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International Space Station / ISS News

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Europe’s Fifth and Final Resupply Ship Launches to Station
July 29, 2014


Europe's fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle
Europe's fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle launches on time from Kourou, French Guiana.


The European Space Agency’s (ESA) fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) launched Tuesday atop an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, at 7:47 p.m. EDT. The ATV-5 will take a two week trip to the International Space Station docking to the Zvezda service module on Aug. 12 at 9:43 a.m. with 7 tons of science, food, fuel and supplies.

The ATV-5 is named after the 20th century Belgian astronomer, Georges Lemaitre, who first proposed the expansion of the universe and applied Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity to cosmology.

En route to the station, the Georges Lemaitre will pass 3.9 miles beneath the space station Aug. 8 so European flight controllers can test new rendezvous sensors. Engineers may use the new sensors in the design and manufacture of future European spacecraft. After the “fly-under”, the ATV-5 will pass in front, above and behind the station for the final four days of its rendezvous with Zvezda.

The ATV-5 is scheduled to depart the station next January filled with trash and discarded gear. However, the spacecraft will reenter the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean at a very shallow trajectory allowing the crew and ground controllers to monitor the reentry.

The reentry technique is an exercise to gather data that may be used to monitor the International Space Station when it eventually deorbits. Cameras inside the ATV-5 from Europe, Japan and the United States, will record the breakup of the ATV-5.

Since the beginning of the year, seven resupply vehicles have visited the International Space Station replenishing its crews.

Expedition 40 Ramping Up for New Trio and Busy Summer 

The Expedition 40 trio aboard the International Space Station worked advanced science while awaiting a new set of crew members due next week. After the new crew arrives, the station will be set for a busy season of spacewalks and cargo craft departures and arrivals.

Commander Steve Swanson worked botany science Thursday morning investigating gravity resistance in plants. He was inside the Japanese Kibo laboratory using the Saibo Rack’s microscope to observe samples from the Resist Tubule plant experiment.

› Learn more about Resist Tubule 

May 14, 2014
Expedition 40 Crew Says Farewell to Crewmates, Gets Set for Dragon Departure
With their Expedition 39 crewmates safely back on Earth after more than six months in space
the three Expedition 40 crew members of the International Space Station enjoyed an off-duty
Wednesday before they begin final preparations for the departure of a commercial cargo ship. 
Crew Starts Week on Life Sciences, Preps for Reboost  

The six-member Expedition 39 crew has started the week on an array of science and post-spacewalk clean up procedures. Back in Houston, robotics controllers are maneuvering the Canadarm2 and the Dextre to prepare for external cargo transfers from the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft.

Commander Koichi Wakata and NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio collected saliva and urine samples for storage inside a science freezer. Wakata then worked the rest of the morning replacing gear inside the freezer known as the Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS, or MELFI. During the afternoon, the commander continued collecting and placing more biological samples inside the MELFI.

› Read more about the MELFI 

The Expedition 39 crew welcomed nearly two and a half tons of supplies and scientific payloads to the International Space Station with the arrival of the third SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo spacecraft Sunday.


› Read about science aboard SpaceX-3

With Dragon securely in the grasp of Canadarm2, the robotics officer at Mission Control remotely operated the arm to install the capsule to its port on the Earth-facing side of the Harmony module. Once Dragon was in place, Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio monitored the Common Berthing Mechanism operations for first and second stage capture of the cargo ship, assuring that the vehicle was securely attached to the station with a hard mate. Second stage capture was completed at 10:06 a.m. EDT as the station flew 260 miles above Brazil.

SPACE STATION SIGHTINGS: This week, the International Space Station
is making a series of bright passes over towns and cities in North America.
On April 5th in Albany, Missouri, Dan Bush witnessed an ISS-lunar conjunction.
Soon, the streak the ISS makes when it passes overhead will double.
On Monday, April 14th, SpaceX will launch a Dragon spacecraft to rendezvous with
the space station. Filled with almost 5,000 pounds of scientific experiments and supplies
the Dragon will dock with the ISS two days later on April 16th.
Full Story@  
(Highlights: Week of March 24, 2014) Aboard the International Space Station, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata installed the canisters that arrived on the Soyuz spacecraft into the Protein Crystallization Research Facility for the JAXA Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) study. The main scientific objective of the investigation is to make fine quality protein crystals in space, and it will show how effective the space station is for investigations of this type. This experiment contributes to society by helping to design new drugs to fight diseases, and new catalysts for the environmental and energy industries. 

The newly expanded Expedition 39 crew is resting Friday after launch and docking activities for the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft this week. The International Space Station’s newest arrivals spent two days in space on their trek to join their orbiting crewmates.

The new trio docked Thursday to the Poisk docking compartment at 7:53 p.m. EDT and opened the hatches less than two hours later to greet Commander Koichi Wakata and Flight Engineers Rick Mastracchio and Mikhail Tyurin.


Date: March 16
Mission: SpaceX-3
Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Description: SpaceX-3 will be the third commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).

(click text) NASA full launch schedule


NASA's Latest Smartphone Satellite Ready for Launch March 13, 2014

NASA's preparing to send its fifth in a series of smartphone-controlled small spacecraft into orbit. PhoneSat 2.5 will ride into space as part of the SpaceX-3 commercial cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX-3 is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 4:41 a.m. EDT Sunday, March 16. 

March 5, 2014


NASA Coverage Set for March 16 SpaceX Mission to Space Station

The next SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract is scheduled to launch Sunday, March 16, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The company's Falcon 9 rocket, carrying its Dragon cargo capsule, will lift off at 4:41 a.m. EDT. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 3:45 a.m. If for any reason the launch is postponed, the next launch opportunity is Monday, March 17 at 4:19 a.m., with NASA TV coverage beginning at 3:15 a.m.

The mission, designated SpaceX-3, is the third of 12 SpaceX flights contracted by NASA to resupply the space station. It will be the fourth trip by a Dragon capsule to the orbiting laboratory.

The capsule will be filled with almost 5,000 pounds of scientific experiments and supplies. The Dragon will remain attached to the space station's Harmony module for more than three weeks, and splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California on April 17 with more than 3,500 pounds of experiment samples and equipment returning from the station.

NASA will host a prelaunch news conference at 1 p.m., Saturday, March 15, at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, followed by a SpaceX science and technology cargo news conference at 2 p.m. Both briefings will be carried live on NASA TV and the agency's website.

If launch occurs March 16, NASA TV will provide live coverage Tuesday, March 18, of the arrival of the Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station. Grapple and berthing coverage will begin at 5:45 a.m., with grapple at 7 a.m. Berthing coverage begins at 9:30 a.m.

Media may request accreditation to attend the prelaunch news conferences and launch online at:

The deadline for U.S. media to apply for accreditation is March 10. The deadline has passed for international media to apply.

Media credentials will be valid for mission activities from launch through splashdown at Kennedy and at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

For more information about media accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598.

For an updated schedule of prelaunch briefings, events and NASA TV coverage items, visit:

For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit:

For video b-roll and other International Space Station media resources, visit:

For launch countdown coverage, NASA's launch blog and more information about the mission, visit:

For more information about the International Space Station, research in low-Earth orbit, NASA's commercial space programs and the future of American spaceflight, visit:


Rachel Kraft
Headquarters, Washington

George Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Josh Byerly
Johnson Space Center, Houston

Updated January 27, 2014 
Station Crew Wrapping Up Preps for Monday’s Spacewalk
Jan. 24, 2014


Commander Oleg Kotov
Commander Oleg Kotov looks at a computer monitor in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station.
Image Credit: 
The Expedition 38 astronauts wrapped up the workweek Friday aboard the International Space Station with biomedical research and robotics, while their Russian colleagues entered the homestretch of preparations for a spacewalk they will conduct Monday.


Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy donned their Russian Orlan spacesuits for a “dry run” dress rehearsal to test the suits in advance of Monday’s spacewalk to reinstall a pair of cameras as part of a commercial endeavor between a Canadian firm and the Russian Federal Space Agency. The cameras will be used to downlink Earth imagery to Internet-based subscribers.  The two cosmonauts also plan to retrieve an experiment package housed on the Zvezda service module's hull.

Monday’s excursion will be the 178th spacewalk in support of station assembly and maintenance, the sixth for Kotov and the third for Ryazanskiy.


The Caribbean country of Cuba appears at the top of this high oblique image, photographed by one of the Expedition 38 crew members aboard the International Space Station.
Image Credit: 
The cosmonauts will wrap up their preparations on Sunday as they take care of some final details and study the timeline. Live NASA Television coverage of the spacewalk begins at 8:30 a.m. EST Monday, with hatch opening scheduled for 9:10 a.m.


Check Satellite Tracking "ISS, HST, Iridium Flares Page  


These rare photos capture the Flight Deck (cockpit) of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, fully powered for one of the final times. Just a few weeks later, at 9:58am EDT on May 11, Endeavour was powered down for the final time in history. It was the last of the three space shuttles to have power. Below, other views show the mid-deck, gutted of its lockers and storage areas, and three final photos show the white room entrance in the Orbiter Processing Facility, signed by thousands over the years.

Endeavour Flight Deck

Discovery flight deck photos

Atlantis flight deck photos

Astronomy Picture of the Day!

Launch Photos

For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information,

For information about Atlantis' arrival at Kennedy Space Center
Visitor Complex, visit:

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 NASA TV Schedule Here:
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Paper Model Spacecraft: Build Your Own Space Exploration Fleet 

For NASA TV information and schedules, visit:

For more information about the International Space Station, visit:

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International Space Station Image Gallery:

Website updated/owned and maintained daily by K. Walker Contact: email

Above: ISS and STS132 Docked Transit the Sun

Image above: Cropped Image of ISS and STS132 Transit Sun. NASA's shuttle program is coming to an end later this year, and Atlantis is making her final scheduled visit to the ISS. For this reason, the STS-132 mission patch shows Atlantis heading into the sunset. There is, however, a possibility that Atlantis might fly again. If so, make that sunset a solar transit. See I told you it may fly again to deliver supplies to ISS, maybe during the flite of STS133! Would be cool to have two Shuttles in space at the same time. What a site that would be.


A stunning image of the silhouetted Space Shuttle Atlantis with the Sun as a backdrop was captured by Astrophotographer Thierry Legault of France. The image of the transit of Atlantis across the sun was taken from Vero Beach, Florida on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 with a solar-filtered Takahashi TOA-130 refractor and Canon EOD 5D Mark II camera.

Image above: ISS Crossing The Harvest Moon Of September 2012

Taken by Bill Reyna on September 30, 2012 @ Was at a baseball field at the north end of Crandon Lake, Sussex County, NJ

Camera Used: Unavailable Unavailable
Exposure Time: Unavailable
Aperture: Unavailable
ISO: Unavailable
Date Taken: 2012:10:01 08:51:30

Image above: In the first light of day, space shuttle Endeavour stands ready for processing at Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

ABOVE: Eastern Seaboard at Night

An Expedition 30 crew member aboard the International Space Station took this nighttime photograph of much of the Atlantic coast of the United States. Large metropolitan areas and other easily recognizable sites from the Virginia/Maryland/Washington, D.C. area are visible in the image that spans almost to Rhode Island. Boston is just out of frame at right. Long Island and the New York City area are visible in the lower right quadrant. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are near the center. Parts of two Russian vehicles parked at the orbital outpost are seen in left foreground.

This image was taken on Feb. 6, 2012.

Image Credit: NASA

Above: Mission Patch

TS134-S-001 (March 2010) --- The design of the STS-134 crew patch highlights research on the International Space Station (ISS) focusing on the fundamental physics of the universe.

The Day of the Robot is here!

Image above: Astrophotographer Thierry Legault traveled 1300 km from Paris to take the picture--the last double transit of the shuttle program. "The shuttle was poised to begin its flyaround of the ISS at the time of the transit," he says. Legault has taken pictures like this before, sometimes even better, but never quite so final. The shuttle will return to Earth permanently on Thursday, July 21st, at 5:57 am EDT. "Farewell, Atlantis!" says Legault. Look close you can see ISS and STS135 side-by-side. (go to



SPACESHIP IN THE SUN: The sunspot number briefly jumped yesterday when a winged silhouette crossed the solar disk over Hampshire, UK. James West was watching the sun with a solar-filtered telescope when the transit occured: "The International Space Station passed right by giant sunspot AR1476," says West. "The sky was partly cloudy but I caught the transit anyway." The sunspot-spaceship encounter was no surprise to West. It had been predicted beforehand by Readers who wish to take this kind of photo should check CalSky for transit predictions and read West's observing tips. A safe solar observing system might also come in handy: Space Weather Store. "see @" (image credit James West 2012) 

Above: International Space Station's transit in Front of our Moon. Morana, of Livermore, California, caught the space station’s transit of the Moon on Feb. 13, 2006 after receiving an update from Thomas Fly’s ISS Transit Alert Service.“I knew right away I had to attempt this transit,” Morana explained. “The ISS was going to be at a range of only 238 miles, closer than any other transit that I have attempted.”The higher the altitude of the Moon, the closed the ISS is during its transit, which means sharper, more detailed images, Morana told“This means the best lunar transit are in the winter time in the northern hemisphere,” he added.Morana used a Meade 10" F/10 LX200GPS telescope, No Focal Reducer, Watec 902H CCD Video Camera and a KIWI OSD Video Time-inserter connected to a Garmin-18 LVC GPS to photograph the transit, then assembled it into a time-lapse image (above) and brief movie.

Above: International Space Station's transit in Front of our Moon. Image taken 02/02/2009 @ 20:12pm Camera Model EOS 20D. (More information to follow)

Image Below Current ISS Crew: The Expedition 26 crew members, from left, are Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka, Alexander Kaleri, Dmitry Kondratyev, Paolo Nespoli, Catherine Coleman and Commander Scott Kelly. Photo credit: NASA

Above: International Space Station
S133-E-010447 (7 March 2011) --- The International Space Station is featured in this image photographed by an STS-133 crew member on space shuttle Discovery after the station and shuttle began their post-undocking relative separation. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 7 a.m. (EST) on March 7, 2011. Discovery spent eight days, 16 hours, and 46 minutes attached to the orbiting laboratory. Photo credit: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration   

SPACE STATION TRANSITS THE MOON: Two nights ago, 4/09/14... astrophotographers Pete Lawrence and Ian Sharp stood in Sharp's back garden in Ham UK waiting for a spaceship to pass in front of the Moon. See it @ or Spacestation News Page


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