Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .

Russian Resupply Spacecraft Begins Expedited Flight to Station
by Staff Writers
Baikonur, Kazakhstan (SPX) Feb 07, 2014

The ISS Progress 54 cargo craft approaches the International Space Station's Pirs docking compartment. Image courtesy NASA TV.

The ISS Progress 54 resupply spacecraft, loaded with 2.8 tons of cargo, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:23 a.m. EST Wednesday (10:23 p.m. Baikonur time) to begin a 6-hour, 4-orbit trek to the International Space Station.

At the time of launch of Progress 54 atop its Soyuz rocket, the station was orbiting 262 statute miles over far western Kazakhstan near the border with Russia.

Once the Progress reached its preliminary orbit about nine minutes after launch, it was less than 1,750 miles behind the complex. A series of thruster firings by the Russian space freighter during the next several hours will adjust the orbit to put the Progress on track for its rendezvous with the station and an automated docking to the Earth-facing port of the Pirs docking compartment at 5:25 p.m.

Aboard the station, Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin will use the Telerobotically Operated Rendezvous Unit, or TORU, to monitor the approach and docking of Progress 54. The crew can use TORU to remotely guide the cargo craft to its docking port in the event that its Kurs automated rendezvous system experiences a problem.

The new Progress is loaded with 1,764 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water and 2,897 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware and other supplies for the Expedition 38 crew. The crew will open the hatch to Progress Thursday morning to begin unloading the cargo. Progress 54 is slated to spend about two months docked to the complex before departing to make way for ISS Progress 55.

The ISS Progress 52 cargo craft, which undocked from Pirs on Monday, is in the midst of several days of tests to study the thermal effects of space on its attitude control system before it is ultimately de-orbited Feb. 11 for a fiery demise over the Pacific.

While they await the arrival of Progress 54, the astronauts and cosmonauts of the Expedition 38 crew will focus on a variety of science and maintenance tasks.

Flight Engineer Mike Hopkins is spending much of his day participating in the BP Reg experiment. This is a Canadian medical study that seeks to understand the causes of fainting and dizziness seen in some astronauts when they return to Earth following a long-duration mission.

Results from this experiment will not only help researchers understand dizziness in astronauts, but it also will have direct benefits for people on Earth - particularly those predisposed to falls and resulting injuries, as seen in the elderly.

Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio began his day with the Microbiome study, which takes a look at the impact of space travel on the human immune system and an individual's microbiome -- the collective community of microorganisms that are normally present in and on the human body.

For this session, Mastracchio completed a survey and collected test samples from his own body. In addition to providing data that will keep future crews healthy, findings from this study could benefit people on Earth who work in extreme environments and further research in the detection of diseases, alterations in metabolic function and deficiencies in the immune system.

Later Mastracchio will exchange sample cartridges inside the Materials Science Laboratory's Solidification and Quench Furnace. This metallurgical research furnace provides three heater zones to ensure accurate temperature profiles and maintain a sample's required temperature variations throughout the solidification process. This type of research in space allows scientists to isolate chemical and thermal properties of materials from the effects of gravity.

Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata participated in another medical exam for the Ocular Health study. Vision changes have been observed in some astronauts returning from long-duration spaceflight, and researchers want to learn more about its root causes and develop countermeasures to minimize this risk. With assistance from the Ocular Health team on the ground and Mastracchio, Wakata measured his blood pressure and checked the pressure of his eyes with a tonometer.

The remainder of Wakata's day will be centered on configuring hardware and positioning a camera inside the Combustion Integrated Rack for another round of data collection. This research rack, which includes an optics bench, combustion chamber, fuel and oxidizer control and five different cameras, allows a variety of combustion experiments to be performed safely aboard the station.

On the Russian side of the complex, Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy conducted the Albedo experiment, which takes a look at using the solar radiation reflected from the Earth to provide power for the station. Ryazanskiy also is scheduled to perform routine maintenance on the life-support system in the Zvezda service module.


Related Links
Station at NASA
Station and More at Roscosmos
S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
Watch NASA TV via Space.TV
Space Station News at Space-Travel.Com

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Russian Cargo Craft Departure Clears Way for Next Delivery
Houston TX (SPX) Feb 05, 2014
The Expedition 38 crew said farewell to an unpiloted Russian cargo craft Monday morning while making preparations for the arrival of the next space freighter, which is set to make an expedited 6-hour journey to the International Space Station Wednesday. The ISS Progress 52 cargo ship undocked from the Pirs docking compartment 11:21 a.m. EST, and backed away to a safe distance from the orbi ... read more

Ariane 5's heavy-lift mission is an on the numbers launch success

Antrix to launch UK and Singapore satellite using India's Polar Satellite Launcher

Russian Telecoms Satellites Readied for March Launch

58th successful launch in a row of Ariane 5

Mars rover successfully negotiates risky move over sand dune

MAVEN on Track to Carry Out its Science Mission

NASA Mars Orbiter Examines Dramatic New Crater

Russia proposes water-hunting instrument for future Mars rover

Astrobotic Begins Testing at Masten Space Systems

NASA bets on private companies to exploit moon's resources

NASA Extends Moon Exploring Satellite Mission

NASA's LRO Snaps a Picture of NASA's LADEE Spacecraft

Countdown to Pluto

A Busy Year Begins for New Horizons

Kepler Finds a Very Wobbly Planet

One planet, two stars: new research shows how circumbinary planets form

First Weather Map of Brown Dwarf

NASA-Sponsored 'Disk Detective' Lets Public Search for New Planetary Nurseries

Teledyne unit wins $60 million contract to build NASA launch adapter

NASA Selects Space Launch System Adapter Hardware Manufacturer

Boeing to Mentor AMRO Through NASA Mentor-Protege Program

NASA Ramps Up Space Launch System Sound Suppression Testing

Moon plays trick on Jade Rabbit

Waiting for Yutu

'Goodnight, humans': Says Yutu As The Sun Sets

Extra Time for Tiangong

Russian scientists break ground in new asteriod discovery

The Anatomy of an Asteroid

Getting ready for asteroids

Riding a blue-green wake of xenon to Ceres

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement