COMMERCIAL CREW SHIP FIRST

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean after successful Demo-1 flight on March 8, 2019.

COMMERCIAL CREW SHIP FIRST

Commercial crew ships will be on their way to and from ISS (International Space Station) in the near future. This will free the United States from Russian rocket launch dependence.

On behalf of the Expedition 58 crew, NASA Astronaut Anne McClain takes time to congratulate the NASA and SpaceX teams immediately following the Crew Dragon spacecraft’s undocking from the International Space Station at 2:32 a.m. EST Friday, March 8.

COMMERCIAL UNMANNED CREW SHIP LEAVES ISS

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon returned to Earth with a splash in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida’s eastern shore at 8:45 a.m. EST, completing an end-to-end flight test to demonstrate most of the capabilities of its crew transportation system to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean after successful Demo-1 flight on March 8, 2019.

The mission, known as Demo-1, is a critical step for NASA and SpaceX to demonstrate the ability to safely fly missions with NASA astronauts to the orbital laboratory.

The Crew Dragon launched March 2 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was the first commercially-built and operated American crew spacecraft and rocket to launch from American soil on a mission to the space station and autonomously dock to the station. To complete the docking, both the station and Crew Dragon’s adapters used the new international docking standard.

CREW DRAGON RETURNS SAMPLES

Crew Dragon is returning to Earth some critical research samples from science investigations conducted to enable human exploration farther into space and develop and demonstrate in the U.S. ISS National Laboratory new technologies, treatments, and products for improving life on Earth.

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Crew Dragon spacecraft on it’s way back to Earth after undocking from the International Space Station at 2:32 am EST on March 8, 2019

Also traveling aboard the spacecraft is an anthropomorphic test device named Ripley outfitted with sensors to provide data about potential effects on humans traveling in Crew Dragon.

SpaceX’s recovery ship, Go Searcher, is equipped with a crane to lift Crew Dragon out of the water and onto the main deck of the ship within an hour after splashdown.

NASA and SpaceX still have work to do to review the systems and flight data to validate the spacecraft’s performance and prepare it to fly astronauts. Already planned upgrades, additional qualification testing, and an in-flight abort test will occur before NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will climb aboard for Demo-2, the crewed flight test to the International Space Station that is necessary to certify Crew Dragon for routine operational missions.

Crew Dragon’s splashdown in the Atlantic was almost 50 years after the return of Apollo 9 on March 13, 1969, the last human spacecraft to return to the waters off the East Coast.

NASA TV COVERAGE OF CREW DRAGON RETURN TO EARTH

NASA provided live coverage of the return to Earth of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon after five days docked to the International Space Station.

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Crew Dragon spacecraft on it’s way back to Earth after undocking from the International Space Station at 2:32 am EST on March 8, 2019

Known as Demo-1, SpaceX’s inaugural mission with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is an important uncrewed end-to-end flight test of the new system’s capabilities.

The spacecraft departed the space station at 2:32 a.m. EST and is on track for a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 nautical miles off the eastern shore of Florida.

At approximately 7:48 a.m., Crew Dragon will separate from its trunk containing its solar array and radiator. Four minutes later, the spacecraft’s thrusters will initiate the deorbit burn at 7:52 a.m. The 15-minute, 25-second burn will place the Crew Dragon on its final re-entry path into Earth’s atmosphere. The nosecone will be closed before the spacecraft enters the atmosphere.

At about 8:41 a.m., drogue parachutes will deploy, and the four main chutes will begin to open less than a minute later to slow the Crew Dragon during its final descent prior to its water landing at about 8:45 a.m.

SpaceX’s two recovery ships are positioned nearby to recover Crew Dragon and return it to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, to conclude its mission.

CREW DRAGON SPACESHIP UNDOCKS FROM ISS

At 2:32 a.m. EST, Crew Dragon undocked from the International Space Station to begin the final phase of its uncrewed Demo-1 flight test. The spacecraft is slowly maneuvering away from the orbital laboratory into an orbital track that will return it and its cargo safely to Earth.

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The uncrewed SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft just moments after undocking from the International Space Station

NASA will continue to provide live coverage until Crew Dragon is out of the immediate area of the station and will resume at 7:30 a.m. for the reentry, splashdown, and recovery.

In about five hours, the Crew Dragon will separate from its trunk whose exterior contains a solar array that provided power to Dragon and a radiator to reject heat.

Following separation, Crew Dragon’s thrusters will initiate the spacecraft’s deorbit burn at about 7:52 a.m. The 15-minute, 25-second burn will place the Crew Dragon on its final re-entry path into Earth’s atmosphere. The spacecraft is expected to splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean at about 8:45 a.m., its speed slowed by an enhanced parachute system in which drogue parachutes will deploy about four minutes before landing to unfurl four main chutes less than a minute later.

After Crew Dragon lands in the Atlantic Ocean, SpaceX’s recovery ship will recover it and return it to Port Canaveral, Florida to conclude its mission.

SpaceX’s inaugural mission with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is an important end-to-end to test of the new system’s capabilities.

MORE WAYS TO VIEW NASA AND ITS COMMERCIAL CREW PROGRAM

More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found in the press kit online and by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

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: Norah Moran 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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MIND AND HEART ON ISS

Astronauts (from left) David Saint-Jacques and Anne McClain wear a head-mounted display for the Time Perception study which hypothesizes that crews underestimate the duration of time in space.

Mind and heart studies are underway on the International Space Station, utilizing the latest technological advancements.

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Astronauts (from left) David Saint-Jacques and Anne McClain wear a head-mounted display for the Time Perception study which hypothesizes that crews underestimate the duration of time in space.

The Expedition 58 crew explored how living in space impacts perception and psychology today. The trio also studied satellite navigation and continued reviewing this weekend’s arrival of the first SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Astronauts Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques partnered up this morning inside Europe’s Columbus lab module for the Vection space perception experiment. The duo wore virtual reality goggles, earplugs and a neck brace to study microgravity’s effect on the vestibular system. They took turns performing a series of tasks documenting perception of motion, orientation, height and depth. Results may improve astronaut training and the design of future space habitats.

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A work in progress on the International Space Station. Mind and heart studies continue.

McClain then spent the rest of the day in the Japanese Kibo lab module operating a pair of tiny internal satellites for the SmoothNav study. The experiment is researching how autonomous satellites may benefit future public and private space exploration.

Saint-Jacques went in to the afternoon reviewing rendezvous and docking operations when the uncrewed SpaceX DM-1 spacecraft arrives Sunday at 6 a.m. EST. He wrapped up his workday helping psychologists understand the adverse effects of living in space on an astronaut’s cognition and behavior.

Commander Oleg Kononenko participated in a Russian cardiopulmonary study before installing communications gear in the Zvezda service module. In the afternoon, two-time station commander collected radiation readings and ensured the upkeep of Russian life support systems.

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. This is all about the mind and heart.

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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.

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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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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