Monthly Archives: April 2012

New blog from André: ‘Bye bye Dan, Anton and Anat...

André Kuipers sent a new blog entry reflecting on the undocking of the Soyuz TMA-22 last Friday. On board the departing spacecraft were NASA astronaut Dan Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin, who safely landed in the Kazakh Steppe some three and a half hours after the undocking. He writes: "Yesterday Dan, Anton and Anatoli left. We worked all night. I drew blood from Don and myself and collected saliva samples to be sent back on the the Soyuz to the scientists on Earth. Around six o’clock in the morning Western European time we said our goodbyes. At ten to seven we closed the hatch to their Soyuz. At...

Mission X 2012 London Olympics special event

In view of the upcoming Olympics in London, ESA, NASA and UKSA have taken the unique opportunity to extend the legacy of regular exercising and healthy lifestyle to over one hundred children and their parents and teachers who have come to London from the 4 corners of the globe to participate in the Mission X 2012 Olympic special event. Although ESA astronaut André Kuipers recently closed the Mission X 2012 challenge from the International Space Station, the  key messages that Mission X stands for continue to spread with the London 2012 Olympics. Children and delegates of countries participating in Mission X gathered in London for the three day event. They visited Cambridge...

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Video replay: Soyuz TMA-22 lands safely in Kazakhstan

Some three and a half hours after undocking from the International Space Station, the Soyuz TMA-22 landed safely in the Kazakh Steppe at 13:45 CEST (11:45 UT). On board were Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin who returned to Earth after just over five months in space. Watch the replay from NASA TV:

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Soyuz undocking marks start of Expedition 31

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft has undocked from the International Space Station marking the end of Expedition 30 and the start of Expedition 31. The Soyuz spacecraft separated from the ISS at 10:18 CEST this morning, on board are Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin who have started their journey back to Earth. Oleg Kononenko is now officially commander of the ISS. The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft is scheduled to land in the Kazakh Steppe at 13:45 CEST (11:45 UT).   Watch the replay:

Soyuz crew preparing to depart ISS

ISS crewmembers Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin are preparing to return to Earth. They entered their Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft earlier this morning. The hatches to the International Space Station were closed at 7:12 CEST and they will undock from the ISS at 10:18 CEST (08:18 UT), landing in the Kazakh Steppe some three and a half hours later. The undocking of the Soyuz marks the official start of Expedition 31 for the crew remaining on the Station: Station Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineers Don Pettit and André Kuipers. In mid-May they will be joined by Flight Engineers Gennady Padalka, Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin who will launch and arrive...

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André takes classroom into space

Over 1500 students in four European cities talked to ESA astronaut André Kuipers live on the International Space Station last Tuesday to discuss two space science experiments they have performed together. This once-in-a-lifetime experience brought together the four sites by videoconference: science centre Nemo in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the Leicester National Space Center, United Kingdom, Parque de las Ciencias in Granada, Spain, and the Technik Museum in Speyer, Germany. Before getting in contact with space, the centres demonstrated scientific experiments to each other. They created fire explosions and super thick foams to show students the footprints of gravity and physics in our everyday life. The astronaut encouraged the children to satisfy their...

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Video replay: Change of ISS command ceremony

With Friday's scheduled return to Earth for International Space Station crewmembers Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin, the traditional change of command ceremony was held on Wednesday 25 April. The ISS command was passed from Expedition 30 Commander NASA astronaut Dan Burbank to Russian cosmonaut and Expedition 31 Commander Oleg Kononenko. Expedition 31 will formally start with the undocking of the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft at 10:18 CEST (08:18 UT). Watch replay of the change of command ceremony:

Children to discuss space experiments with André

Children in four European cities will talk to ESA astronaut André Kuipers live on the International Space Station later today to discuss two space experiments they have performed together. The students aged 10–14 years have performed their own identical experiments to André in space to discover how convection and foams differ under the influence of gravity compared to the Station’s weightless environment. The venues participating in the call with the ISS are Nemo Science Center, Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Speyer Techniek Museum, Speyer (Germany), National Space Centre, Leicester (United Kingdom), Parque de las Ciencias, Granada (Spain). Follow the call with André live between 17:10 and 17:30 CEST (15:10-15:30 UT) via NASA TV. This...

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Unmanned Russian Progress docks with ISS

The unmanned Russian Progress 47P spacecraft docked with the International Space Station at 16:39 CEST (14:39 UT) yesterday afternoon. Launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Thursday 19 April, the Progress delivers supplies such as food, clothes, water and fuel to the ISS crew. The docking was monitored from the Russian Zvezda module by Expedition 30 crewmembers Anton Shkaplerov and Oleg Kononenko. ESA astronaut André Kuipers sent a photo (right) showing his crewmates monitoring the spacecraft during its approach - the Progress can be seen through the window towards the bottom of the image. A replay of the docking via NASA TV:

Progress undock in preparation for new arrival

The Russian 46P Progress cargo spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station earlier today. The Progress departed from the ISS at 13:04 CEST (11:04 UT) as scheduled and is set for a destructive deorbit on 28 April. The departure makes way for the arrival of the next Progress, 47P, which will launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 14:50 CEST (12:50 UT) tomorrow, 20 April. 47P is scheduled to dock with the ISS on Sunday 22 April at 16:40 CEST (14:50 UT). NASA TV will show the launch live, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv The Russian Progress spacecraft is an automated, unmanned version of the Soyuz spacecraft used to launch the ISS crew. Like Europe's Automated...

New blog from André: ‘On flu, drinking water, the...

In the latest blog post from the International Space Station, André Kuipers he takes some time out from his PromISSe mission duties to answer a few questions sent in by readers. André writes: "I am really pleased that so many people read my blog. And that many questions are asked in the comments. Unfortunately I do not have the time to answer all the questions, my schedule on the ISS is just too busy. Every now and again I will try to answer some questions. Here are the first five answers. Thank you to all who sent in questions!" The questions answered are about back pain in space, the Moon, whether you...

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How to catch a Dragon

Update: The Dragon spacecraft is now scheduled for launch on 19 May. The berthing operation is set for 22 May. Expedition 30 crewmembers André Kuipers and Don Pettit continue to train on the International Space Station for the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. Having started their training on a computer simulator in the Destiny lab, they are now training using the real robotic arm. On 3 May, as the unmanned Dragon spacecraft approaches ISS, they will use the Station's Canadarm2 to first grab the spacecraft and then manoeuvre it into place to mate with the Harmony module's Earth-facing docking port. The following animation from the Canadian Space Agency shows just how...

A Song a Day: ‘Rocket Man’ on 40th annivers...

ESA astronaut André Kuipers loves music and has a playlist of songs that he listens to during his PromISSe mission on the Space Station. His full playlist is available on his blog. Today André will be listening to ‘Rocket man’ on the 40th anniversary of its release. A classic rock song ‘Rocket Man’ by Elton John and songwriter Bernie Taupin. During long stays on the International Space Station, many astronauts take music with them for listening in off-duty hours. They say it is very important for the morale and psychological support of the crew. For his six-month mission, André included several versions of Rocket Man, one of his all-time favourites, in his...

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André announces European winners of Mission-X challenge

ESA astronaut André Kuipers has announced the European winners of the Mission-X 2012 challenge. Mission-X is a worldwide education initiative supported by ESA and national space agencies to encourage healthy and active lifestyles among children aged 8-12 years. André kicked off the Mission-X 2012 challenge on 2 February during his PromISSe mission with a live video call from the International Space Station with schoolchildren in four European locations. André announces the European winners in the following video: Mission-X participants have an opportunity to visit London, UK, before the 2012 Olympics this summer. Students can visit Olympic sites with their parents and teachers to participate in Mission-X challenges with ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli...