Tag: space station

Dragon Berthed at International Space Station

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Dragon berthed at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

Dragon berthed at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

NASA PR — ISS Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, with the assistance of NASA’s Rick Mastracchio, successfully berthed the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft at the space station at 9:06 a.m. EDT. The mission is the company’s third cargo delivery flight to the station. Dragon’s cargo will support more than 150 experiments to be conducted by the crews of ISS Expeditions 39 and 40.

The scientific payloads on Dragon include investigations that focus on efficient ways to grow plants in space, demonstrating laser optics to communicate with Earth, human immune system function in microgravity and Earth observation. Also being delivered is a set of high-tech legs for Robonaut 2, which can provide the humanoid robot torso already aboard the orbiting laboratory with the mobility it needs to help with regular and repetitive tasks inside the space station.

Dragon also will deliver the second set of investigations sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), which manages the portion of the space station designated a U.S. National Laboratory. CASIS investigations on Dragon are part of the organization’s initial suite of supported payloads linked to Advancing Research Knowledge 1, or ARK 1. The investigations include research on protein crystal growth, which may lead to drug development through protein mapping, and plant biology.

Space Veggies to Improve Cuisine on International Space Station

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Outredgeous red romaine lettuce plants grow inside in a prototype Veggie flight pillow. The bellows of the hardware have been lowered to better observe the plants. A small temperature and relative humidity data logger is placed between the pillows small white box, central. (Credit: NASA/Gioia Massa)

Outredgeous red romaine lettuce plants grow inside in a prototype Veggie flight pillow. The bellows of the hardware have been lowered to better observe the plants. A small temperature and relative humidity data logger is placed between the pillows small white box, central. (Credit: NASA/Gioia Massa)

By Linda Herridge
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

A plant growth chamber bound for the International Space Station inside the Dragon capsule on the SpaceX-3 resupply mission may help expand in-orbit food production capabilities in more ways than one, and offer astronauts something they don’t take for granted, fresh food.

NASA’s Veg-01 experiment will be used to study the in-orbit function and performance of a new expandable plant growth facility called Veggie and its plant “pillows.” The investigation will focus on the growth and development of “Outredgeous” lettuce seedlings in the spaceflight environment.

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CASIS Sends Second Series of Sponsored Payloads to ISS

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casis_new_logoKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. (April 18, 2014) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) is proud to announce several sponsored research payloads have launched to the International Space Station (ISS) onboard Space Exploration Technology Corporation’s (SpaceX) Dragon cargo capsule. This marks the second series of investigations headed to the station that are sponsored by CASIS, the nonprofit responsible for managing research onboard the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.

Research on this flight includes multiple protein crystallization projects supported by grant funding from the first CASIS request for proposals, awarded in late 2012 and early 2013. In all, five of the funded protein crystallization researchers saw their investigations launch on this flight to the ISS National Lab. These investigators are evaluating various proteins involved in human health: the protein responsible for Huntington’s disease; proteins involved in other neurodegenerative conditions, Cystic Fibrosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other aliments; and membrane proteins involved in drug effectiveness.

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Falcon 9 Launch Reset for Friday

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falcon9v11_pad
SpaceX CRS 3 Mission Update

NASA and SpaceX have confirmed Friday, April 18 for the next launch attempt for the Falcon 9 rocket to send the Dragon spacecraft on the company’s third commercial resupply mission and fourth visit to the space station. Launch is targeted for 3:25 p.m. ET. The launch will be webcast live at www.spacex.com/webcast beginning at 2:45 p.m. ET.

A launch on Friday results in a rendezvous with the space station on Sunday, April 20 and a grapple at 7:14 a.m ET.

During Monday’s launch attempt, pre-flight checks detected that a helium valve in the stage separation pneumatic system was not holding the right pressure. This meant that the stage separation pistons would be reliant on a backup check valve.

No issue was detected with the backup valve and a flight would likely have been successful, but SpaceX policy is not to launch with any known anomalies. We have brought the vehicle back to horizontal and are replacing the faulty valve, as well as inspecting the whole system for anything that may have contributed to the valve not working as designed.

SpaceX Dragon Flight to ISS is On for Monday

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SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft. (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. (Credit: NASA)

NASA officials said today that SpaceX’s launch of a Dragon freighter to the International Space Station is on for Monday despite the failure of an external computer on the orbiting facility.

The Falcon 9 launch is set for 4:58 p.m. EDT from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Floriday. NASA is planning a spacewalk for later this month to fix the external computer.

During a press conference this afternoon, NASA officials said there is an 80 percent probability of weather being acceptable for the Monday launch. There is only a 40 percent probability of weather being acceptable on Friday, which is the next launch window.

Student Medical Research Experiments Bound for ISS

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The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth's atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Scheduled for launch and on-orbit operations on Space-X 3, April 14, 2014, the University Research- 1 (UR-1) research is focused on the development of benzofuran-2-carboxylic acid derivatives designed for immune system augmentation, the restoration of immune cell function and the inhibition of cancer initiation and development. The initial findings of these compounds reveal inhibitive properties for cancer cell proliferation and restorative properties for cells exposed to radiation. This research addresses risks critical to the health of the astronauts and humankind.

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CASIS ARK 1 Research to Ride a Dragon to Space Station

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ARK_1_logoBy Patrick O’Neill
CASIS Marketing and Communications Manager

Riding a dragon is a fantasy many have and few fulfil, but if you’re interested in sending research to the International Space Station, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) can help bring those dreams to life. To clarify, this “dragon” is actually a spacecraft carrying cargo and supplies to the orbiting laboratory and the “ride” is for the research proposed by investigators. This simply adds the magic of discovery to the journey, as knowledge expands with each result from microgravity experimentation aboard the space station.

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Atlas V, Falcon 9 Launches Rescheduled

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The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft launches from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, Cape Canaveral, Florida. NASA’s Mars-bound spacecraft, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft launches from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, Cape Canaveral, Florida. NASA’s Mars-bound spacecraft, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The Atlas V and Falcon 9 launches delayed by a problem on the Eastern Range have been rescheduled for April 10 and 14, respectively.

ULA’s Atlas V will launch NROL-67 — a National Reconnaissance Office payload — from Cape Canaveral on Thursday at 1:45 p.m. EDT. The launch window extends to 2:26 p.m. EDT. The company usually streams launched at www.ulalaunch.com.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 will launch a Dragon freighter to the International Space Station. Liftoff is scheduled for 4:58 p.m. EDT. The company typically streams its launches at www.spacex.com.

The launches were delayed because of a fire that knocked out a crucial radar unit the U.S. Air Force uses to track launches. Florida Today has a story about the problems on the Eastern Range, which include aging technology and budget cutbacks.

Below is a list of upcoming launches worldwide.

Date Launch Vehicle Payload(s) Launch Site Nation
04/09/14 Soyuz Progress 55P Baikonur Russia
04/10/14 Atlas V NROL-67 CCAFS USA
04/14/14 Falcon 9 CRS 3 CCAFS USA
04/16/14 Soyuz EgyptSat 2 Baikonur Russia
04/27/14 Proton Luch 5V & Kazsat 3 Baikonur Russia
04/28/14 Vega DZZ-HR Kourou Europe

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Project MERCCURI Crowd Sources ISS Research

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Co-investigator Darlene Cavalier sampling the Liberty Bell for microbes as part of the International Space Station Project MERCCURI investigation. (Credit: National Park Service)

Co-investigator Darlene Cavalier sampling the Liberty Bell for microbes as part of the International Space Station Project MERCCURI investigation. (Credit: National Park Service)

By Jessica Nimon
International Space Station Program Science Office
NASA’s Johnson Space Center

Host Natalie Morales from the Today Show wiped Al Roker’s weather wall, as well as a camera and teleprompter with a cotton swab back in October. But just what did she and her co-host Willie Geist expect to find? They were citizen scientists looking for microbes—the tiny invisible, bacteria, viruses and fungi that may live on the sampled surfaces. Once captured, these televised swabs joined the Project MERCCURI collection that includes samples from museums, historical monuments and sporting venues. This massive “crowdsourced” gathering effort’s full name is Microbial Ecology Research Combining Citizen and University Researchers on the International Space Station, which references its mission to send the litany of microbes to the space station for research.

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Robonaut Legs Headed for International Space Station

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NASA’s Robonaut 2 with the newly developed climbing legs, designed to give the robot mobility in zero gravity. (Credit: NASA)

NASA’s Robonaut 2 with the newly developed climbing legs, designed to give the robot mobility in zero gravity. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA’s built and is sending a set of high-tech legs up to the International Space Station for Robonaut 2 (R2), the station’s robotic crew member. The new legs will be delivered to the space station aboard the SpaceX-3 cargo resupply mission, due to launch March 30 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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