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International Space Station news - 2015

Cygnus cosmic catch complete

Credit: NASA

With astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly at the helm, Canadarm2 captured Cygnus at 6:19 a.m. EST (3:19 a.m. PST) on . Two Canadian experiments arrived at the Space Station: MARROW and Vascular Echo.

Cosmic catch complete!

- Computer-generated animation of Cygnus's cosmic catch and the docking to the International Space Station (ISS) by Canadarm2 (at an accelerated rate). (Credit: CSA)

Lift off! Cygnus is on its way to the ISS. The resupply ship is scheduled to arrive on December 9 and will be captured by Canadarm2.

Live corevage of the cosmic catch begins at 4:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. PST) on NASA TV. Join us on Twitter for live commentary.

Two Canadian science projects to be launched to the International Space Station

Cygnus Captured by Canadarm2

Credit: NASA

The launch of Orbital Sciences Cygnus resupply craft to the International Space Station has been postponed to , at approximately 5:33 PM (EST). When it arrives at the Station on December 7, Cygnus will be captured by Canadarm2. Its cargo contains two Canadian experiments: MARROW and Vascular Echo:

Microgravity in space, like prolonged bed rest on Earth, has negative effects on the bone marrow and the blood cells it produces. The MARROW study aims to uncover the changes occurring in microgravity in order to minimize the impact for the astronauts. The new findings may help manage the consequences of decreased physical activity on Earth, particularly for the rehabilitation of bedridden patients, people with limited mobility and senior citizens.

Previous research Vascular has shown that some astronauts experience accelerated arterial stiffening while in space. Thus, in the Vascular Echo research project, their time on the Space Station is an opportunity to explore the underlying mechanisms in order to design interventions that will slow vascular aging of the astronauts and improve health and quality of life on Earth.

Live coverage of Cygnus's launch and Canadarm2's cosmic catch on NASA TV.

Dextre continues work on the Robotic Refueling Mission

Credit: NASA

This week on the International Space Station (ISS), Dextre tackles the next phase of the joint NASA-Canadian Space Agency technical experiment to demonstrate how a robot could refuel and repair satellites in space to extend their useful lifespan.

During the week, Dextre will use a series of custom-built NASA tools to work on a mock-satellite located on the exterior of the ISS. Dextre will go through a checklist of tasks required to replenish a satellite's reservoir of coolant (used to keep sensitive equipment on board at right operating temperature), including retrofitting valves and creating a pressure-tight seal.

Stay tuned this week for more updates! Read up on the Robotic Refueling Mission.

Another cosmic catch for Canadarm2: HTV5 now installed on the International Space Station

Cosmic Catch for Canadarm2

Credit: Canadian Space Agency

Working ahead of schedule, astronauts Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindgren used Canadarm2 to capture JAXA's HTV5 capsule this morning at 6:28 a.m. EDT (3:28 a.m. PDT). Robotic controllers on the ground then commanded Canadarm2 to reposition HTV5 for the astronauts to install it to the station, which took place at 10:02 a.m. HTV5 ferried 6 tonnes of science and supplies to the space station. Canadarm2 will undock the Japanese spacecraft at the end of September.

Launch of HTV5

HTV5 launch

Credit: JAXA

Congratulations to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on the successful launch of HTV5! The cargo ship is carrying 6 metric tons of supplies, food, drinking water and science to the International Space Station (ISS).

HTV5 will take 5 days to rendezvous with the ISS. On Monday, , astronauts Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindren will use Canadarm2 to catch the free-flying capsule and attach it to the station.

Where are the cameras on Canadarm2, Dextre and the mobile base?

Where are the cameras on Canadarm2, Dextre and the mobile base?

Credit: Canadian Space Agency

There are four cameras on Canadarm2, five on board Dextre (including one inside each of the robot's hands), and two on the mobile base. Flight controllers and astronauts rely on cameras to operate Canadarm2 and Dextre, including capturing and docking resupply spacecraft, moving astronauts during spacewalks, relocating and repairing hardware, and inspecting the International Space Station (ISS).

Some of the cameras have been in space since 2001, and have gone beyond their planned 10-year lifespan. MDA, the prime contractor for the Canadian robotics on board the ISS, will design new cameras for the CSA to replace the existing cameras as needed in the coming years.

Moving Day! Canadarm2 prepares the International Space Station for future space taxis

Find out more about this video entitled Moving Day! Canadarm2 prepares the International Space Station for future space taxis

This Canadian Space Agency (CSA) animation was created in our training simulator (where astronauts and flight controllers learn to operate Canadarm2) to give you an idea of how the real operations will unfold. Because space robots move very slowly for safety reasons, this clip condenses a full day of robotics action into a one-minute video. (Credit: CSA)

Here's how Canadarm2 moved the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on . Ground teams at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and NASA commanded the Canadian robotic arm to detach and relocate the module to make way for US commercial spacecraft that will begin ferrying astronauts to and from the space station in .

This move will help make place for the first of two International Docking Adapters, which will be sent to the space station in June on board SpaceX's Dragon to be installed by Canadarm2. Reconfiguring the space station will continue until the end of , and include several spacewalks to create primary and backup docking ports for the new vehicles.

The next batch of Tomatosphere seeds in space!

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly poses with 600,000 tomato seeds

Credit: NASA

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly poses with 600,000 tomato seeds for the Tomatosphere educational project. These space-faring seeds will be distributed to about 18,000 classes in Canada and the US during the - school year. The seeds were launched to the International Space Station on board SpaceX's Dragon on , and will return to Earth on .

Canadarm2 to capture SpaceX's Dragon

Canadarm2 capturing Drago

Credit: NASA

SpaceX's Dragon is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, , around 7 a.m. EDT. European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will perform a "cosmic catch" with Canadarm2 to grapple Dragon so that ground crews can dock it to the ISS. NASA TV will broadcast Dragon's arrival starting at 5 a.m. Follow the Canadian Space Agency's Twitter account for updates and live coverage of robotics.

SpaceX Dragon launch

SpaceX's Dragon is scheduled to launch today, , at 4:10 p.m. EDT. Given today's weather forecast, there is a 40% chance that the launch may be postponed. Live coverage begins at 3 p.m. today:

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