ISS - Expedition 51 Mission patch.
May 31, 2017
Flying over the Earth aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Animation Credit: NASA
The Expedition 51 crew members are awaiting a new space shipment and getting ready for new science experiments. The crew is also preparing for the departure of a pair of International Space Station flight engineers.
The Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft to space is resting at its launch pad today at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Dragon will lift off Thursday at 5:55 p.m. EDT on a three-day trip to the station’s Harmony module.
Image above: he liftoff of the SpaceX Dragon atop its Falcon 9 rocket is pictured Feb. 19, 2017, from the Kennedy Space Center. Image Credit: NASA.
Inside the commercial space freighter is nearly 6,000 pounds of crew supplies, station hardware and science experiments. One of those experiments, Cardiac Stem Cells, will research how stem cells affect cardiac biology and tissue regeneration in space. The station’s Microgravity Science Glovebox is being readied for the study which may provide insight into accelerated aging due to living in microgravity.
Image above: ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy celebrate Pesquet's birthday aboard the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA.
On Friday, cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy will command the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft to return him and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet back to Earth after 196 days in space. The two crew members are packing their spacecraft with research samples, hardware and personal items for the near 3.5 hour ride home. The duo will undock from the Rassvet module at 6:47 a.m. EDT. They will then parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan at 10:10 a.m. (8:10 p.m. Kazakh time).
Friday, June 2. Coverage of their departure and return to Earth will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning Thursday, June 1, with the space station change of command ceremony: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv
Expedition 51: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition51/index.html
SpaceX Dragon: https://www.nasa.gov/spacex
Cardiac Stem Cells: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/2436.html
Microgravity Science Glovebox: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/350.html
Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/visiting-vehicle-launches-arrivals-and-departures
Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html
International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
Images (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia.
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