mardi 18 août 2015

Expedition 44 Crew Readies for Arrival of Fifth Resupply Mission

ISS - Expedition 44 Mission patch.

August 18, 2015

The six-member Expedition 44 crew participated in a wide array of science today as Japan counts down to Wednesday morning’s launch of its fifth resupply mission. Meanwhile, three new Soyuz taxi crew members flew to the launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome to finalize their mission preparations.

The majority of the station crew members had their blood pressure and vision checked today for the long-running Ocular Health study. Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui had his legs scanned with an ultrasound for the SPRINT exercise study. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren explored fluid physics and surface tension for the Capillary Beverage experiment.

Image above: Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui soars through the Destiny lab module. Image Credit: NASA.

Back on Earth, veteran station cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and first time Soyuz Flight Engineers Andreas Mogensen and Aidyn Aimbetov are getting ready for their 10-day mission to the International Space Station. The trio will launch Sept. 2 inside the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Volkov will stay in space until next year. Mogensen and Aimbetov will return Sept. 11 with Gennady Padalka who has been in space since March.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is getting ready to roll out its H-IIB rocket this afternoon at the Tanegashima Space Center. JAXA is scheduled to launch the “Kounotori” HTV-5 cargo craft at 7:50 a.m. EDT (11:50 a.m. UTC) Wednesday for a five day trip to the space station. The HTV-5 will deliver more than 4.5 tons of research and supplies, including water, spare parts and experiment hardware.

Aurora's Colorful Veil Over Earth

Image above: NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) shared this photograph on social media Twitter, taken from the International Space Station on August 15, 2015. Kelly wrote, "#Aurora trailing a colorful veil over Earth this morning. Good morning from @space_station! #YearInSpace". Image Credit: NASA.

The dancing lights of the aurora provide spectacular views, but also capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the sun. Aurora are one effect of such energetic particles, which can speed out from the sun both in a steady stream called the solar wind and due to giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs. After a trip toward Earth that can last two to three days, the solar particles and magnetic fields cause the release of particles already trapped near Earth, which in turn trigger reactions in the upper atmosphere in which oxygen and nitrogen molecules release photons of light. The result: the Northern and Southern lights.

Related links:

Ocular Health study:

SPRINT exercise study:

Capillary Beverage experiment:

NASA Resources on Aurorae:

For more information on the International Space Station and its crews, visit:

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Sarah Loff.

Best regards,

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