CHRISTMAS IN SPACE 50 YEARS LATER

The Expedition 58 crew will spend Christmas in space for the first time since the Apollo 8 crew exactly 50 years ago.

CHRISTMAS IN SPACE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 50 YEARS

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The Expedition 58 crew will spend Christmas in space for the first time since the Apollo 8 crew exactly 50 years ago.

Three people from the U.S., Canada and Russia are orbiting Earth today getting ready to observe Christmas and experience New Year’s Eve from space aboard the International Space Station. Back on Earth, another three station crew members have returned to their home bases just 24 hours after completing a 197-day mission aboard the orbital lab.

HISTORY MADE IN A MUCH LARGER SOYUZ SPACESHIP

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Christmas was spent on Apollo 8 in 1968. This was a much smaller spaceship than is used today to transport astronauts and cosmonauts to the International Space Station

The first time three humans spent Christmas in space was 50 years ago in 1968 during Apollo 8 and was also the first time a crew orbited the Moon. This Christmas astronauts Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency with cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos will be soaring about 250 miles above the Earth’s surface in a much larger spacecraft. The Expedition 58 trio will share a traditional meal aboard the orbital lab, share gifts and call down to family during their off-duty day.

Kononenko is beginning his fourth mission on the station and will spend his second Christmas in space. McClain and Saint-Jacques are getting used to life in space for the first time and will return to Earth in June with Kononenko.

NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor returned to Houston late Thursday just one day after landing in Kazakhstan wrapping up her six-and-a-half month stay aboard the orbital lab. She parachuted to Earth inside the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft with her Expedition 57 crewmates Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos.

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA

FACTS AND FIGURES OF THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

Mark Garcia, NASA Editor, updated the facts, figures, and some history of the space station with expanded artistic rendering in the image below. Universal Digest is glad to add this information in addition to the standard article procedure. Because of the historic situation of astronauts not having been in a spaceship by itself since the moon orbits 50 years ago, it is a good time to provide this to the readers.

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This is a detailed expansion of the International Space Station. Mark Garcia of NASA just updated the facts, figures and history in November of 2018.

SPACE STATION DETAIL OF FACTS, FIGURES, AND HISTORY

230 individuals from 18 countries have visited the International Space Station

The space station has been continuously occupied since November 2000

An international crew of six people live and work while traveling at a speed of five miles per second, orbiting Earth about every 90 minutes.
In 24 hours, the space station makes 16 orbits of Earth, traveling through 16 sunrises and sunsets

Peggy Whitson set the record for spending the most total time living and working in space at 665 days on Sept. 2, 2017
The acre of solar panels that power the station means sometimes you can look up in the sky at dawn or dusk and see the spaceship flying over your home, even if you live in a big city. Find sighting opportunities at http://spotthestation.nasa.gov

The living and working space in the station is larger than a six-bedroom house (and has six sleeping quarters, two bathrooms, a gym, and a 360-degree view bay window).
To mitigate the loss of muscle and bone mass in the human body in microgravity, the astronauts work out at least two hours a day.

Astronauts and cosmonauts have conducted more than 205 spacewalks (and counting!) for space station construction, maintenance and repair since December 1998

The solar array wingspan (240 feet) is about the same length as the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380.

The large modules and other pieces of the station were delivered on 42 assembly flights, 37 on the U.S. space shuttles and five on Russian Proton/Soyuz rockets.

The space station is 357 feet end-to-end, one yard shy of the full length of an American football field including the end zones.

Eight miles of wire connects the electrical power system aboard the space station.

The 55-foot robotic Canadarm2 has seven different joints and two end-effectors, or hands, and is used to move entire modules, deploy science experiments and even transport spacewalking astronauts.

Six spaceships can be connected to the space station at once.

A spacecraft can arrive at the space station as soon as six hours after launching from Earth.

Four different cargo spacecraft deliver science, cargo and supplies: Orbital ATK’s Cygnus, SpaceX’s Dragon, JAXA’s HTV, and the Russian Progress.

Through Expedition 52, the microgravity laboratory has hosted more than 2,400 research investigations from researchers in more than 103 countries.

The station’s orbital path takes it over 90 percent of the Earth’s population, with astronauts taking millions of images of the planet below. Check them out at https://eol.jsc.nasa.gov

More than 20 different research payloads can be hosted outside the station at once, including Earth sensing equipment, materials science payloads, particle physics experiments like the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 and more.

The space station travels an equivalent distance to the Moon and back in about a day.

The Water Recovery System reduces crew dependence on water delivered by a cargo spacecraft by 65 percent – from about 1 gallon a day to a third of a gallon.

On-orbit software monitors approximately 350,000 sensors, ensuring station and crew health and safety.

The space station has an internal pressurized volume equal that of a Boeing 747.

More than 50 computers control the systems on the space station.

More than 3 million lines of software code on the ground support more than 1.5 million lines of flight software code.

In the International Space Station’s U.S. segment alone, more than 1.5 million lines of flight software code run on 44 computers communicating via 100 data networks transferring 400,000 signals (e.g. pressure or temperature measurements, valve positions, etc.).

SPACE STATION SIZE AND MASS DETAIL

International Space Station Size & Mass:

Pressurized Module Length: 240 feet (73 meters)
Truss Length: 357.5 feet (109 meters)
Solar Array Length: 239.4 feet (73 meters)
Mass: 925,335 pounds (419,725 kilograms)
Habitable Volume: 13,696 cubic feet (388 cubic meters) not including visiting vehicles
Pressurized Volume: 32,333 cubic feet (916 cubic meters)
With BEAM expanded: 32,898 cubic feet (932 cubic meters)
Power Generation: 8 solar arrays provide 75 to 90 kilowatts of power
Lines of Computer Code: approximately 2.3 million

Last Updated: Nov. 5, 2018

Editor: Mark Garcia NASA


UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

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BACK ON EARTH WELCOME FOR CREW

Back home are the astronauts and cosmonaut of the International Space Station. Expedition 57 crew members (from left) Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos prepare to board their Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft.

BACK TO EARTH SAFELY

Back to earth the astronauts and cosmonauts have returned, safely. This article over the last three days covers the command handover to the landing.

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Back home are the astronauts and cosmonaut of the International Space Station. Expedition 57 crew members (from left) Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos prepare to board their Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft.

 

ASTRONAUTS AND COSMONAUTS RETURN TO EARTH

Three members of the International Space Station’s Expedition 57 crew, including NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, returned back to Earth Thursday, safely landing at 12:02 a.m. EST (11:02 a.m. local time) in Kazakhstan.

Auñón-Chancellor and her crewmates, Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev, launched June 6 and arrived at the space station two days later to begin their mission.

The Expedition 57 crew contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the world-class orbiting laboratory. Highlights included investigations into new cancer treatment methods and algae growth in space. The crew also installed a new Life Sciences Glovebox, a sealed work area for life science and technology investigations that can accommodate two astronauts.

During the 197 days, they circled the globe 3,152 times, covering 83.3 million miles. This was the first flight for Auñón-Chancellor and Prokopyev and the second for Gerst, who – with a total of 362 days in orbit – now holds the flight duration record among ESA astronauts.

For the last 16 days of her mission, Auñón-Chancellor was joined by fellow NASA astronaut Anne McClain, marking the first time in which the only two U.S. astronauts on a mission were both women.

Prokopyev completed two spacewalks totaling 15 hours and 31 minutes. He and Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos launched four small technology satellites and installed an experiment during a spacewalk Aug. 15. Then during a 7 hour, 45 minute spacewalk Dec. 11, he and Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos retrieved patch samples and took digital images of a repair made to the habitation module of the Soyuz MS-09 in which the Expedition 57 trio rode home. The space station crew located and, within hours of its detection, repaired a small hole inside the Soyuz in August. The spacecraft was thoroughly checked and deemed safe for return to Earth.

Auñón-Chancellor will return home to Houston, Gerst will return to Cologne, Germany, and Prokopyev will return to Star City, Russia, following post-landing medical checks and research activities.

The Expedition 58 crew continues operating the station, with Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos in command. Along with his crewmates Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, the three-person crew will operate the station for a little more than two months until three additional crew members launch Feb. 28, 2019 to join them.

BACK TO EARTH PREPARATIONS

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The trip back home is underway as the Soyuz spaceship is on its way back to earth. Canadian Space Agency, European Space Agency, International Space Station, NASA, Roscosmos, Soyuz

NASA Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos undocked from the International Space Station at 8:40 p.m. EST to begin their trip home.

Deorbit burn is scheduled for approximately 11:10 p.m., with landing in Kazakhstan targeted for 12:03 a.m. Thursday (11:03 p.m. local time). NASA will resume coverage on TV and online at 10:45 p.m. for deorbit burn and landing.

At the time of undocking, Expedition 58 began aboard the space station under the command of Roscosmos’ Oleg Kononenko. Along with his crewmates Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, the three-person crew will operate the station for a little more than two months.

Nick Hague and Christina Koch of NASA and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos will launch aboard Soyuz MS-12 Feb. 28, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, to join their fellow crewmates following a six-hour journey. Expedition 59 will begin when the new trio docks to the space station.

TRIO BOARDS SOYUZ FOR TRIP BACK HOME

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Expedition 57 crew members (from left) Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos prepare to board their Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft.

At 5:30 p.m. EST, the hatch closed between the Soyuz spacecraft and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking. NASA Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are scheduled to undock their Soyuz at 8:40 p.m.

NASA Television will air live coverage of the undocking beginning at 7:45 p.m.

Their landing in Kazakhstan is targeted for approximately 12:03 a.m. Thursday (11:03 a.m. Kazakhstan time) and will conclude a more than six month mission conducting science and maintenance aboard the space station, in which they circled the globe 3,152 times, covering 83.3 million miles.

COMMANDER HANDS OVER CONTROL IN STANDARD CEREMONY

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Two fellows in space faring return back to earth after 197 days in space. Astronaut Alexander Gerst (left) handed over station command today to cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko.

The Expedition 57 commander handed over control of the International Space Station today in a traditional ceremony. He and two of his crewmates will then head back to Earth Wednesday just in time for the holidays.Commander Alexander Gerst ceremonially transferred command of the orbital lab today to cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko who officially begins his lead of the station when the homebound crew undocks tomorrow. Kononenko is staying behind with Expedition 58 Flight Engineers Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques who will stay on the station until June.

Gerst and Flight Engineers Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Sergey Prokopyev are winding down their 197-day mission in space. The trio will undock from the Rassvet module inside the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft Wednesday at 8:40 p.m. and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan about three-and-a-half hours later.

Prokopyev will command the Soyuz flight back to Earth tomorrow flanked by Gerst and Auñón-Chancellor. Today he is packing and readying the spacecraft for the departure. The undocking and landing activities will be broadcast live on NASA TV.

There was still time for science on the orbital lab today as Gerst explored how astronauts manipulate objects in space. Results could improve the design of space habitats and impact neurology patients on Earth. He also joined Auñón-Chancellor for ultrasound scans and blood sample collections as they wrap up their human research studies.

For landing coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. Get space station news, images and features via social media on Instagram at: @iss, ISS on Facebook, and on Twitter @Space_Station and @ISS_Research.

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA


UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

Universal Digest is committed to providing its audience with the most timely news reporting; however, there are times where this is not possible. Therefore, a concise reporting of historical news occurrences are published, as soon as, is practicable.

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BIOLOGY RESEARCH CONTINUES

NASA astronauts Anne McClain (background) and Serena Auñón-Chancellor are pictured inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module. McClain watches as Auñón-Chancellor trains on the robotics workstation ahead of the rendezvous and capture of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft on Dec. 8, 2018.

Biology space research continues while the crew prepares to split up next week. After the latest spacewalk, the International Space Station crew has earned a rest from tasks.

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NASA astronauts Anne McClain (background) and Serena Auñón-Chancellor are pictured inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module. McClain watches as Auñón-Chancellor trains on the robotics workstation ahead of the rendezvous and capture of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft on Dec. 8, 2018.

Half of the Expedition 57 crew is getting ready to depart International Space Station while the other half is getting used to life on orbit. Amidst those preparations, all six space residents are researching what microgravity does to their bodies while keeping the orbital lab in tip-top shape.

Commander Alexander Gerst continues unpacking the Space Dragon cargo craft today with its near 5,700 pounds of science, supplies and hardware. The German astronaut from ESA (European Space Agency) is also packing the Soyuz MS-09 crew ship that will take him and two crewmates home next week. He’ll parachute to a landing aboard the Soyuz in Kazakhstan Dec. 20 at 12:03 a.m. EST with fellow crew members Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Sergey Prokopyev after 197 days in space.

Auñón-Chancellor spent Thursday working with a variety of research gear supporting space biology. She processed research samples today in the NanoRacks Plate Reader that enables pharmaceutical and biotechnology science in space. She also stowed biological samples in a science freezer for a cellular adaptation study.

The newest trio aboard the station that arrived last week are hard at work today on human research and getting up to speed on station systems. Flight Engineers Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques collected blood and urine samples to be analyzed for the Biochemical Profile space adaptation study. The duo also scheduled some time today to get used to life in space. Four-time station cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko joined Prokopyev for more spacesuit maintenance after Tuesday’s spacewalk.

Earlier:

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NASA astronauts Serena Auñón-Chancellor (background) and Anne McClain work inside the Japanese Kibo laboratory module cleaning vents to maintain air circulation aboard the International Space Station. Meanwhile, biology research continues.

The Expedition 57 crew were allowed to catch a few extra hours of sleep today after a lengthy spacewalk Tuesday by the two cosmonauts on board. They then went to work on a variety of microgravity science, biology and lab maintenance aboard the International Space Station.

Cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev performed routine maintenance on their Russian Orlan spacesuits after a seven-hour, 45-minute spacewalk to inspect the Soyuz MS-09 crew ship docked to the station. The duo took detailed photos and captured video of some of the sealant on the outer hull of the Habitation Module used in the repair of a hole discovered inside the vehicle in August.

The other four orbital residents also put in a good night’s sleep after supporting the eighth spacewalk at the station this year. The quartet moved headlong into human biology research and departure preps after waking up a few hours later than usual today.

Alexander Gerst and Serena Auñón-Chancellor drew their own blood samples today and processed them in the Human Research Facility’s centrifuge. The samples were then coagulated and stowed in a science freezer for later analysis. The Biochemical Profile is a long-running study on astronauts and is providing insight into the human body’s adaptation to living in space.

Gerst is also packing the Soyuz spacecraft that will take him, Auñón-Chancellor and Prokopyev back to Earth Dec. 19. This is the same spaceship that was inspected Tuesday by the two Russian spacewalkers.

The station’s newest astronauts Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques are still getting used to their new home in space. The pair also went about the day working on a variety of maintenance and research. McClain strapped on an armband monitoring how her body adapts to orbiting Earth 16 times a day after setting up research hardware for two separate experiments. Saint-Jacques deployed over a dozen radiation monitors throughout the station today before some light plumbing work with Gerst in the orbital restroom.

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA


UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

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RUSSIAN SPACEWALK COMPLETE

Russian spacewalker Oleg Kononenko is on the Strela boom getting ready for inspection work on the Soyuz crew vehicle.

Russian spacewalkers complete inspection of the spaceship that will bring three astronauts home on December 19, 2018.

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Russian spacewalker Oleg Kononenko is on the Strela boom getting ready for inspection work on the Soyuz crew vehicle.

Expedition 57 Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos completed a spacewalk lasting 7 hours and 45 minutes.

The two cosmonauts opened the hatch to the Pirs docking compartment to begin the spacewalk at 10:59 a.m. EST. They re-entered the airlock and closed the hatch at 6:44 p.m. EST.

During the spacewalk, the two examined the external hull of the Russian Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft attached to the space station, took images, and applied a thermal blanket. They also retrieved science experiments from the Rassvet module before heading back inside.

It was the 213th spacewalk in support of International Space Station assembly, maintenance and upgrades, the fourth for Kononenko, and the second for Prokopyev.

Prokopyev, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Alexander Gerst are scheduled to depart the station in the Soyuz MS-09 at 8:42 p.m. Dec. 19, returning home to Earth after a six-and-half-month mission.

Earlier in the day:

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A pair of empty Orlan spacesuits are seen inside the Pirs Docking Compartment airlock where cosmonauts stage Russian spacewalks.

Expedition 57 Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos began a spacewalk when they opened the hatch of the Pirs docking compartment of the International Space Station at 10:59 a.m. EST.

Kononenko, on his fourth spacewalk today, is designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1), and is wearing a spacesuit bearing red stripes. Prokopyev, on his second spacewalk, is wearing blue stripes and is designated extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2).

Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

 

Even earlier in the day:

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Russian spacewalkers Oleg Kononenko (left pic from February 2012) and Sergey Prokopyev (right pic from August 2018) will examine the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft that will return three Expedition 57 crew members to Earth Dec. 19.

Expedition 57 Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos are preparing to venture outside the International Space Station for a spacewalk at approximately 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 11. NASA Television coverage is now underway and available on the agency’s website.

Over the course of about six hours, the duo will use this spacewalk to examine a section of the external hull of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft currently docked to station, and if time permits, retrieve external experiments.

In late August, a pressure leak occurred from the space station that was traced to the Soyuz. Within hours after finding the source of the leak, crew members sealed the hole and the station has since maintained steady pressure.

The cosmonauts will take samples of any residue found on the hull and take digital images of the area before placing a new thermal blanket over it. The samples and images will provide additional information that will aid the investigation in the cause of the pressure leak.

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

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA


UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

Universal Digest is committed to providing its audience with the most timely news reporting; however, there are times where this is not possible. Therefore, a concise reporting of historical news occurrences are published, as soon as, is practicable.

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