No S—! ISS Astronauts to Boldly Go on New Toilet

Credit: NASA

“Today’s coffee is tomorrow’s coffee!”
— NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — It’s the space-age old question: how do astronauts go to the bathroom in space? The most basic human biological processes becomes challenging off-planet due in part to the lack of gravity. NASA is launching a new space toilet, the Universal Waste Management System (UWMS), to the International Space Station on Northrop Grumman’s 14th contract resupply mission in September. Another UWMS unit will be installed in Orion for the Artemis II flight test that will send astronauts on a 10-day mission beyond the Moon and back.

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Shotwell, Koch and Meir Make Time’s 100 Most Influential People List

Gwynne Shotwell

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell and NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir have made Time magazine’s list of The 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

Shotwell is listed in the Titans category and credited with guiding SpaceX to success.

“She is not only a quintessential engineer with a passion to build things, but also a “people engineer” who thrives on working with colleagues and customers. Gwynne Shotwell is helping to launch our future, and I can’t wait to see what she does next,” former NASA astronaut Kathryn Sullivan wrote.

Koch and Meir were listed together in the Pioneers category for conducting the first all-female spacewalk from the International Space Station in October 2019.

NASA astronauts Jessica Meir (left) and Christina Koch are inside the Quest airlock preparing the U.S. spacesuits and tools they will use on their first spacewalk together. (Credit: NASA)

“I believe that Koch and Meir, by their sheer skill and execution, shift us closer to a template based on intelligence, agility, capability, integrity, courage and excellence,” wrote former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison.

Read Jemison’s tribute to Koch and Meir here.

NRL Power-beaming Demonstrated on International Space Station

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir demonstrates how the LEctenna™, a light-emitting rectifying antenna constructed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, converts electromagnetic waves into electric current on the International Space Station. Similar technology could be used on the Earth’s surface to convert electromagnetic waves beamed from space-based solar arrays. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NRL PR) — International Space Station astronaut Jessica Meir completed the first U.S. Naval Research Laboratory power-beaming demonstration in orbit February 12, 2020, using relatively simple components suitable for STEM activities.

Meir showed how NRL’s LEctenna™, a light-emitting rectifying antenna, converted a wireless network signal, similar to home networks, into electric power. While the current generated and light emitted was a small amount, the setup proved the concept in space.

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Space Station Science Payload Operations Continue Amid Pandemic

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir works on a media change for the Engineered Heart Tissues investigation inside the Life Sciences Glovebox. (Credits: NASA)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — The International Space Station Payload Operations Integration Center at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is the heartbeat of space station science research  operations. As NASA’s primary space station science command post, the payload operations team coordinates scientific and commercial experiments on the station, synchronizes payload activities of international partners and directs communications between researchers around the world and their onboard experiments.

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NASA Astronauts Meir, Morgan, Crewmate Skripochka Return from Space Station

The Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft is seen as it lands in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan with Expedition 62 crew members Jessica Meir and Drew Morgan of NASA, and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos, Friday, April 17, 2020. Meir and Skripochka returned after 205 days in space, and Morgan after 272 days in space. All three served as Expedition 60-61-62 crew members onboard the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA/GCTC/Andrey Shelepin)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan  returned to Earth Friday, along with Soyuz Commander Oleg Skripochka of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

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Expedition 62 Completes Work, Prepares to Return to Earth

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Onboard the International Space Station, the 62nd long-term mission is finishing its work. The Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft crewmembers Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and  Jessica Meir are getting ready to return to Earth according with the flight program.

So, last night the crew changeover took place at the station. ISS-62 long-term mission commander Oleg Skripochka who has been in command of the station since February 2020 and ISS-63 mission commander Christopher Cassidy signed the transfer of authority act.

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NASA TV to Air Landing of NASA Astronauts Meir, Morgan, Crewmate Skripochka

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, who has spent nine months living and working on the International Space Station, will join fellow NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and Oleg Skripochka of the Russian space agency Roscosmos for a scheduled return to Earth on Friday, April 17.

Live coverage of their Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft’s undocking and station departure will begin at 6 p.m. EDT Thursday, April 16, on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Coverage of the deorbit burn and landing will begin at 12 a.m. Friday, April 17.

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3D Printing, Biology Research Make the Journey Back to Earth Aboard SpaceX’s Dragon

Christina Koch handles media bags that enable the manufacturing of organ-like tissues using the BioFabrication Facility. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — On March 9, 2020, a Dragon cargo spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station carrying dozens of scientific experiments as a part of SpaceX’s 20th cargo resupply mission. Now, Dragon heads home. On April 7, it is scheduled to undock from station, bringing samples, hardware and data from completed investigations back to Earth on its return trip.

Here are details on some of the investigations returning to the ground for further analysis and reporting of results.

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Space Biology on Station Ahead of Cargo and Crew Ship Activities

The International Space Station as it appears in 2018. Zarya is visible at the center of the complex, identifiable by its partially retracted solar arrays. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The Expedition 62 crew wrapped up the workweek with more space biology research to understand what living in space does to the human body. The International Space Station is also getting ready to send off a U.S. cargo craft and swap crews.

A 3D bioprinter inside the station’s Columbus laboratory module is being deactivated and stowed today after a week of test runs without using human cells. NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Meir packed up the device that seeks to demonstrate manufacturing human organs to help patients on Earth. The Bio-Fabrication Facility may even lead to future crews printing their own food and medicines on missions farther away from Earth.

NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan checked out hardware for an experiment exploring how to create heart cells on the orbiting lab. The investigation may lead to advanced treatments for cardiac conditions on Earth and in space.

Morgan and Meir are also getting the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship ready for its departure on April 6. The duo gathered U.S. spacesuit components and packed them inside Dragon for engineering analysis on the ground.

During the morning, Commander Oleg Skripochka continued servicing a variety of laptop computers in the station’s Russian segment. After lunchtime, the veteran cosmonaut serviced hardware for a pair of experiments, one looking at the Earth’s upper atmosphere and the other to understand the degradation of station gear.

Back on Earth at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, three new Expedition 63 crewmembers are in final preparations for their April 9 launch to the station. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner stepped out of the Cosmonaut Hotel today for pre-launch activities celebrating spaceflight heroes such as Yuri Gagarin.

SpaceX Dragon Heads to ISS With Experiments, Bartolomeo Facility

Falcon 9 lifts off with the the cargo Dragon CRS-20 mission. (Credit: NASA webcast)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (NASA PR) — A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station after launching at 11:50 p.m. EST Friday. Dragon will deliver more than 4,300 pounds of NASA cargo and science investigations, including a new science facility scheduled to be installed to the outside of the station during a spacewalk this spring.

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NASA Science, Cargo Heads to Space Station on Northrop Grumman Mission

A Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft launched on an Antares 230+ rocket from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A at Wallops at 3:21 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (Credits: NASA)

WALLOPS, Va. (NASA PR) — A Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station with about 7,500 pounds of science investigations and cargo after launching at 3:21 p.m. EST Saturday from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The spacecraft launched on an Antares 230+ rocket from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A at Wallops and is scheduled to arrive at the space station at about 4:05 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18. Coverage of the spacecraft’s approach and arrival will begin at 2:30 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

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NASA TV to Air Departure of Cygnus Cargo Spacecraft from Space Station

The U.S. Cygnus space freighter is pictured as the Canadarm2 robotic arm, guided by NASA astronaut Jessica Meir with fellow Flight Engineer Christina Koch as her back up, reaches out to grapple the 12th resupply ship from Northrop Grumman on November 4, 2019. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — More than two months after delivering several tons of supplies and scientific experiments to the International Space Station, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft, the SS Alan Bean, will depart the orbiting laboratory on Friday, Jan. 31.

Live coverage of the spacecraft’s release will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 9:15 a.m. EST, with release scheduled for 9:35 a.m.

Cygnus will demonstrate a new release position for departure operations and will incorporate the first ground-controlled release. The new orientation allows for easier drift away from the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm.

With Expedition 61 Flight Engineers Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir of NASA providing backup support, ground controllers will send commands to the Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the unpiloted cargo spacecraft after ground controllers remotely unbolt the craft from the Earth-facing port of the Unity module and maneuver it into release position.

Within 24 hours of its release, Cygnus will begin its secondary mission – deploying a series of payloads – before Northrop Grumman flight controllers in Dulles, Virginia, initiate its deorbit and it executes a safe, destructive reentry into Earth’s atmosphere at the end of February.

More details of Cygnus’ mission and Expedition 61 crew activities can be found at:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

Canadarm2 to Capture Dragon Cargo Ship as Canadian Science Continues

Spacewalker Luca Parmitano is guided on the Canadarm2 robotic arm toward the work site on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, the space station’s cosmic particle detector. (Credit: NASA)

LONGUEUIL, Quebec (CSA PR) — On December 4, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will launch from Cape Canaveral aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, destined for the International Space Station (ISS).

Three days later, European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA’s Jessica Meir will use Canadarm2 to capture the unpiloted vehicle. Robotics flight controllers will then berth it to the Station, where it is expected to remain for about a month.

The resupply mission includes equipment for ongoing Canadian heart study Vascular Aging:

  • two glucose test kits, which help researchers measure insulin resistance in space; and
  • three Bio-Monitor smart shirts, part of an innovative Canadian-made system that simplifies scientific data collection by easily tracking astronaut vital signs in space.

The upcoming cosmic catch marks a return to more typical activities for the 17-metre-long robotic arm. During recent spacewalks to repair the  ISS‘s cosmic particle detector, Canadarm2 served as a support for Parmitano, who was anchored to Canadarm2’s foot restraint. Throughout the operations, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen guided the spacewalkers from the Mission Control Center in Houston.

Live coverage of Dragon’s launch will be available on NASA TV on  Dec. 4, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Rendezvous and capture operations will also be broadcast on December 7, starting at 4:30 a.m. ET.