NASA and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, have agreed to extend astronaut Peggy Whitson’s stay aboard the International Space Station by three months to enable uninterrupted research aboard the orbital laboratory during a period when Russia is temporarily reducing its crew complement, the U.S. space agency said Wednesday.
Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson, setting a new record as the world’s most experienced female spacewalker, floated outside the International Space Station Thursday and continued work to set up a second docking port for U.S. crew ferry ships. They also installed an upgraded computer relay box and protective shielding before calling it a day.
NASA is gearing up for an intense few weeks of work aboard the International Space Station, staging three spacewalks, moving a docking port from one module to another to support commercial crew ferry ships and capturing an Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship carrying nearly 4 tons of equipment and supplies.
Two spacewalking astronauts working outside the International Space Station Friday completed work to replace aging batteries in one of the lab’s eight main solar power circuits. A second spacewalk next week, along with additional work with the station’s robot arm, will upgrade a second power channel.
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, French-born European Space Agency flight engineer Thomas Pesquet and veteran NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson put on their Sokol spacesuits, boarded their Soyuz capsule and blasted into orbit Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Check out photos of their launch day activities.
By the light of a waning moon, a Russian rocket carrying a veteran cosmonaut, a French flight engineer making his first flight and America’s most experienced female astronaut blasted off and streaked smoothly into orbit Thursday, the first step in a two-day rendezvous with the International Space Station.
Three new residents completed the final leg of their pursuit of the International Space Station, with docking to the complex at 2158 GMT (4:58 p.m. EST) Saturday, two days after blastoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz capsule carrying the U.S.-Russian-French crew linked up with the research lab’s Rassvet module.