четверг, 25 июля 2019 г.

Dragon Targets Launch Today as Science Ramps Up Aboard Busy Station

ISS — Expedition 60 Mission patch.

July 24, 2019

Forecasters predict a 30% chance of favorable weather today for the liftoff of a U.S. cargo craft at 6:24 p.m. EDT from Florida. Mission managers are getting ready to launch the SpaceX Dragon loaded with new science experiments and the International Docking Adapter-3.

Dragon is planned to arrive at the orbiting lab Friday at 10 a.m. NASA Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Christina Koch will be on duty in the cupola to command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture Dragon.

Meanwhile on the International Space Station, the expanded Expedition 60 crew stepped up their science activities with virtual reality filming, free-flying robotics tests and RNA sequencing.

Image above: Expedition 60 Flight Engineer Christina Koch of NASA monitors a mobility test of the free-flying Astrobee robotic assistant. Image Credit: NASA.

New crewmember Drew Morgan of NASA filmed himself today with a 360-degree camera inside the Harmony module. Morgan talked into the camera, as have previous station residents, describing his experience adapting to life in microgravity for the first time. Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency set up the camera this morning to record the virtual reality experience for audiences on Earth.

Morgan and Parmitano along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov are still getting up to speed with life on the orbiting laboratory. The crewmates have been in space less than a week and are familiarizing themselves with safety procedures and the station’s galley, crew quarters, medicine cabinet and toilet.

NASA Flight Engineer Christina Koch split her time today between robotics and RNA sequencing. She set up the Astrobee robotic helper in the morning testing and calibrating its free-flying motion. In the afternoon, Koch inserted RNA samples from a science freezer into the Biomolecule Sequencer to study how the space environment affects biology.

Image above: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket stands ready for lift off at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida for the company’s 18th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-18) mission to the International Space Station. Launch is scheduled for 6:24 p.m. EDT. Photo Credit: NASA.

Flight Engineer Nick Hague inspected the U.S. Destiny laboratory’s large viewing window today. He photographed and checked the window used for Earth observation studies for cracks, scratches and contamination.

Cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Alexander Skvortsov focused on configuring the recently arrived Soyuz MS-13 crew ship docked to the Zvezda service module. The veteran station residents also tested an automated rendezvous system ahead of the launch of a new Progress 73 cargo craft planned for July 31.

The High Definition Earth-Viewing (HDEV) experiment on the International Space Station has experienced a loss of data, and ground computers are no longer receiving communications from the payload. A team of engineers is reviewing the available health and status information from HDEV to identify what may have occurred.  Additional updates will be published as they become available.

Related links:

Expedition 60: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition60/index.html

SpaceX: https://www.nasa.gov/spacex

Canadarm2: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/mobile-servicing-system.html

Docking Adapter-3 (IDA-3): https://www.nasa.gov/feature/meet-the-international-docking-adapter

Harmony module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/harmony

Zvezda service module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/zvezda-service-module.html

360-degree camera: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7877

Biomolecule Sequencer: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1917

U.S. Destiny laboratory: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/us-destiny-laboratory

Soyuz MS-13 crew ship: https://go.nasa.gov/2Z1JHG9

European Space Agency (ESA): https://www.esa.int/ESA

Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html

International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia.

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