesquetBlog

Russia Launches Progress Resupply Ship to Space Station

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — In accordance with the approved Russian schedule of flights to the International Space Station, today, October 28, 2021 the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Progress MS-18 cargo spacecraft launched successfully at 00:00:32 UTC from Launchpad 6 (Vostok) of the Baikonur Cosmodrome. In 8 minutes 48 seconds after liftoff the spacecraft and the third stage of the carrier separation was confirmed, the solar panels and antennas were deployed.

(more…)

Cost to Boeing of Starliner Delays Now Total Nearly $600 Million

Boeing engineers continue work at the United Launch Alliance Vertical Integration Facility on the Starliner propulsion system valves. (Credit: Boeing)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Boeing said on Wednesday that it was taking an additional $185 million charge against earnings due to additional delays to its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, which it is developing to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

(more…)

Space Adventures Cancels Earth Orbit Tourism Mission

Space Adventures says it was forced to cancel a reservation with SpaceX to send four paying passengers on a multi-day tourist trip to Earth orbit. Agence France-Presse reports:

“Ultimately our reservation with SpaceX expired and that’s not a mission that we are going to be executing in the immediate future,” Shelley said, but did not rule out future partnerships with the company.

Space Adventures was not about to work out the right mix of timing and price before the reservation expired. The trip would have been similar to the recently completed Inspiration4 flight, which saw four amateur astronauts orbit the Earth for three days aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Space Adventures and the Russian space corporation Roscosmos is sending up Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant, Yozo Hirano, to the International Space Station for 12 days aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in December. Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin will command the flight.

Crew-3 Astronauts Launch to Space Station Alongside Microgravity Research

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)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission is set to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon on Sunday, Oct. 31. The mission includes three NASA astronauts – mission Commander Raja Chari, Pilot Tom Marshburn, and Mission Specialist Kayla Barron – as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will also serve as a mission specialist.

Aboard Dragon with the crew will be more than 400 pounds of supplies and hardware, including over 150 pounds of which they will use to conduct experiments aboard the space station. Here is some of the research riding with them into low-Earth orbit.

(more…)

Israel, UAE Agree to Collaborate on Lunar, Earth Observation & Satellite Missions

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will collaborate on a mission to the moon, analyze data from an Israeli-French Earth observation satellite, and launch a joint education satellite under a landmark agreement signed last week to cooperate on a range of space projects, the Israel Space Agency (ISA) announced.

The two nations will collaborate on Genesis 2, an $100 million Israeli mission to launch an orbiter to the moon and deploy landers at two different locations on the lunar surface. The mission, which is to be half funded with foreign contributions, is scheduled to launch in 2024.

(more…)

Former NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati Joins CASIS Board of Directors

Waleed Abdalati

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., October 21, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the  Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), Inc., manager of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory, today announced that former NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati, Ph.D., joined the organization’s board of directors. The CASIS Board of Directors seeks to ensure and enhance the utility of the ISS National Lab to further basic and applied space-based research that brings value to our nation and drives a robust market in low Earth orbit.

“The International Space Station is home to a one-of-a-kind laboratory that provides an environment and perspective that allow us to push the frontiers in science as we seek to further understand biology, physics, and our world. It is a privilege to be part of the group that oversees the management and mission of this amazing orbiting national laboratory,” Dr. Abdalati said. 

(more…)

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…)