воскресенье, 21 июля 2019 г.

Soyuz Spaceship Docks, Station Crew Expanding to Six

ROSCOSMOS — Soyuz MS-13 Mission patch.

July 20, 2019

The Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos docked to the International Space Station at 6:48 p.m. EDT while both spacecraft were flying about 250 miles over southern Russian, northeast of the Black Sea.

Image above: July 20, 2019: International Space Station Configuration. Four spaceships are docked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter and Russia’s Progress 72 resupply ship and the Soyuz MS-12 and MS-13 crew ships. Image Credit: NASA.

Aboard the space station, NASA astronauts Nick Hague, Christina Koch and Expedition 60 Commander Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos will welcome the new crew members when the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened following standard pressurization and leak checks.

Soyuz MS 13 docking

The hatch opening targeted for 8:50 p.m. and welcome ceremony to follow live on NASA TV and the agency’s website beginning at 8 p.m.

Hatches Open, Expedition 60 Crew at Full Staff

NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos joined Expedition 60 Commander Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos and NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch aboard the International Space Station when the hatches between the Soyuz spacecraft and the orbiting laboratory officially opened at 9:04 p.m. EDT.

Soyuz MS-13 hatch opening

The arrival restores the station’s crew complement to six. The Expedition 60 crew will spend more than six months conducting about 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences, and technology development. Work on the unique microgravity laboratory advances scientific knowledge and demonstrates new technologies, making research breakthroughs that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration of the Moon and Mars.

One of those key technology developments will be the arrival and installation of the second docking port for commercial crew spacecraft – SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s Starliner. International Docking Adapter-3 (IDA-3) is set to launch to the station on SpaceX Dragon’s 18th commercial resupply services mission.

Image above: The expanded six-member Expedition 60 crew gathers in the Zvezda service module for a crew greeting ceremony with family, friends and mission officials on the ground. In the front row from left, are Flight Engineers Luca Parmitano, Alexander Skvortsov and Andrew Morgan. In the back are Flight Engineer Nick Hague, Commander Alexey Ovchinin and Flight ENgineer Christina Koch. Image Credit: NASA TV.

Some of the investigations they will conduct are sponsored by the U.S. National Laboratory on the space station, which Congress designated in 2005 to maximize its use for improving quality of life on Earth. Highlights of upcoming investigations the crew will facilitate on the orbiting laboratory in the unique microgravity environment include the growth of moss aboard the station, a platform to attempt successful printing of biological tissues and bio-mining in space.

Parmitano and Skvortsov are scheduled to remain aboard the station with Koch until February 2020, leaving Morgan on station for an extended stay. Hague and Ovchinin are set to return to Earth on Oct. 3.

Related links:

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

NASA Television: http://www.nasa.gov/live

Moon and Mars: https://www.nasa.gov/specials/moon2mars/

Commercial crew: http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

Commercial resupply services: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-updates-broadcast-of-next-space-station-resupply-launch-prelaunch-activities

U.S. National Laboratory: https://www.iss-casis.org/

Moss: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7892

Printing of biological: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=7599

Bio-mining: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7566

Extended stay: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-announces-first-flight-record-setting-mission

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), Video, Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia/NASA TV/SciNews.

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