четверг, 19 декабря 2019 г.

Station Preps for New U.S. Crew Ship in Middle of Space Research













ISS - Expedition 61 Mission patch.

December 18, 2019

Boeing’s new CST-100 Starliner crew ship rolled out to its launch pad in Florida today. The Expedition 61 crew is preparing the International Space Station for Starliner’s arrival while continuing advanced space research.

The Starliner spacecraft sits atop an Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance counting down to a liftoff Friday at 6:36 a.m. EST. This will be Boeing’s first Orbital Flight Test of the uncrewed vehicle that will dock to the station Saturday at 8:27 a.m.


Image above: NASA astronauts (from left) Nicole Mann, Michael Fincke, Suni Williams, Josh Cassada, and Eric Boe pose for a picture with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft behind them. Image Credit: NASA.

NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch are getting ready for duty Saturday morning when they will monitor Starliner’s automated rendezvous and docking with the orbiting lab. The duo will then conduct leak checks, open the hatch and ingress the vehicle to begin a week of docked operations. Starliner is also delivering about 600 pounds of cargo to the crew and will return science samples to Earth after its departure on Dec. 28.

Meanwhile, microgravity science is always ongoing aboard the station to improve life for humans on Earth and in space. Today, NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan studied how weightlessness affects an optical material that can control the reflection and absorption of light. Results could improve solar power technology and electronic mobile displays.

The Canadarm2 robotic arm with the Dextre robotic hand

Image above: The Canadarm2 robotic arm with the Dextre robotic hand attached seemingly protrudes from the side of the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA.

Meir had her eyes scanned with an ultrasound device by ESA (European Space Agency) Commander Luca Parmitano for a look at her cornea, lens and optic nerve. She had a second eye exam using optical coherence tomography for a view of her retina.

The flight engineers in the Russian side of the space station checked on a pair of docked spaceships while working science and maintenance. Cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka charged electronics gear in the Soyuz MS-15 crew ship. He also worked on plumbing systems in the Progress 74 cargo craft. Cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov set up hardware for an Earth imaging study that explores the effects of natural and manmade catastrophes.

Related articles:

Boeing Flight Test for Commercial Crew Program Will Pave the Way for Future Science
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2019/12/boeing-flight-test-for-commercial-crew.html

Boeing and NASA Approach Milestone Orbital Flight Test
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2019/12/boeing-and-nasa-approach-milestone.html

Russian Space Freighter Docks Automatically to Station
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2019/12/russian-space-freighter-docks.html

Related links:

Expedition 61: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition61/index.html

CST-100 Starliner: https://www.boeing.com/space/starliner/

Soyuz MS-15: https://go.nasa.gov/2l8vit7

Earth imaging study: https://www.energia.ru/en/iss/researches/study/09.html

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.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

* This article was originally published here

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