vendredi 23 décembre 2022

Celebrating the Holiday Season in Space 2022


How do Astronauts Celebrate Holidays in Space.

Dec 23, 2022

The Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year holidays are joyful events typically spent with family and friends. Astronauts and cosmonauts who find themselves in space during the holidays have found their own unique way to celebrate the occasions. In the early years of the space program, holidays spent in space occurred infrequently, most notably the flight of Apollo 8 around the Moon during Christmas 1968, making them more memorable. As missions became longer and more frequent, holidays in space became more common occasions. For the past 22 years, holidays spent aboard the International Space Station have become annual, if not entirely routine, events.

Above: The famous Earthrise photograph, taken by the Apollo 8 crew in lunar orbit. Below: Video of the Apollo 8 crew of Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, and William A. Anders reading from The Book of  Genesis.

The first crew to spend Christmas in space, Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, and William A. Anders, celebrated the holiday while circling the Moon in December 1968, the first humans to have left Earth orbit. They immortalized the event on Christmas Eve by taking turns reading the opening verses from the Bible’s Book of Genesis as they broadcast scenes of the Moon gliding by below. An estimated one billion people in 64 countries tuned in to their Christmas Eve broadcast. As they left lunar orbit, Lovell radioed back to Earth, where it was already Christmas Day, “Please be informed there is a Santa Claus!”

Above: Skylab 4 astronauts Gerald P. Carr, left, Edward G. Gibson, and William R. Pogue trim their homemade Christmas tree in December 1973. Below: Carr, Gibson, and Pogue hung their stockings aboard Skylab.

During their 84-day record-setting mission aboard the Skylab space station in 1973 and 1974, Skylab 4 astronauts Gerald P. Carr, William R. Pogue, and Edward G. Gibson celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s in space. They were the first crew to spend Thanksgiving and New Year’s in orbit. They built a homemade Christmas tree from leftover food containers, used colored decals as decorations, and topped it with a cardboard cutout in the shape of a comet. Carr and Pogue spent seven hours on a Christmas Day spacewalk to change out film canisters and observe the passing Comet Kohoutek. Once back inside the station, they enjoyed a Christmas dinner complete with fruitcake, talked to their families, and opened presents. They even had orbital visitors of sorts, as Soviet cosmonauts Pyotr I. Klimuk and Valentin V. Lebedev orbited the planet aboard Soyuz 13 between Dec. 18 and 26, marking the first time that astronauts and cosmonauts were in space at the same time. Different orbits precluded any direct contact between the two crews.

Aboard Salyut-6, Georgi M. Grechko, left, and Yuri V. Romanenko, toast to celebrate the new year in space, the first Russian cosmonauts to do so. Image credits: Courtesy of RKK Energia.

In the more secular Soviet era, the New Year’s holiday had more significance than the Jan. 7 observance of Russian Orthodox Christmas. The first cosmonauts to ring in a new year in orbit were Yuri V. Romanenko and Georgi M. Grechko, during their record-setting 96-day mission in 1977 and 1978, aboard the Salyut-6 space station. They toasted the new year during a TV broadcast with the ground. The exact nature of the beverage consumed for the occasion has not been passed down to posterity.

First Dreidel in Space

Above: STS-61 mission specialist Jeffrey A. Hoffman with a dreidel during Hanukkah in December 1993. Below: Video of Hoffman describing how he celebrated Hanukkah aboard space shuttle Endeavour.

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day celebration of the recapture of Jerusalem and rededication of the Second Temple in 164 B.C.E. It is celebrated in the month of Kislev in the Hebrew lunar calendar, which can fall between late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. NASA astronaut Jeffrey A. Hoffman celebrated the first Hanukkah in space during the STS-61 Hubble Space Telescope repair mission in 1993. Hanukkah that year began on the evening of Dec. 9, after Hoffman completed his third spacewalk of the mission. He celebrated with a traveling menorah, unlit of course, and by spinning a dreidel.

The STS-103 crew of Claude Nicollier of the European Space Agency (ESA), left front, Scott J. Kelly, John M. Grunsfeld; Steven L. Smith, left rear, C. Michael Foale, Curtis L. Brown, and Jean- François A. Clervoy of ESA, showing off their Santa hats on the flight deck of space shuttle Discovery in 1999.

The crew of another Hubble Space Telescope repair mission, STS-103, celebrated the first space shuttle Christmas in 1999 aboard Discovery. For Christmas dinner, Curtis L. Brown, Scott J. Kelly, Steven L. Smith, Jean-François A. Clervoy of the European Space Agency (ESA), John M. Grunsfeld, C. Michael Foale, and Claude Nicollier of ESA enjoyed duck foie gras on Mexican tortillas, cassoulet, and salted pork with lentils. Smith and Grunsfeld completed repairs on the telescope during a Christmas Eve spacewalk.

New Year Celebration on MIR Space Station

Above: Russian cosmonaut and Mir Expedition 17 flight engineer Elena V. Kondakova with a bottle of champagne to celebrate New Year’s Eve 1994. Below: Video of Kondakova demonstrating the behavior of champagne in weightlessness aboard Mir. Image credits: Courtesy of RKK Energia.

Between 1987 and 1998, 12 Mir expedition crews spent their holidays aboard the ever-expanding orbital outpost. Two of the crews included NASA astronauts, John E. Blaha and David A. Wolf, aboard the Russian space station as part of the Shuttle-Mir Program.


Above: Video of Mir Expedition 22 flight engineer and NASA astronaut John E. Blaha’s 1996 Christmas message from Mir. Below: Mir Expedition 24 flight engineer and NASA astronaut David A. Wolf with his menorah and dreidel to celebrate Hanukkah in 1997.

The last two New Year’s Eve messages from Mir. Above: Mir 24 crew of Pavel V. Vinogradov, left, NASA astronaut David A. Wolf, and Anatoli Y. Solovyev in 1997. Below: Mir 26 crew of Sergei V. Avdeyev, left, and Gennadi I. Padalka in 1998. It was the third time Avdeyev rang in the new year in space. Image credits: Courtesy of RKK Energia.

The arrival of Expedition 1 crew members William M. Shepherd of NASA and Yuri P. Gidzenko and Sergei K. Krikalev of Roscosmos aboard the International Space Station on Nov. 2, 2000, marked the beginning of a permanent human presence in space. They were the first to celebrate Christmas and ring in the new year aboard the fledgling orbiting laboratory and began a tradition of reading a goodwill message to people back on Earth. Shepherd honored a naval tradition of writing a poem as the first entry of the new year in the ship’s log.

ISS Expedition 1 Christmas message

Above: Video of Expedition 1 crew members Yuri P. Gidzenko of Roscosmos, left, NASA astronaut William M. Shepherd, and Sergei K. Krikalev of Roscosmos reading their Christmas message in December 2000 – this marked Krikalev’s third holiday season spent in orbit, the first two spent aboard Mir in 1988 and 1991. Below: The space station as it appeared in December 2000.

Expedition 1 commander and NASA astronaut William M. Shepherd’s poem, written for the New Year’s Day 2001 entry in the space station’s log, in keeping with naval tradition.

Christmas on the International Space Station

Expedition 61 Christmas Message

Videos above: Above: A brief video selection of how some expedition crews celebrated Christmas aboard the space station. Below: From 2019, the Christmas message from the Expedition 61 crew members.

Enjoy the following selection of photographs of international crews as they celebrated Hanukkah and Christmasand rang in the new year over the past 21 years aboard the space station.

Above: The Expedition 4 crew of Daniel W. Bursch of NASA, left, Yuri I. Onufriyenko of Roscosmos, and Carl E. Walz of NASA pose for their Christmas photo in 2001. Middle: NASA astronaut C. Michael Foale, left, and Aleksandr Y. Kaleri of Roscosmos of Expedition 8 celebrate Christmas in 2003. Below: The Expedition 10 crew of Salizhan S. Sharipov of Roscosmos, left, and NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao festooned for New Year’s Eve 2004.

Above: Valeri I. Tokarev of Roscosmos, left, and NASA astronaut William S. McArthur of Expedition 12 pose with Christmas stockings in 2005. Middle: The Expedition 14 crew of Mikhail V. Tyurin of Roscosmos, left, and NASA astronauts Michael E. Lopez-Alegria and Sunita L. Williams pose wearing Santa hats for Christmas 2006. Below: Posing with their Christmas stockings and presents are Expedition 16 crew members Yuri I. Malenchenko of Roscosmos, left, and NASA astronauts Peggy A. Whitson and Daniel M.Tani, in 2007.

Above: The Expedition 18 crew of E. Michael Fincke, left, and Sandra H. Magnus of NASA, and Yuri V. Lonchakov of Roscosmos enjoy their Christmas dinner in 2008. Middle: The five-member Expedition 22 crew of Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, left, Maksim V. Surayev and Oleg V. Kotov of Roscosmos, and Timothy J. Creamer and Jeffrey N. Williams of NASA around the Christmas dinner table in 2009. Below: The Expedition 26 crew of Oleg I. Skripochka of Roscosmos, left, Paolo A. Nespoli of the European Space Agency, Dmitri Y. Kondratyev of Roscosmos, Catherine G. “Cady” Coleman of NASA, Aleksandr Y. Kaleri of Roscosmos, and NASA’s Scott J. Kelly celebrate New Year’s Eve 2010. This marked Kaleri’s third holiday season spent in space.

Above: The Expedition 30 crew of NASA astronaut Donald R. Pettit, left, Anatoli A. Ivanishin and Oleg D. Kononenko of Roscosmos, André Kuipers of the European Space Agency, NASA’s Daniel C. Burbank, and Anton N. Shkaplerov of Roscosmos pose for their Christmas photo in 2011. Middle: Christmas 2012 photograph of Expedition 34 crew members of NASA astronaut Thomas H. Marshburn, left, Roman Y. Romanenko, Oleg V. Novitski, and Yevgeni I. Tarelkin of Roscosmos, Kevin A. Ford of NASA, and Chris A. Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency. Below: For Christmas in 2013, the Expedition 42 crew left milk and cookies for Santa and hung their stockings using the Joint Airlock as a makeshift chimney.

Above: Expedition 50 crew members Sergei N. Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, left, R. Shane Kimbrough of NASA, Andrei I. Borisenko and Oleg V. Novitski of Roscosmos, Peggy A. Whitson of NASA, and Thomas G. Pesquet of the European Space Agency celebrate New Year’s Eve in style in 2016. Middle: Expedition 54 crew member Mark T. Vande Hei of NASA strikes a pose as an Elf on the Shelf for Christmas 2017. Below: The Expedition 58 crew of David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, left, Anne C. McClain of NASA, and Oleg D. Kononenko of Roscosmos inspect their Christmas stockings for presents in 2018.

Three scenes from the 2019 holiday season aboard the space station. Above: Expedition 61 flight engineer Jessica U. Meir of NASA shows off her Hanukkah-themed socks in the Cupola. Middle: Expedition 61 crew members Andrew R. Morgan, left, and Christina H. Koch of NASA, Luca S. Parmitano of the European Space Agency, and Meir share their Christmas messages. Below: Expedition 61 crew members Koch, left, Morgan, Oleg I. Skripochka of Roscosmos, Meir, Aleksandr A. Skvortsov of Roscosmos, and Parmitano ring in the new year with harmonicas.

Three scenes from the 2020 holiday season aboard the space station. Above: Expedition 64 NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, left, Michael S. Hopkins, Kathleen H. Rubins, and Victor J. Glover and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) record Christmas greetings. Middle: Walker, left, Hopkins, Rubins, Glover, and Noguchi use an inflatable Earth globe as a substitute for the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball “drop” aboard the space station. Below: Expedition 64 crew members Sergei V. Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos, left, Hopkins, Walker, Sergei N. Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, Glover, Rubins, and Noguchi welcome in 2021 aboard the space station.

Above: During Expedition 66 in 2021, NASA astronauts Mark T. Vande Hei, left, Raja J. Chari, Kayla S. Barron, and Thomas H. Marshburn, and Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency in a still from a video in which they share their thoughts about the holiday season. Below: Barron showing off the presents she wrapped for her six crewmates.

"It is a privilege to have the perspective of seeing so many countries," said Expedition 66 Commander NASA astronaut Thomas H. Marshburn in a video sharing his thoughts about spending the New Year in space. "We can go from one side [of Earth] to another in just a few minutes and it truly gives us a feeling of unification for all human beings around the world." "We get to see the sunrise many times a day, so thinking about the fact that people are waking up to a New Year each time we see that sunrise is pretty cool," added NASA astronaut Raja J. Chari. In a social media post, ESA astronaut Matthias J. Maurer wrote about their New Year’s Eve dinner and included a time lapse video of the festive meal.

Expedition 68 crew members Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, left, and NASA astronauts Francisco C. “Frank” Rubio, Josh A. Cassada, and Nicole A. Mann record a holiday greeting from the space station.

Currently living and working aboard the space station, Expedition 68 crew members NASA astronauts Nicole A. Mann, Josh A. Cassada, and Francisco C. “Frank” Rubio, and JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata recorded a holiday message for everyone on the ground. They shared some of their personal traditions for the holidays and provided a glimpse of how they will spend the holidays aboard the space station.

Above: To celebrate New Year’s Day 2022, Shenzhou 13 astronauts Ye Guangfu, left, Zhai Zhigang, and Wang Yaping aboard the China Space Station Tiangong hold a live video call. Below: Wang, left, Zhai, and Ye celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Tiger aboard Tiangong.

On Jan. 1, 2022, for the first time Chinese astronauts celebrated a New Year in space. The Shenzhou 13 crew of Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping, and Ye Guangfu had arrived aboard the China Space Station Tiangong on Oct. 15, 2021, for a six-month mission. On New Year’s Day 2022, they hosted a live video call and interacted with college students at venues in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Macao. For the Feb. 1 start of the Chinese New Year of the Tiger, they decorated the space station and sent best wishes to people on the ground for a happy and prosperous new year.

We hope you enjoyed these stories, photographs, and videos from holiday celebrations in space. This year, a record-tying 10 people from four nations will celebrate the holidays and ring in the new year while serving aboard two space stations – the International Space Station and China’s Tiangong space station. We wish them all and everyone here on Earth the very best during the holiday season and hope that 2023 will indeed be a Happy New Year!

Related links:

International Space Station (ISS):

China National Space Administration (CNSA):

Images, Videos, Text, Credits: NASA/Kelli Mars/JSC/John Uri/CNSA.

Season's Greetings,

Crew Goes into Christmas Weekend After Spacewalk and Science Ops


ISS - Expedition 68 Mission patch.

Dec 23, 2022

The seven Expedition 68 crew members wrapped up the work week cleaning up after a spacewalk and performing a variety of research operations. The space residents will spend a quiet weekend observing the Christmas holiday orbiting Earth aboard the International Space Station.

Image above: The official portrait of the Expedition 68 crew with (from left) Frank Rubio, Dmitri Petelin, Koichi Wakata, Josh Cassada, Nicole Mann, Sergey Prokopyev, and Anna Kikina. Image Credit: NASA.

NASA Flight Engineers Frank Rubio and Josh Cassada worked throughout Friday cleaning up after conducting a seven-hour and eight minute spacewalk on Thursday. The duo started the day with standard post-spacewalk health checkups and measured each other’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate. Afterward, Rubio and Cassada stowed tools inside the Quest airlock and refilled water tanks inside their Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), also known as spacesuits.

The spacewalking pair successfully installed and deployed a roll-out solar array on the International Space Station’s Port-4 truss segment during the Dec. 22 spacewalk. During a previous spacewalk on Dec. 3, the two NASA astronauts spent seven hours and 28 minutes installing another roll-out solar array on the Starboard-4 truss segment on the opposite side of the station.

Christmas on the International Space Station

Science operations continued aboard the orbiting lab on Friday with NASA Flight Engineer Nicole Mann attaching sensors to herself and pedaling on an exercise bike. She was working out for the Cardiobreath investigation that observes how an astronaut’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems affect blood pressure in weightlessness. Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) worked all day in the Kibo laboratory module servicing a variety of research hardware and electronics components.

Roscosmos Commander Sergey Prokopyev worked on two different science experiments beginning Friday with cardiac research then spending the afternoon exploring ways to pilot futuristic spacecraft and robots. Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin began the day on a space physics study before researching ways international crews and mission controllers can improve communications. Flight Engineer Anna Kikina assisted Prokopyev in the morning with the heart study then wrapped up her day setting up Earth observation gear.

Related article:

NASA Spacewalkers Install Station’s Fourth Roll-Out Solar Array

Related links:

Expedition 68:

Quest airlock:

Port-4 truss segment:

Exercise bike:


Space Station Research and Technology:

International Space Station (ISS):

Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia/Video Credits: NASA Johnson.

Best regards & Happy Holidays,

Orbit Your Thesis - AIM for the stars


Artery in Microgravity (AIM) patch.

Dec 23, 2022

In brief

The Orbit Your Thesis! team Artery in Microgravity (AIM) from university students from ISAE (Toulouse, France) and Politecnico di Torino (Turin, Italy) recently had their experiment launch to the International Space Station and started their commissioning, but things aren’t going to plan.

Artery in Microgravity experiment in the ICE Cubes Facility


On Earth, gravity plays an important role in the behaviour of liquids. The constant attraction towards the Earth’s centre means that fluid flow and density is essentially governed by gravity. On the International Space Station which is in orbit around the Earth, the effect of gravity is almost removed, leading to an environment of microgravity. This peculiar milieu is what attracted the students of AIM team to question how blood flows in arteries in microgravity.

The master and PhD students were particularly interested in blood flow through diseased arteries. This is because with the advent of commercial space flight, whilst everyone could potentially be astronauts, not all spaceflight adventurers will be at the same levels of fitness as professional astronauts. With this in mind, the science team 3D-printed replicas of two stenotic arteries from a silicone-based material through which they pump blood mimicking fluid, made of water and glycerol giving the same viscosity as blood. To visualize the blood flow, the team can inject small amounts of dye, that reveals the blood flow as it passes through the see-through arteries. The team also decided to investigate how this blood flow would be affected after a surgical intervention of implanting a stent. A stent is a small mesh which can be inserted into the artery to expand the constricted stenosis. Thus, the main objective of the team is to investigatie the dynamics of blood through surgically repaired and stenotic arteries.  A secondary objective of the students is to gather information on the status of stent in the heightened radiation environment which could also affect its composition.

Image above: Artery in Microgravity experiment floating inside the Columbus Laboratory on the International Space Station moments before Josh Cassada commissions it.

The journey to making the experiment come to life has been arduous. Designing an experiment that contains a large amount of fluids for the International Space Station is not trivial as there are safety concerns should the experiment leak. Many tests and verifications had to be passed to get the flight readiness certificate. As a result, the team composition changed several times with students graduating, moving on to other projects and newer students picking up the project. The team soon found out that space project management and good practices are as important as the engineering and science aspects of the project. A truly educational experience.

The launch to the International Space Station was flawless and an emotional time for the students. A few days later, astronaut Josh Cassada installed the experiment in the ICE Cubes Facility for which the experiment was designed.

We have a problem…

The educational experience hasn’t finished just yet though, on the contrary! The experiment isn’t quite behaving the way the team expected.

Image above: A computer-aided design drawing of the experiment clearly showing pump1 where the suspected problem lies and various other components of the cube.

Soon after the experiment was plugged in and the first videos and images were sent back, it became apparent that the blood flow stopped after the first run.  The team immediately suspected an air bubble had lodged itself in the main pump (pump 1), therefore causing the pump to no longer push fluid around the arteries.

Bubble formation in liquids is nothing surprising. In your kitchen, leaving a glass of water stand will reveal miniscule bubbles form on the inside of the glass within a few minutes, and, over time these coalesce and get larger.  For this exact reason, the team de-gassed all their fluids before inserting them in the experiment with the aim of reducing the amount and speed at which these bubbles formed.

Image above: Inside the Artery in Microgravity experiment is an intricate network of fluidic tubes.

Not having a camera pointing towards the pump makes drawing conclusions on the reasons for blockage difficult, so the students are working furiously around the clock to replicate the problem on their ground model.  Using a lab-based, Earth-bound model of their experiment enables them to test their troubleshooting protocols prior to uploading them to the space station. One idea was to run the pump in reverse, which was never implemented on the ISS as this actually burned the pump motor completely in the lab tests.  So careful coordination between the students in their labs in France and Italy is necessary.  Any command sent to the cube must be acknowledged by all the students and ESA prior to being implemented, so as to reduce the risk of permanently damaging the experiment whilst optimizing the chance of success.  This coordination requires regular meetings amongst all partners, the students, ESA and Space Applications, which is proving to be an unparalleled educational experience for the students with having to act fast, accurately and professionally all the while harnessing lessons-learned that will surely shape their approach to space flight for the rest of their careers.

Image above: A view of the type of science the Artery in Microgravity team are obtaining from within the cube with a clear view of the stenotic and stented arteries.

Should the team successfully dislodge the blockage, running the main pump on a regular basis would likely trap the large and the newly formed smaller bubbles in the reservoir which contains the main bulk of the blood mimicking volume. This, however doesn’t guarantee that the issue wouldn’t happen again, so if successful in getting the pump working again, the team will run through their experiment protocols as fast as possible.

Meanwhile, the second objective of their experiment assessing the effect of elevated radiation exposure to the stent is generating the expected data and the team are retrieving this data as expected.

Related links:

Orbit Your Thesis:

Artery in Microgravity (AIM):

Politecnico di Torino (Turin, Italy):

ISAE (Toulouse, France):

Images, Text, Credits: European Space Agency (ESA).

Best regards,

jeudi 22 décembre 2022

Russia plans to send a Soyuz rescue ship to ISS


ROSCOSMOS - Russian Vehicles patch.

Dec 22, 2022

After last week's leak aboard the International Space Station, Russia was planning a rescue mission for the stranded crew members.

Image above: The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft brought in September the two Russian cosmonauts Sergei Prokopiev and Dmitry Peteline, as well as the American astronaut Frank Rubio. Image Credit: NASA.

Russia was evaluating the airworthiness of its spacecraft docked at the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, after an impressive leak that occurred last week, and was considering a rescue mission for stranded crew members.

The leak of coolant from the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft into space began on December 14. On images broadcast by NASA, we could clearly see a jet of particles escaping from the rear of the vehicle. The damage is being assessed, said Sergei Krikaliov, the director of manned flights at the Russian space agency Roscosmos, during a press briefing organized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Thursday.

Soyuz MS-22 coolant leak

If a thermal analysis -- which assesses the temperature inside the cabin -- concludes that the MS-22 spacecraft is unfit to accommodate a crew, the launch of another Soyuz capsule scheduled for mid-March from the Baikonur cosmodrome, the Russian launch base located in Kazakhstan, could be advanced and the Soyuz spacecraft would join the ISS without a crew, he said. “They plan to send the next Soyuz vehicle at the end of February,” added Joel Montalbano, NASA ISS manager, who was also on the call. If that happened, the damaged spacecraft would return to Earth without a crew.

7 people aboard the ISS

The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft brought in September the two Russian cosmonauts Sergei Prokopiev and Dmitry Peteline, as well as the American astronaut Frank Rubio. There are currently seven people aboard the ISS, but if the MS-22 spacecraft were deemed unfit, it would also mean the space station would have a single rescue vehicle, capable of carrying only four people (Crew Dragon), just in case. it should be evacuated.

Image above: Dec. 3, 2022: International Space Station Configuration. Six spaceships are parked at the space station including the Cygnus space freighter, the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft and Crew Dragon Endurance, and Russia’s Soyuz MS-22 crew ship and the Progress 81 and 82 resupply ships. Image Credit: NASA.

Russian Anna Kikina, Americans Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada and Japanese Koichi Wakata arrived aboard a Dragon capsule from the American company SpaceX in October. Further work is still needed to determine whether the problem was caused by small, naturally occurring meteorites, man-made debris in orbit, or hardware failure, he added.

The ISS is one of the few fields of cooperation still in progress between Moscow and Washington since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, launched on February 24, and the Western sanctions that followed. The International Space Station was launched in 1998 at a time of US-Russian cooperation, following the space race the two countries had engaged in during the Cold War.

Related articles:

Controllers Evaluating Soyuz After Successful Thruster Test

NASA Provides Update on International Space Station Operations

Spacewalk Cancelled, Mission Controllers Evaluate Leak on Soyuz

Related links:

Expedition 68:

International Space Station (ISS):

Images (mentioned), Video, Text, Credits: ROSCOSMOS/NASA/AFP/ Aerospace/Roland Berga/NASA TV/SciNews.