Category Archives: ISS

Delivering A New Crew!

After a two day journey Soyuz commander and Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, JAXA Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai and NASA astronaut Scott D. Tingle arrive at the International Space Station. Well done.

VITA Mission Wrap-up

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli from Italy will shortly be returning to Earth after a long-duration stay on board the International Space Station participating in the mission known as VITA ( or ‘life’ in Italian).

Paolo is set to return to Earth on 14 December 2017 together with his crewmates, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik and Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky. The landing with the Soyuz spacecraft is scheduled to take place as 08:38 GMT (09:38 CET).

Space Debris Sensor

Next week there will be a couple of launches. One in particular will be on 04 December when Space X will be sending a cargo-spaceship to the International Space Station (ISS).

Among the more interesting items on the manifest is the Space Debris Sensor or SDS which will be installed on the outside of the ISS. The sensor has a one square meter area and will directly measure orbital debris impacts. Very interesting and super important. The image above is an impact on one of the window’s within the space station’s Cupola.

Have a look at this and other items/studies that are pretty amazing;  although I am not too sure about the Self-assembling and Self-replicating materials experiment — mostly because of one of my favorite authors:  Michael Crichton.

Image: NASA / ISS

Progress MS-07 Launch Scrubbed

If you were looking for the Progress Cargo ship launch it has been scrubbed until at least Saturday.

There was a fault of some type in the last minute of the countdown. We do not know what caused the fault as yet.

Next attempt 14 October. Launch window opens at around 07:42 UT / 03:42 ET – I will find out for sure and update.

Space Walk Coverage – REPLAY

Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei spacewalk outside International Space Station. During today’s spacewalk with a goal of replacing one of two Latching End Effectors (LEE) on the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2.


The EVA is scheduled to begin at 12:00 UTC / 08:00 ET. I will take the live feed down after the EVA and possibly replace it with a condensed replay – if all goes as I expect on this end that is.

ISS over Hurricanes

The International Space Station passes over Hurricanes Jose and Irma in the Atlantic.  Irma of course is the huge storm about to hit Florida.

UPDATE:  The hurricane is going up the west side of the state so KSC will be impacted but nothing like the gulf coast.  Be safe everybody and good luck.

The projected path of Irma has put the center of the storm towards the western part of Florida and away from a direct hit on the Cape Canaveral area. That does not mean they are out of danger, far from it.

From a Hurricane Local Statement issued by the US National Weather Service for Cape Canveral:

Irma is a large hurricane and will produce far-reaching effects
regardless of where the exact center of the storm moves. Winds of
strong tropical storm to Category 1 hurricane force are expected to
produce widespread damage well east of Irma`s track, across east
central Florida. Flooding rain is also of considerable concern. Heavy
rain, especially in squalls, will increase in coverage and frequency
across east central Florida especially on Sunday and into early Monday.
Although Irma will be moving steadily forward, it will produce 8 to 12
inches of rain with locally higher amounts of 15 to 20 inches.

A Flood Watch has been issued for all of east central Florida.

Efforts to protect life and property should be rushed to completion!
From around Lake Okeechobee to the Treasure coast counties, every
effort should be taken to bring hurricane preparations to completion
by this afternoon, before weather conditions deteriorate. Areas
farther north from greater Kissimmee-Saint Cloud, Orlando, Sanford, and
Lake County eastward to the Space Coast and the greater Daytona Beach
area should have preparations completed by sunset on Saturday evening.

Wind driven water inundation will be possible in areas adjacent to
larger inland lakes, such as Lakes Okeechobee, Kissimmee, and Lake
George, as well as the Intracoastal Waterway.

Ahead of Irma, surf conditions will become hazardous as large swells
bring high surf and increasingly strong rip currents. Beach erosion
will ensue, and become progressively worse throughout the weekend and
into Monday.

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey seen from the International Space Station.

I’ve been watching coverage and the storm is onshore. It is still along the Texas coast (while I am posting this) so we down have a good look at things on the ground. I am hearing over 200,000 without power so far and this is still in the early stages. Some forecasts, most actually, have rainfall amounts to be over 75 cm / 30 inches!

Stay safe Texas.

I’ll try to post an update later.

Cosmic Ray Detector Heading to ISS

The mystery of cosmic rays will be explored in a new detector to be launched to the International Space Station.

The detector is called CREAM short for the Cosmic Ray Energetics And Mass mission. The CREAM detectors have flown before on balloons as far back as 2004 and 2016 at altitudes of around 35 km (120,000 feet) so the technology is not new. This time around being at the ISS, the detector will be able to measure the highest energy cosmic rays so far.

Cosmic rays are constantly raining down on Earth mostly from outside our solar system. Most any astrophotographer has seen evidence of cosmic rays at white pixel anomalies in their photographs.

The launch date: 14 August 2017
More information on CREAM and cosmic rays.

200 Spacewalks at the ISS

This is video of the 200th spacewalk in support of the International Space Station since 1998!

This was the ninth space walk for Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and the first for Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA. Whitson now has the third most hours on spacewalks, congratulations Peggy.

The pair replaced an avionics box responsible for routing power and data commands to experiments on the orbital outpost. In addition to that work, the two spacewalkers installed a data cable for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and a new high definition camera on the station’s truss.