Members Can Post Anonymously On This Site
NASA’s Artemis II crew members are assisted by U.S. Navy personnel as they exit a mockup of the Orion spacecraft onto an inflatable “front porch” while NASA’s Exploration Ground System’s Landing and Recovery team and partners from the Department of Defense aboard the USS San Diego practice recovery procedures using the Crew Module Test Article, during Underway Recovery Test 11 (URT-11) off the coast of San Diego, California on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. NASA/Jamie Peer When Artemis II NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Koch, and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen return to Earth after a nearly 10-day mission around the Moon, a joint NASA and Department of Defense team led by NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Program will be ready to retrieve them from the Orion spacecraft and ferry them onto a naval ship in the Pacific Ocean.
As Orion enters Earth’s atmosphere, the capsule will keep the crew safe as it slows from nearly 25,000 mph to about 300 mph, when its system of 11 parachutes will deploy in a precise sequence to help slow the capsule and crew to a relatively gentle 20 mph for splashdown about 60 miles off the coast of California, weather permitting.
Prior to splashdown, a team from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, called Sasquatch, will map where elements jettisoned from Orion such as the forward bay cover, drogue parachutes, and mortars, will land in the Ocean so the boats and helicopters supporting recovery stay clear of those areas.
NASA Artemis II crew members are assisted by U.S. Navy personnel as they exit a mockup of the Orion spacecraft in the Pacific Ocean during Underway Recovery Test 11 (URT-11) on Feb. 25, 2024, while his crewmates look on. URT-11 is the eleventh in a series of Artemis recovery tests, and the first time NASA and its partners put their Artemis II recovery procedures to the test with the astronauts.NASA/Kenny Allen Once it is safe to approach the capsule, helicopters, and a team of Navy divers in small boats, along with NASA’s open water lead, will begin making their way to the capsule. The Navy divers then will assess the environment surrounding the capsule to make sure there are no hazards present.
Teams will stabilize Orion before the crew exits the capsule in the open water by installing an inflatable collar. To safely retrieve the astronauts, the divers also will install an inflatable raft, called the front porch, under Orion’s side hatch to aid in astronaut retrieval from the capsule.
“Our highly choreographed recovery operations will help ensure the final phase of NASA’s first crewed mission to the Moon in more than 50 years ends as a success,” said Lili Villareal, NASA’s landing and recovery director.
When all four crew members are out of the capsule, the front porch is repositioned about 100 yards from Orion to allow the astronauts to be individually lifted into a helicopter and returned to the ship. Two helicopters will be deployed to retrieve the crew. The helicopters will each retrieve two crewmembers and deliver them to the deck of the naval ship.
Once on the ship, the astronauts will be transported to a medical bay for a post-mission evaluation before flying on a helicopter from the ship back to shore and then to Johnson. Teams expect to recover the crew and deliver them to the medical bay within two hours of splashdown. If the crew returns to Earth at night, teams expect the recovery activities to take a bit longer but still must meet a requirement to have the crew in the medical bay within two hours.
With the crew safely out of the capsule, teams will work on towing Orion into the well deck of the ship, using procedures similar to those used during Artemis I. Navy divers will secure a system of lines to the capsule via several connection points on a collar to help tow Orion inside the ship.
NASA’s Artemis II crew members (front to back) NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Koch, and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen descend the well deck of the USS San Diego as NASA’s Exploration Ground System’s Landing and Recovery team and partners from the Department of Defense aboard the ship practice recovery procedures using the Crew Module Test Article, during Underway Recovery Test 11 (URT-11) off the coast of San Diego, California on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. When Orion is close to the vessel, an additional line attached to a pneumatic winch will be affixed to the capsule by the divers. These ropes all work together to ensure the capsule is stable as it is slowly pulled inside the ship. A team of sailors and NASA recovery personnel inside the ship will begin manually pulling some of the lines to help align Orion with the stand it will be placed on once back on the ship.
As the sailors are pulling on the lines, NASA technicians will operate a main winch line attached to the capsule to help bring Orion inside making for a safe and precise recovery. After Orion is on a stand, the well deck will be drained of water and the ship will begin making its way back to Naval Base San Diego. Under NASA’s Artemis campaign, the agency will establish the foundation for long-term scientific exploration at the Moon, land the first woman, first person of color, and its first international partner astronaut on the lunar surface, and prepare for human expeditions to Mars for the benefit of all.
View the full article
5 min read
Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
After months aboard the International Space Station, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 is returning to Earth. NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov each completed their first spaceflight. JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen each completed their second spaceflight.
During their time on the station, Crew-7 conducted science experiments and technology demonstrations to benefit people on Earth and prepare humans for future space missions. Here’s a look at some scientific milestones accomplished during their mission:
Download full-resolution versions of all photos in this article.
The Human Body in Space
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen processes blood samples for the Immunity Assay investigation, which monitors the impact of spaceflight on immune function. Prior to the experiment, scientists could only test the immune function before and after flight. Taking samples while on station provides scientists a clearer assessment of changes to the immune system during spaceflight.
NASA Since physiological changes in microgravity can resemble how the human body ages on Earth, scientists can use the space station for age-related studies. NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli collects cell samples inside the Life Science Glovebox for Space AGE, a study to understand how microgravity-induced age-like changes affect liver regeneration. Results could boost our understanding of aging and its effects on disease mechanisms.
NASA JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa exercises with ARED Kinematics, a device that mimics forces generated when lifting free weights on Earth. The experiment assesses the current exercise programs on station to understand the most effective countermeasures to maintain muscle and bone strength.
NASA Safe Water
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen works on ESA’s Aquamembrane-3 technology demonstration, which tests a special membrane to eliminate contaminants from wastewater. The membrane incorporates proteins called aquaporins, found in biological cells, and may be able to filter water using less energy. An aquaporin membrane-based system could improve water reclamation and reduce materials needed for future deep space missions.
NASA NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli prepares a water sample for DNA sequencing using the EHS BioMole Facility, a technology demonstration used to monitor microbes in water samples aboard a spacecraft. Future exploration missions will need to analyze water to ensure it is safe for crews to drink while far from Earth.
NASA Growing Food on Station
Tomato seedlings sprout in the space station’s Advanced Plant Habitat. At the beginning of Crew-7’s mission, Plant Habitat-03 wrapped up a months-long experiment that tests whether epigenetics are passed to subsequent generations. Epigenetic changes involve the addition of extra information to DNA, which regulates how genes turn on or off but does not change the sequence of the DNA itself. Crew-7 also grew tomatoes for Plant Habitat-06, which investigates how the plant immune functions adapt to spaceflight and how spaceflight affects plant production.
NASA BioNutrients completed five years of demonstrating technology to produce nutrients on demand aboard the space station. Since vitamins can degrade over time, the investigation used engineered microbes to test generating fresh nutrient supply for future long-duration missions.
NASA Outside the Station
JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa retrieves MISSE-17 hardware after the experiment spent six months outside the station. MISSE experiments expose materials and organisms to the space environment to analyze performance and durability. Crew-7 installed MISSE-18, which houses several materials including printed quantum dots arrays used to make a miniaturized and ultra-compact spectrometer.
NASA CubeSats deployed from the space station are a lower-cost alternative to traditional satellites. Crew-7 deployed two CubeSats from Japanese schools, including BEAK CubeSat, which tests novel technologies for future nano-sized planetary probes and Clark sat-1, which transmits voice and imagery data to ground control stations on Earth.
NASA Picture Perfect
Using handheld digital cameras, astronauts capture images of the Earth below. This imagery is used by researchers across disciplines from glaciology to ecology. A Crew-7 member captured this image of the Aladaghlar Mountains in northwest Iran, where the convergent boundary of the Arabia and Eurasia tectonic plates created folds in the landscape over millions of years.
NASA These bright red streaks above a thundercloud on Earth are a rare phenomenon known as red sprites. Red sprites happen above the clouds and are not easily studied from Earth. This image was captured on the space station with a high-speed camera for the Thor-Davis experiment. Imagery collected from the station is instrumental in studying the effects of thunderstorms and electrical activity on Earth’s climate and atmosphere.
ESA Biology on Station
Recent spaceflight experiments found individual animal cells can sense the effects of gravity. Cell Gravisensing investigation from JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) seeks to understand how cells can do this. JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa uses a microscope to examine cells during spaceflight and document cell responses to microgravity. Understanding the mechanisms of cell gravity sensing could contribute to new drug development.
NASA NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli works in the BioFabrication Facility (BFF), which bioprints organ-like tissues in microgravity. During the Crew-7 mission, BFF-Cardiac tested bioprinting and processing cardiac tissue samples. This experiment could help to advance technology to support the development of biological patches to replace damaged tissues and potentially entire muscles.
NASA Special Delivery
Two commercial spacecraft visited during Crew-7’s time in space bringing critical science, hardware, and supplies to the station: SpaceX Dragon in November 2023 and Northop Grumman’s Cygnus in February 2024.
NASA NASA Andrea Lloyd
International Space Station Program Research Office
Johnson Space Center
Search this database of scientific experiments to learn more about those mentioned above.
Facebook logo @ISS @ISS_Research@Space_Station Instagram logo @ISS Linkedin logo @NASA Keep Exploring Discover More Topics
Latest News from Space Station Research
Commercial Crew Program
Station Science 101
Space Station Research and Technology
View the full article
NASA's SpaceX Crew-8 Launch (Official NASA Broadcast in 4K)
Credit: NASA/Kenny Allen NASA astronaut and Artemis II pilot Victor Glover is assisted by U.S. Navy personnel as he exits a mockup of the Orion spacecraft in the Pacific Ocean during training Feb. 25, while his crewmates look on. The Artemis II crew and a team from NASA and the Department of Defense are spending several days at sea to test the procedures and tools that will be used to help the crew to safety when they splash down in the ocean at the end of their 10-day, 685,000-mile journey around the Moon next year as part of the first crewed mission under NASA’s Artemis campaign.
On the day of the crew’s return to Earth, a Navy ship with specially trained personnel will await splashdown and then approach the Orion capsule to help extract the four astronauts. An inflatable raft, called the front porch, will provide a place for them to rest when they exit the capsule before they are then individually hoisted by helicopters and flown to the waiting ship.
Artemis II, launching atop the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, will test the Orion spacecraft’s life support systems needed for future lunar missions.
View the full article
Check out these Videos