Here is the latest episode in NASA’s Space to Ground weekly report on activities related to the International Space Station:
** NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 Flight Day 2 Highlights – NASA Video
NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev docked to the zenith port of the Harmony module of the International Space Station March 3 following a launch the day before on the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Following docking, the quartet opened the hatch and floated onboard the orbital outpost before providing welcoming remarks as their mission aboard the space station began. The four crew members will conduct a long-duration science mission living and working aboard the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions. Such research benefits people on Earth and lays the groundwork for future human exploration through the agency’s Artemis missions, which will send astronauts to the Moon to prepare for future expeditions to Mars.
** Expedition 68 NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 Talks with Media Before Station Departure – March 1, 2023 – NASA Video
Aboard the International Space Station NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, Josh Cassada, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina answered questions and gave remarks about their mission during a news conference March 1. The Crew-5 astronauts have been aboard the space station since October and will return to Earth via a parachute assisted splashdown this month. The four crew members have been living and working aboard the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions. Such research benefits people on Earth and lays the groundwork for future human exploration through the agency’s Artemis missions, which will send astronauts to the Moon to prepare for future expeditions to Mars.
** Expedition 68 Uncrewed Soyuz MS-23 International Space Station Docking – February 26, 2023 – NASA Video
An uncrewed Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft docked to the Poisk module of the International Space Station on Feb. 25 after launching atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Feb. 23. Soyuz MS-23 launched to replace the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio launched on last September that incurred a coolant loop leak in December.
** Aurora timelapse – European Space Agency, ESA on Youtube
Timelapse video made during ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s second mission to the International Space Station, “Minerva”. This timelapse was recorded looking aft (out from the rear) of the Space Station, showing the aurora shimmering away beyond the horizon.
** China recruits six more astronauts for ‘space missions in 2023’ – VideoFromSpace
China has recruited 6 astronauts for missions to the Tiangong space station in 2023. See Chinese astronauts conduct underwater training for spacewalks and more here.
** China Succeeds in Lighting Fire for First Time in Space – CCTV Video News Agency
China has successfully lit a fire for the first time in a combustion test on board its orbiting space station, marking a new milestone that lights the way for studying how fire behaves in microgravity.
The very first ball of flame was ignited on Feb. 16 aboard Mengtian, one of the two lab modules that make up the basic T-shaped structure of the space station along with the core module, with camera footage capturing the stunning and rarely-seen image in an environment where gravity loses its grip on materials of all forms.
** Shenzhou-15 Astronauts Complete Their Second Spacewalk – CCTV Video News Agency
The Shenzhou-15 astronaut trio on board the orbiting Chinese Tiangong space station have concluded their second spacewalk after completing half of their six-month journey in orbit, according to the China Manned Space Agency.
** China Space Station: Expansion Plan Discussed | Leonard David – Feb.25.2023
According to Zhou, CMS has outlined the future mode of station expansion.
“We could develop it to a six-module configuration with a total weight of about 180 tons,” he said. Furthermore, the chief designer said that the designed life of the station is ten years, but could be expanded to 15, 20 or even 30 years. “This is a big challenge, not just expansion, but technology upgrades as well,” Zhou said.
In the foreseeable future, Zhou said, “we will send the Chinese to step on the Moon. We will explore how human beings can use the resources on the Moon and how to live on the moon for a long period and get ready for manned deep space exploration,” he said.
** ISS Live video stream – IBM/ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment
Currently, live views from the ISS are streaming from an external camera mounted on the ISS module called Node 2. Node 2 is located on the forward part of the ISS. The camera is looking forward at an angle so that the International Docking Adapter 2 (IDA2) is visible. If the Node 2 camera is not available due to operational considerations for a longer period of time, a continuous loop of recorded HDEV imagery will be displayed. The loop will have “Previously Recorded” on the image to distinguish it from the live stream from the Node 2 camera. After HDEV stopped sending any data on July 18, 2019, it was declared, on August 22, 2019, to have reached its end of life. Thank You to all who shared in experiencing and using the HDEV views of Earth from the ISS to make HDEV so much more than a Technology Demonstration Payload!
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