Tech

May 14, 2014

Space station crew returns to Earth, lands safely in Kazakhstan

Tags:
/PRNewswire/

The Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 39 Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos, and Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2014  — Three crew members from the International Space Station returned to Earth May 13 after 188 days in space, during which they orbited Earth more than 3,000 times and traveled almost 79.8 million miles.

Expedition 39 Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA and Soyuz commander Mikhail Tyurin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) touched down southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan at 9:58 p.m., EDT.

During Expedition 39, the crew participated in a variety of research, including a human immune system activation and suppression study and a protein crystal growth research study looking for proteins responsible for Huntington’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. The crew also installed a new plant growth chamber designed to expand in-orbit food production capabilities.

One of several key research focus areas during Expedition 39 was human health management for long duration space travel, as NASA and Roscosmos prepare for two crew members to spend one year aboard the space station in 2015.

The Expedition 39 crew adjusts to the full force of Earth’s gravity shortly after landing in Kazakhstan aboard their Soyuz spacecraft.

During their time aboard the orbiting laboratory, the trio welcomed three cargo spacecraft. A Russian ISS Progress cargo vehicle docked to the station, bringing tons of supplies, and another Progress craft conducted tests on an upgraded automated rendezvous system. In January, Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the station as part of Orbital’s first commercial resupply mission. In April, SpaceX launched its Dragon spacecraft to the station for the SpaceX-3 cargo resupply mission. Both capsules were loaded with cargo and science experiments. This was Orbital’s first of at least eight cargo flights to the space station, and it was the third of at least 12 flights for SpaceX scheduled through 2016 under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.

Mastracchio, Tyurin and Wakata arrived at the station Nov. 7 bearing the torch used to light the Olympic flame at Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, which marked the start of the 2014 Winter Games in February.

During his time on the orbiting complex, Mastracchio ventured outside the confines of the space station for three contingency spacewalks. The first two were to remove and replace a faulty cooling pump, and the third to remove and replace a failed backup computer relay box.

The Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft backs away from the International Space Station shortly after undocking.

The space station is more than a scientific research platform. It also serves as a test bed to demonstrate new technology. With the arrival of SpaceX-3, the Expedition 39 crew unloaded new climbing legs for NASA’s Robonaut 2 (R2) humanoid robot. Designed to take over routine, dirty and potentially dangerous tasks from astronauts, R2 will take its first steps toward mobility after the legs are attached and tested in the coming months. Further upgrades and a battery backpack, necessary for the robot to operate completely untethered, will launch to the station later this year. Ground controllers using the station’s robotic arm also installed a new high-definition Earth-viewing camera system, referred to as HDEV, on the outside of the Columbus lab. HDEV is comprised of four commercially available HD cameras and streams online live video of Earth to online viewers around the world.

Having completed his fourth space station mission, Mastracchio now has spent 228 days in space. Wakata has spent 348 days in space on four flights and served as the first Japanese commander of the International Space Station. Tyurin has accumulated 532 days in space on three flights, making him 13th on the all-time endurance list.

Expedition 40 now is operating aboard the station, with Steve Swanson of NASA in command of the orbiting laboratory. Swanson and his crewmates, Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos, will tend to the station as a three-person crew until the arrival in two weeks of three new crewmates: Reid Wiseman of NASA, Maxim Suraev of Roscosmos and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency. Wiseman, Suraev and Gerst are scheduled to launch from Kazakhstan May 28.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India – French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year – In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

Boeing plans to lay off some Southern California workers Boeing has announced that it plans to lay off employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. The Los Angeles Times reports that the aerospace giant said Aug. 25 that it will lay off as many as several hundred employees at the El Segundo factory. Boeing says...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>