Tim Peake’s Mission to the ISS named ‘Principia’

I was one of the twenty people that proposed the mission name……

Earlier this week with only one day’s notice, Bryar and I were invited to a champagne (neither of drink unfortunately) reception in London. We attended the event at the Royal Society for the official mission naming ceremony.

I had entered the naming competition with ‘Principia’ as my suggestion. As it turned out 19 others had also done so. Some ten winners were able to attend, we met Tim and had a chat, posed with him for some photos. He promised we would all receive a signed mission insignia from the ISS upon his return.

We also managed to get close up to a display of some of the original notes and letters handwritten by Sir Isaac Newton to create the Principia. An original telescope, Newton’s death mask and some space flown apple tree wood. Photo to follow!

We were sworn to secrecy as the name was to be officially released at the Farnborough Air Show the following evening, however events that occurred in the skies above Ukraine quite rightly took precedence. Our thoughts are with the friends and families of all involved.

Onward and upward for Major Tim.

Astronaut Tim Peake Mission naming reception, Royal Society London. 15/07/14

Astronaut Tim Peake Mission naming reception, Royal Society London. 15/07/14

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Astronauts Prepare for Spacewalks

Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins checks out the spacesuit he will wear outside the International Space Station on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. He and fellow astronaut Rick Mastracchio will conduct a series of spacewalks to replace an ammonia pump that is part of the station’s coolant system. This will be Hopkins’ first spacewalk, while Mastracchio has had six previous ones on STS-118 and STS-131.
Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins checks out his spacesuit

Cubesats Released From Space Station

Cubesats released from the ISS

Cubesats released from the ISS

(19 Nov. 2013) — Three nanosatellites, known as Cubesats, are deployed from a Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (SSOD) attached to the Kibo laboratory’s robotic arm at 7:10 a.m. (EST) on Nov. 19, 2013. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata, Expedition 38 flight engineer, monitored the satellite deployment while operating the Japanese robotic arm from inside Kibo. The Cubesats were delivered to the International Space Station Aug. 9, aboard Japan’s fourth H-II Transfer Vehicle, Kounotori-4.

Image Credit: NASA

NASA, Space Station Partners Announce Future Crew Members

NASA and its international partners have appointed future crew members for the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake are scheduled to launch in December 2015 and return to Earth in spring 2016. They will join the Expedition 45 crew members in orbit and will remain aboard as part of Expedition 46 with yearlong expedition Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko.

This will be the second long-duration spaceflight for Kopra, a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. Kopra was a flight engineer aboard the station during Expedition 20 in 2009. This will be the first spaceflight for Peake, a former British Army helicopter pilot and graduate of the Royal Military Academy.

The Expedition 45 crew will be:

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, station commander —

Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, flight engineer —

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, flight engineer —

ESA astronaut Tim Peake, flight engineer

Andreas Mogensen set for Soyuz mission to Space Station in 2015

Andreas Mogensen

28 August 2013ESA’s Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen has been assigned to be launched on a Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in September 2015 for a mission to the International Space Station.

This 10-day mission will be Andreas’s first flight into space and the first ever space mission by a Danish astronaut.

The flight is directly connected to the new era in ISS operations: two experienced spacefarers from the USA and Russia will work on the Station for one year from May 2015. During his stay onboard the ISS, he will conduct a series of experiments preparing future missions and testing new technologies.

“I’m happy to announce this mission as this is already the fifth flight assignment for the class recruited in 2009,” said Thomas Reiter, ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations.

“With first of the new class, Luca Parmitano, currently working on the Space Station, and three other astronauts already training for their imminent missions, ESA’s new astronauts are very busy.

“Thanks to the decisions of the Member States at the Ministerial Council last November, we will be able to fulfil our commitment to fly all six newly selected astronauts before the end of 2017,” said Mr Reiter.

“This mission is the fulfilment of a life-long dream and the culmination of many years of hard work and training,” said Andreas Mogensen.

“I am excited to be able to participate in ESA’s outstanding programme of science and technology development on board the International Space Station and I am honoured to represent Denmark and Europe in space. The mission is a unique opportunity for Europe to develop and test the technologies necessary for the future of human space exploration.”

New technology and science mission

The launch of the mission will take place on 30 September, 2015 with the launch of Soyuz TMA-18 (44S) and it will end on 10 October, when Andreas will land with Soyuz TMA-16 (42S).

During his flight, Andreas will test novel ways of interaction between the ground and space crews with a mobile device that allows astronauts to operate it hands-free and with several multi-user communication techniques. The system will have also advanced 3D visualisation and augmented reality –features that will be fully exploited with added wearable computers and cameras to allow the general public to follow activities on the ISS ‘through the eyes of an ESA astronaut’ potentially in real time.

Andreas’s short mission is an excellent opportunity for several science studies, particularly in life science. By adding samples and measurements from a short-duration mission astronaut to material gathered and being collected during long-duration missions, the value of the biomedical statistics is increased. All the instrumentation needed for physiology, biology and material science experiments is already available in the Columbus laboratory and samples can be returned quickly back to Earth for further analysis.

A short-duration mission is also perfect for testing a new generation of health sensors, vital measurement devices and electro-muscle-mobility devices. These have direct benefit for future exploration missions and even sooner on Earth, for instance with operators of heavy machinery or with rehabilitation after sports injuries.

Andreas will be specially suited too: he will assess a new ‘skinsuit’ during normal daily activities. This is tight garment made from elastic material mimicking Earth gravity and thus passively mitigating deconditioning of an astronaut’s body during spaceflight.

Along with the Soyuz arrival, the ISS will host up to nine persons for a while – a record that has not been broken since retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011.

Between Luca’s ongoing mission and flight of Andreas in 2015, ESA astronauts Alexander Gerst and Samantha Cristoforetti, are scheduled for launch in 2014 for long-duration missions to the Station. After Andreas, the next European destined for space will be Tim Peake, who will start his long-duration mission on the ISS as a member of the Expedition 46/47 in December 2015.

High-flying engineer

This new technology packed mission will be a dream flight for an aerospace engineer like Andreas. Not only will the mission include many firsts and demonstrations, but also Andreas will fly as the flight engineer in the ‘left seat’ of Soyuz, making him second-in-command of their vehicle.

Andreas was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 2 November 1976, and he received a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Imperial College London, UK, in 1999, followed by a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, USA, in 2007.

He was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009 and completed the astronaut basic training programme in November 2010 with the five other astronauts of the 2009 class. Andreas is a qualified Eurocom at the Columbus Control Centre in Munich, where he has been communicating with the astronauts on the International Space Station.

In addition to his training and work activities, Andreas worked for ESA on the Lunar Lander programme at ESTEC, Noordwijk, the Netherlands, where he was involved in the design of the guidance, navigation and control system for a precision lunar landing.

From his homebase at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, Andreas will start his mission training with the partners of the International Space Station. This will take him to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, and Star City, near Moscow, Russia, as well as Japan and Canada.

Andreas blogs about space exploration and his astronaut training activities in Danish at videnskab.dk/profil/andreas-mogensen.

Luca Skywalker

this_sure_beats_any_selfie_I_ve_done_up_to_now_fullwidth changing_the_socket_on_my_PGT_after_recovering_the_CPLA_fullwidth my_wrist_mirror_refects_my_visor_which_reflects_the_Earth_fullwidth on_the_Canadarm_on_the_way_to_the_port_side_fullwidth photo_op_before_reentry_fullwidth ready_to_install_the_Starboard_RGB_fullwidthLuca Parmitano Spacewalker

These images were captured during the spacewalk of ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, together with NASA’s Chris Cassidy, 9 July 2013. The spacewalk, the first for Luca and the fifth for Chris, lasted 6 hours 7 minutes.

This was the first of two Expedition 36 excursions to prepare the International Space Station for a new Russian module and perform additional installations on the station’s backbone. The second spacewalk is scheduled for 16 July; Luca, working again with Chris Cassidy, will egress the Quest airlock at around 12:15 GMT (14:15 CEST).

NASA, Space Station Partners Announce Future Crew Members

HOUSTON — NASA and its international partners have appointed three International Space Station crew members to round out future expeditions to the orbiting laboratory.

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Japanese Exploration Aerospace Agency (JAXA) astronaut Kimiya Yui and Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko are scheduled to launch in June 2015. They will join three Expedition 44 crew members in orbit and will remain aboard as part of Expedition 45.

The Expedition 45 crew will be:

Lindgren, a board-certified emergency and aerospace medicine physician, joined the astronaut corps in 2009 and worked as a NASA flight surgeon before his selection. He was born in Taiwan and spent some time in the Midwestern United States, but spent most of his youth in England. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in cardiovascular physiology and a doctorate in medicine. At the U.S. Air Force Academy, he was an instructor, jumpmaster and member of the “Wings of Blue” parachute team. He also conducted cardiovascular countermeasure research at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

Yui was born in Nagano, Japan. He received degrees from the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, National Defense Academy of Japan, in March 1992. He served in the Japan Air Self Defense Force until his selection as an astronaut candidate by JAXA in February 2009. He has participated in two years of astronaut candidate training at NASA, which included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction on the space station’s systems, spacewalking, robotics, physiological training, flight training using a T-38 jet trainer and water and wilderness survival training. Yui also participated in the 16th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations off the coast of Key Largo in Florida in June 2012.

Oleg Kononenko was selected to join the cosmonaut corps in 1996, and he completed his initial training in 1998. His first spaceflight was as a flight engineer for Expedition 17 in 2008. Kononenko launched to the International Space Station for his second mission in December 2011 and returned to Earth in July 2012. He spent a total of 193 days in space, 191 of which were aboard the station as a part of Expeditions 30 and 31. During Expedition 31, Kononenko served as both the station commander and Soyuz commander. During the course of his two missions, Kononenko has spent 393 days in space.

Luca’s extraordinary afternoon walk set for Tuesday

8 July 2013

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, living and working on the International Space Station, will venture out into space on Tuesday afternoon. This will be the first European spacewalk since 2009 and the first ever by an Italian astronaut.

The spacewalk will begin at 12:15 GMT (14:15 CEST) when his partner Chris Cassidy opens the Quest airlock hatch and ventures out into the void. Luca will follow a few minutes later.

“This is one of the prime objectives of [the mission] and it’s really an honour to be able to do this,” Luca told ESA mission controllers last Thursday while preparing for the adventure. “Siamo pronti ragazzi!” – “Guys, we’re ready!”

Spacewalk tasks

Before the sortie begins, Luca and Chris will spend several hours preparing their spacesuits and the emergency systems that would enable them to return to the Station in the event of a problem. Once everything is checked, the pair can begin their six-hour excursion.

Their tasks include laying cable routings for the future Russian Nauka laboratory module, installing and replacing communication and heat management systems, and retrieving a camera and experiments for return to Earth.

Part of his work will involve Luca standing on a work platform on the Station’s robotic arm under the control of NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg inside the Cupola observation module.

Their long day will finish around 18:00 GMT (20:00 CEST) when they return inside NASA’s Quest airlock. Their exertions will be followed by a quiet day to allow them to recover and begin preparing for their second spacewalk in mid-July.

Unique moment

Chris Cassidy is already a veteran of three Station spacewalks, spending more than 18 hours outside to outfit Japan’s Kibo laboratory module.

For rookie Luca, the spacewalk will surely be one of his most memorable moments. “I am more than excited to perform a spacewalk,” Luca says with a broad smile.

He has been coached by experts at ESA’s astronaut centre and NASA, as well as by ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang, whose five sorties are the European record.

Christer recalled that, “After all the training and simulations, the first real view we had out of the open airlock hatch was simply stunning. I had to stop for a while to admire the Earth and black space.”

Luca has promised to share his experiences with us as soon as possible after his walk on Twitter: just follow @astro_luca and fly with him on Volare!

Brilliant ISS Pass from Walsall Area Tonight

Brilliant bright ISS pass over our house tonight at 18.14 hours (6 minute duration) . Watched it cross and from this position it passed in front of the Moon and Jupiter.

Just been outside for the 19.50 pass and the sky was almost completey covered in cloud.

Currently onboard the ISS:

Expedition 33

Oleg Novitsky

Yevgeni Tarelkin

Kevin Ford and

Expedition 34

Roman Romanenko

Chis Hadfield

Thomas Marshburn

Space Station Cargo Ship Flights to Be Broadcast on NASA TV

WASHINGTON — NASA Television will provide live coverage of the departure of one Russian cargo spacecraft at the International Space Station and the launch and arrival of another.
The ISS Progress 48 resupply ship, which arrived at the station last August, will depart the Pirs docking compartment, part of the Russian segment, on Saturday, Feb. 9. The Progress will leave orbit three hours later and burn up above the Pacific Ocean. NASA TV coverage of the undocking will begin at 8 a.m. EST. The undocking is scheduled for 8:15 a.m.
That move will clear Pirs for the arrival of the new ISS Progress 50 resupply spacecraft. It is scheduled to launch at 9:41 a.m. (8:41 p.m. Kazakhstan time) Monday, Feb. 11, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA TV coverage of the launch begins at 9:30 a.m. The Progress is loaded with almost 3 tons of food, fuel, supplies and experiment hardware for the six crew members aboard the orbital laboratory.

NASA Image of ISS Progress Vehicle Docked
Like its two predecessors, Progress 50 is scheduled to launch into an accelerated, four-orbit rendezvous with the station, docking only six hours after launch. NASA TV coverage will resume at 3 p.m. for the rendezvous and docking activities, with docking scheduled for 3:40 p.m.
If any technical issues arise, the Russian flight control team can default to a standard two-day rendezvous plan for the Progress that would result in docking on Feb. 13.
For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv