ESA Astronaut Takes Command Day Before Soyuz Crew Departure

ESA Astronaut Takes Command Day Before Soyuz Crew Departure

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti assumed command of the space station on Wednesday from Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev.
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti assumed command of the space station on Wednesday from Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev.

The International Space Station has a new commander as three Expedition 67 crewmates are less than a day away from returning to Earth. Most of the crew is sleep-shifting today to prepare for Thursday morning’s crew departure as the rest of the station’s astronauts focused on lab maintenance during Wednesday.

Three cosmonauts are set to board their Soyuz MS-21 crew ship and undock from the Prichal module at 3:34 a.m. EDT Thursday. Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev, flanked by Flight Engineers Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov, will then soar through Earth’s atmosphere and parachute inside the Soyuz vehicle to a landing in Kazakhstan at 6:57 a.m. (4:57 p.m. Kazakh time) ending a six-month mission that began on March 18. Live undocking coverage begins at 3:15 a.m. on NASA TV, the agency’s app and its website.

The homebound trio will be assisted overnight by the station’s newest cosmonauts, Flight Engineers Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, during the crew farewell and hatch closing activities. ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will also be on hand monitoring station systems as the Soyuz crew ship departs for Earth.

Cristoforetti, earlier Wednesday, accepted station command responsibilities from Artemyev as the rest of the station crew gathered for the traditional Change of Command ceremony. She will lead the station crew until her departure, planned for October, with fellow SpaceX Dragon Freedom crewmates Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, and Jessica Watkins. The Commercial Crew quartet docked the Freedom spacecraft to the space-facing port on the station’s Harmony module on April 27.

Meanwhile, as the cosmonauts turned their attention to Thursday’s Soyuz undocking, the four NASA astronauts aboard the station maintained their normal work schedules. Flight Engineers Frank Rubio and Kjell Lindgren partnered together on Wednesday for orbital plumbing duties. Flight Engineer Bob Hines rerouted cables inside the Tranquility module as Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins cleaned fans and sensors inside the Harmony module’s crew quarters. The four crewmates later prepared for October’s launch of the SpaceX Crew-5 mission and the return to Earth of Lindgren and his crewmates.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Mark Garcia

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Station Swaps Command on Wednesday Before Thursday’s Crew Departure

Station Swaps Command on Wednesday Before Thursday’s Crew Departure

New station Flight Engineer Frank Rubio (center) of NASA is greeted by fellow NASA astronauts Jessica Watkins and Bob Hines shortly after arriving at the orbital lab on Sept. 21, 2022.
New station Flight Engineer Frank Rubio (center) of NASA is greeted by fellow NASA astronauts Jessica Watkins and Bob Hines shortly after arriving at the orbital lab on Sept. 21, 2022.

The Expedition 67 crew is in the midst of a crew swap as three new flight engineers adapt to life in space and another crew prepares to go home this week. Meanwhile, with 10 people living aboard the International Space Station today there were plenty of opportunities to keep up ongoing microgravity research and lab maintenance.

New Flight Engineer Frank Rubio from NASA was back on space physics today installing hardware for the Intelligent Glass Optics study inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox. The investigation explores using artificial intelligence to adapt materials manufacturing, such as fiber optics, to the vacuum of space. His two cosmonaut partners, flight engineers Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin of Roscosmos, spent time unloading their Soyuz MS-22 crew ship and working on a variety of life support tasks. The duo also took turns studying ways to pilot spacecraft and robots on future planetary missions.

Station Commander Oleg Artemyev is turning his attention to this week’s return to Earth with Roscosmos Flight Engineers Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov. The trio will board their Soyuz MS-21 crew ship and undock from the Prichal module at 3:34 a.m. EDT on Thursday. They will descend into Earth’s atmosphere and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan less than three-and-a-half hours later completing a six-month space research mission.

Artemyev will hand over station leadership responsibilities to ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on Wednesday. The traditional Change of Command ceremony starts at 9:35 a.m. EDT live on NASA TV, the agency’s app and its website.

Cristoforetti will lead the new Expedition 68 crew until she and three of her SpaceX Crew Dragon Freedom crewmates depart the space station in October. She joined NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, and Jessica Watkins today and reviewed their Dragon descent procedures with flight controllers on Earth. The quartet have been aboard the station since their arrival inside Freedom on April 27.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Mark Garcia

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New Trio Getting to Work Before Next Crew Goes Home This Week

New Trio Getting to Work Before Next Crew Goes Home This Week

The Soyuz MS-21 crew ship that will return three Expedition 67 crew members to Earth this week is pictured docked to the Prichal module.
The Soyuz MS-21 crew ship that will return three Expedition 67 crew members to Earth this week is pictured docked to the Prichal module.

The orbiting lab’s three newest residents are beginning their science and maintenance tasks after several days of International Space Station orientation and familiarization activities. In the meantime, three Expedition 67 crew members are less than a week away from ending their mission and returning to Earth after living and working in space for six months.

NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio kicked off his first full week on the station with a physics study that uses artificial intelligence to adapt materials manufacturing to the vacuum of space. He began Monday morning setting up the Microgravity Science Glovebox and servicing components inside the research device. Rubio then spent the afternoon preparing complex glass samples inside the glovebox for future experiment runs. The Intelligent Glass Optics investigation may help advance Earth and space-based industries including communications, aerospace, medicine, and astronomy.

Rubio’s cosmonaut crewmates, Flight Engineers Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, who rode with him to the station last week began their week with a variety of research and maintenance activities. Prokopyev started his day on water transfer activities before helping pack a Soyuz crew ship for its return to Earth on Thursday. Petelin also worked on water transfers throughout the day and explored how spaceflight affects the human immune system.

The station’s population will go back to seven crew members on Thursday after three cosmonauts undock in their Soyuz MS-21 crew vehicle and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan. Station Commander Oleg Artemyev will board the Soyuz crew ship with Flight Engineers Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov and undock from the Prichal module at 3:34 a.m. EDT on Thursday. The trio will parachute to a landing in the steppe of Kazakhstan less than three-and-a-half hours later. NASA TV will broadcast the undocking and landing activities live on the agency’s app and website beginning at 3:15 a.m.

Artemyev will hand over station leadership responsibilities to ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti the day before he departs. The traditional Change of Command ceremony will be seen live on NASA TV starting at 9:35 a.m. on Wednesday.

The space station’s four other flight engineers stayed busy throughout Monday on a host of research activities including biology, botany, and combustion. NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins wore a specialized vest and headband beginning a two-day session to record her health functions for the Bio-Monitor study. NASA astronaut Bob Hines nourished and inspected plants growing for the XROOTS space agriculture study. Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren of NASA set up the Confocal space microscope to study how microgravity affects the nervous system. Finally, Cristoforetti rerouted cables for a combustion research device to ensure its igniter can move correctly.

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Mark Garcia

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New Crew Adjusts to Life on Station as Maintenance, Research Continue

New Crew Adjusts to Life on Station as Maintenance, Research Continue

The Soyuz MS-22 crew ship was photographed from the space station ascending into orbit with three crew members during a sunset 263 miles above Asia.
The Soyuz MS-22 crew ship was photographed from the space station ascending into orbit with three crew members during a sunset 263 miles above Asia.

Three International Space Station crew members are getting used to life on orbit as another set of crewmates gets ready to return to Earth after a six-month mission in space. In the meantime, orbital maintenance to ensure the station remains in tip-top shape and microgravity research to improve life for humans on and off the Earth are continuously ongoing.

The newest crew members aboard the orbiting lab, NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, are starting their station orientation and familiarization activities. The trio will be reviewing a host of station systems, lab hardware, and safety procedures over the next few days to adjust to living and working in weightlessness over 250 miles above the Earth.

They are replacing current Expedition 67 crew members Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev, and Sergey Korsakov, who have been aboard the station since March 18. The outgoing crew will complete their mission at the end of the month when they board the Soyuz MS-21 crew ship, undock from the Prichal module, reenter Earth’s atmosphere, and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan.

Artemyev, the station commander, will hand over leadership responsibilities to ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti before he departs. The traditional Change of Command ceremony will be seen live on NASA TV, the agency’s app, and its website beginning at 9:35 a.m. on Sept. 28.

Cristoforetti began the last day of the workweek checking food inventory and moving food packs from the Unity module to the Permanent Multipurpose Module. She later worked on U.S. spacesuit pressure relief valves before assisting Rubio with his space adaptation tasks. NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren also helped Rubio adjust to life on the station during the morning. Lindgren then checked spacewalk tool batteries, organized cargo in the Kibo laboratory module, and finally inspected the ventilation system inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module.

Human research and space physics wrapped up the science schedule for a pair of astronauts going into the weekend. NASA Flight Engineer Bob Hines strapped sensors to himself Friday morning and pedaled on an exercise cycle to monitor how microgravity affects his aerobic capacity. NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins continued her physics research peering at foam microstructures not possible in Earth’s gravity through the KERMIT microscope to improve space research and down-to-Earth commercial opportunities.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Mark Garcia

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New Trio Adapting to Station Life Before Next Crew Goes Home

New Trio Adapting to Station Life Before Next Crew Goes Home

The station's newest crew members, (from left) Frank Rubio of NASA and Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, both from Roscosmos, pose for a portrait during a training session in Kazakhstan.
The station’s newest crew members, (from left) Frank Rubio of NASA and Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, both from Roscosmos, pose for a portrait during a training session in Kazakhstan.

Ten people are now living aboard the International Space Station with the arrival of three new crewmates inside a Soyuz crew ship on Wednesday. The new crew members from NASA and Roscosmos will spend the next several days getting up to speed with living and working in space.

New flight engineers Frank Rubio from NASA and Dmitri Petelin from Roscosmos are beginning their first space mission with veteran cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, who is on his second space station mission. The trio blasted off at 9:54 a.m. EDT on Wednesday to the orbiting lab inside the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft from Kazakhstan. The threesome docked to the Rassvet module less than three-and-a-half hours later. They waited a couple of more hours after leak and pressure checks before opening the spacecraft hatch and entering the station to begin lab familiarization activities ahead of a six-month mission.

Late next week, three cosmonauts who have been residing on the space station since March 18, will end their mission and return to Earth. Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineers Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov will board the Soyuz MS-21 crew ship, undock from the Prichal module, reenter Earth’s atmosphere, and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan.

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will take over as station commander from Artemyev before he departs during the traditional Change of Command ceremony next week. The leadership change will be seen live on NASA TV, the agency’s app, and its website at 9:35 a.m. on Sept. 28.

Meanwhile, as the two Soyuz crews begin handover procedures, the station’s four astronauts who have been orbiting Earth since April 27 stayed focused on advanced microgravity research.

Cristoforetti joined Expedition 67 Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren from NASA who each wore a microphone attached to their shoulder to measure the space station’s acoustic environment and how it affects a crew member’s hearing. NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins was back on foam research looking through the KERMIT microscope observing microstructures not possible in Earth’s gravity to gain insights into future research and commercial opportunities. NASA astronaut Bob Hines serviced components on the Cell Biology Experiment Facility, a research incubator, before documenting his daily meals for a space nutrition study.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Get The Details…

Mark Garcia

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