Russian Progress Resupply Ship Docks to Station After Two Orbits

Credit: NASA

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — An uncrewed Russian Progress 76 spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station’s Pirs docking compartment on the station’s Russian segment at 1:45 p.m. EDT, a little more than three hours after lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:26 a.m. (7:26 p.m. Baikonur time). At the time of docking, the spacecraft were traveling about 250 miles over Earth.

The cargo spacecraft is delivering almost three tons of food, fuel, and supplies to the Expedition 63 crew members who are living and working in space to advance scientific knowledge, demonstrate new technologies, and make research breakthroughs not possible on Earth.

Progress 76 will remain docked at the station for more than four months, departing in December for its deorbit into Earth’s atmosphere.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

SATLANTIS Receives Images from Space BD’s iSIM Attached to International Space Station

The image of Huelva (South Spain) from iSIM. Inside of squares shows before and after super resolution. (Credit: Space BD)

TOKYO (Space BD PR) — Space BD Inc., the leading space startup in Japan that provides access to space using the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and rideshares on Japan’s flagship launch vehicle “H3”, announced that their customer, SATLANTIS MICROSAT S.L. successfully received about 20,000 images from the Integrated Standard Imager for Microsatellites (iSIM) on IVA-Replaceable Small Exposed Experiment Platform (i-SEEP), the external platform attached outside of Kibo since June 2020.

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NASA’s Next Laser Communications Demo Installed, Integrated on Spacecraft

Northrop Grumman technicians in front of the LCRD payload fully installed and integrated on the Space Test Program Satellite (STPSat-6). (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — On July 16, 2020, the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) payload was installed and integrated on the U.S. Department of Defense Space Test Program Satellite 6 (STPSat-6) in preparation for a 2021 launch.

As an experimental payload, LCRD will demonstrate the robust capabilities of laser communications, which can provide significant benefits to missions, including bandwidth increases of 10 to 100 times more than radio frequency systems.

Prior to spacecraft integration, the LCRD payload went through several tests and blanket installations at Northrop Grumman’s integration and test facility in Dulles, Virginia. While LCRD underwent testing, Northrop Grumman technicians also prepared the spacecraft for LCRD’s integration.

Now that the two components have been fully integrated, they will undergo environmental testing and end-to-end compatibility testing to ensure the spacecraft and payload can properly communicate with one another.

LCRD will be NASA’s first two-way optical relay, sending and receiving data from missions in space to mission control on Earth. LCRD is paving the way for future optical communications missions, which could use LCRD to relay their data to the ground.

In 2022, the Integrated LCRD Low-Earth Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal (ILLUMA-T), hosted on the International Space Station, will be the first LCRD demonstration from low-Earth orbit.

LCRD was built by Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, before being shipped to the Northrop Grumman facility in January 2020. LCRD is funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and managed by NASA’s Technology Demonstration Missions and the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program office.

Comet NEOWISE and the International Space Station

Comet NEOWISE and the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The International Space Station, with a crew of five onboard, is seen in this 10 second exposure above comet NEOWISE, Saturday, July 18, 2020 from Keys Gap, W.Va. The comet was discovered by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or NEOWISE, on March 27.

Since then, the comet — called comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE and nicknamed comet NEOWISE — has been spotted by several NASA spacecraft, including Parker Solar Probe, NASA’s Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory, the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, and astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Onboard the International Space Station are Expedition 63 NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy, Douglas Hurley, Robert Behnken, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner.

Leveraging Microgravity to Improve Medical Diagnostics – One Drop at a Time

NASA Astronaut Bob Behnken works within the Light Microscopy Module facility on the Capillary Driven Microfluidics investigation from 1Drop Diagnostics, Inc. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CASIS PR) – What if a single drop of blood were all that is needed to provide reliable medical diagnostics in any setting on—or even off—Earth? This week, NASA astronauts Douglas  Hurley and Robert Behnken, who recently launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on the historic SpaceX Demo-2 mission, are working on an investigation from Boston-based biotech startup 1Drop Diagnostics to enhance a portable device that can run diagnostic tests from anywhere using just one drop of blood.

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NASA Television to Air Space Station Cargo Ship Launch, Docking

Progress 75 supply ship. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA Television will provide live coverage of the launch and docking of a Russian cargo spacecraft delivering almost three tons of food, fuel, and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) beginning at 10 a.m. EDT Thursday, July 23.

The uncrewed Russian Progress 76 is scheduled to launch on a Soyuz rocket at 10:26 a.m. (7:26 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Rendezvous and docking coverage will begin at 1 p.m., with the Progress spacecraft expected to automatically link up to the Pirs docking compartment on the station’s Russian segment at 1:47 p.m.

Progress 76 will remain docked at the station for more than four months, departing in December for its deorbit into Earth’s atmosphere.

For almost 20 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. As a global endeavor, 240 people from 19 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries.

Learn more about the International Space Station activities online, and by following @space_station and  @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook  and ISS Instagram accounts.

Boeing Gets $916 Million Contract Extension to Support Space Station

International Space Station (Credit: NASA/Roscosmos)

HOUSTON, July 15, 2020 (Boeing PR) — Boeing [NYSE: BA], NASA’s lead industry partner for the International Space Station (ISS) since 1993, will continue supporting the celebrated orbiting laboratory through September of 2024 under a $916 million contract extension awarded today.

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UK at the Forefront of Space Exploration with Biomining Experiment

BioAsteroid (Credit: University of Edinburgh)

EDINBURGH (UK Space Agency PR) — UK scientists are experimenting in space to investigate the effects of microbes on asteroidal material in space under microgravity conditions.

BioAsteroid, a biomining experiment, uses a collection of 12 automatic culturing devices fitted with a layer of material on which the bacteria will be grown in the KUBIK ISS incubator for 3 weeks.

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Russians Complete Vacuum Testing on New ISS Module

Nauka module undergoing vacuum testing. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Specialists at Khrunichev (part of Roscosmos State Corporation) completed the vacuum tests of a new Russian Nauka (“Science”) module of the International Space Station.

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Russian Cargo Ship Leaves, Crew Tests Dragon’s Comfort Factors

The Expedition 63 crew has expanded to five members with the arrival of the SpaceX Crew Dragon. (From left) Anatoly Ivanishin, Ivan Vagner, Chris Cassidy, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. (Credit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Russia’s Progress 74 (74P) cargo craft departed the International Space Station today leaving four spaceships from the U.S., Russia and Japan parked at the orbital lab. It will be replaced in two weeks when the Progress 76 arrives to replenish the crew.

The 74P undocked today at 2:23 p.m. EDT after seven months attached to the Pirs docking compartment. The trash-packed resupply ship will descend into Earth’s atmosphere above the South Pacific for a fiery but safe demise. The 76P will take its place when it launches on July 23 at 10:26 a.m. and docks just three-and-a-half hours later to Pirs.

Four out of the five Expedition 63 crew members assessed comfort factors inside the docked SpaceX Crew Dragon today. This is a demonstration of the Crew Dragon’s habitability ahead of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission planned for later this year.

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, who piloted the Crew Dragon, will be joined by station Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin for the one-hour habitability test. The crew will arrange the cabin to suit the four space residents and report their comfort levels to engineers on the ground.

While they were setting up Crew Dragon for the test, the three NASA astronauts also had time for ultrasound eye scans, microfluid studies and orbital plumbing work. The two cosmonauts, including Flight Engineer Ivan Vagner, juggled a variety of Russian space research and tested Soyuz crew ship communications gear.

New European Experiment Rack Installed on Space Station

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley (imaged above) maneuver the fridge-sized European Drawer Rack Mark 2 (EDR2) to its new position. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — After a successful launch aboard the Japanese HTV9 cargo vehicle, a new experiment facility was recently installed in the European laboratory Columbus as part of a comprehensive upgrade of Europe’s International Space Station module.

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Techshot Plans Commercialization of Crystal Production on ISS

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Techshot has a plan to commercialize the production of pharmaceutical crystals aboard the International Space Station (ISS) by developing improved production modules with funding from NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

“Techshot proposes a business plan in which cost and time saving versatile flight hardware and flexible flight opportunities are made openly available to corporate and institutional users seeking improvements or refinements in product purification, formulation and/or delivery,” according to the project description.

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NASA to Provide Boeing Commercial Crew Update on Tuesday

Starliner OFT-1 capsule after landing at White Sands Missile Range. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA will host a media teleconference at 2:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, July 7, to discuss the outcome of its High Visibility Close Call review of the December 2019 uncrewed Orbital Flight Test of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft.

Participants in the briefing will be:

  • Kathy Lueders, associate administrator of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate 
  • Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

Audio of the teleconference will stream live online at: 

https://www.nasa.gov/live

Boeing was able to complete a number of test objectives during the December flight, but was unable to reach its planned orbit and dock to the International Space Station. An investigation team was established in March to develop recommendations that could be used to prevent similar scenarios from occurring in the future.

In March, NASA and Boeing completed a joint independent review of the anomalies experienced during the flight test. A summary of recommendations and the action plan already implemented will be available online at:

http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test was an uncrewed test of the company’s Starliner crew spacecraft as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Learn more about commercial crew at:

https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/crew/index.html

Space BD to Provide Small Satellite Deployment Service from ISS for Myanmar’s Sirst Micro-satellite

TOKYO (Space BD PR) — Space BD Inc., the leading  space startup in Japan that provides access to  space  using the International Space Station Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and rideshares on Japan’s flagship launch vehicle “H3,” announced that it has been selected by Hokkaido University, Tohoku University, and the Myanmar Aerospace and Engineering University as the satellite deployment service provider for the Micro-satellite development project of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

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