Resident Crews of the International Space Station (ISS)

ISS: Expedition 61

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Patch ISS-61 Crew ISS-61

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Crew, launch- and landing data

No.: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Nation: Italy
Surname:  Parmitano  Skvortsov  Morgan  Koch  Skripochka  Meir
Given names:  Luca Salvo  Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Jr.  Andrew Richard  Christina Hammock "Nana"  Oleg Ivanovich  Jessica Ulrika "Goose"
Position:  ISS-CDR  Flight Engineer  Flight Engineer  Flight Engineer  Flight Engineer  Flight Engineer
Spacecraft (Launch):  Soyuz MS-13  Soyuz MS-13  Soyuz MS-13  Soyuz MS-12  Soyuz MS-15  Soyuz MS-15
Launch date:  20.07.2019  20.07.2019  20.07.2019  14.03.2019  25.09.2019  25.09.2019
Launchtime:  16:28:21.238 UTC  16:28:21.238 UTC  16:28:21.238 UTC  19:14:08.175 UTC  13:57:42.701 UTC  13:57:42.701 UTC
Spacecraft (Landing):  (Soyuz MS-13)  (Soyuz MS-13)  (Soyuz MS-15)  (Soyuz MS-13)  (Soyuz MS-15)  (Soyuz MS-15)
Landingdate:  (06.02.2020)  (06.02.2020)   (17.04.2020)  (06.02.2020)  (17.04.2020)  (17.04.2020)
Landingtime:  UTC  UTC  UTC  UTC  UTC  UTC
Mission duration:


unofficial Backup Crew

No.: 1 2 3 4 5  
Nation: Japan  
Surname:  Ryzhikov  Marshburn  Noguchi  Ryzhikov  Marshburn  
Given names:  Sergei Nikolaevich  Thomas Henry "Tom"  Soichi  Sergei Nikolaevich  Thomas Henry "Tom"  
Position:  ISS-CDR  Flight Engineer  Flight Engineer  Flight Engineer  Flight Engineer  
Crew ISS-61 (backup)

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Expedition Report

Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

ISS Expedition 61 began with the undocking of Russian spacecraft Soyuz MS-12 on October 03, 2019 at 07:37:32 UTC. The landing crew consisted of Aleksei Ovchinin, Nicklaus Hague and Spaceflight Participant Al Mansoori from the United Arab Emirates. Three-and-a-half-hours later the crew landed safely in Kazakhstan. So the new Expedition 61 consisted of ISS-Commander Luca Parmitano, Andrew Morgan and Aleksandr Skvortsov (all three arrived with Soyuz MS-13), Christina Koch (since the docking of Soyuz MS-12 onboard) plus Oleg Skripochka and Jessica Meir (both had reached the station onboard Soyuz MS-15 together with Spaceflight Participant Hazzaa Al Mansoori).

On October 06, 2019 astronauts Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan performed the first spacewalk in this Expedition 61 (7h 01m). It was the first in a series of spacewalks dedicated to replacing batteries on the far end of the station's port truss. These spacewalks continue the overall upgrade of the station's power system that began with similar battery replacement during spacewalks in January 2017.
Each of the station's four main sets of arrays, two on each end of the truss, provide power to two electrical buses, or channels. To keep the lab operating during passes through Earth's shadow, each set of arrays is equipped with 12 massive nickel-hydrogen batteries, six per power channel.
All together, 48 NiH2 batteries store power for the station's eight electrical channels. NASA is in the process of replacing all 48 with 24 smaller, more efficient lithium-ion power packs, a complex task that will take several years to complete.
The existing nickel-hydrogen batteries were upgraded with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries transported to the station aboard the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-8), which arrived on September 28, 2019. Working site for this spacewalk was P6 Channel 2B battery R&R A-F. Astronauts also were able to accomplish get-ahead tasks, including the removal of an additional nickel-hydrogen battery, originally scheduled for the second spacewalk.

The second EVA occurred on October 11, 2019 by astronauts Andrew Morgan and Christina Koch (6h 45m). The duo continued to replace nickel-hydrogen batteries with more powerful lithium-ion batteries (working site: P6 Channel 2B battery R&R A-F). It was the second spacewalk to replacing batteries on the far end of the station's port truss.
They also completed getahead tasks to prepare the EVA worksites on the P6 4B side for EVA 58 Battery replacements, released the H1 bolt from P4 Battery 5 and disconnected the Ethernet cable from the EXT-2 MDM.

Christina Koch and Jessica Meir left the Quest airlock on October 18, 2019 to perform an unplanned spacewalk (7h 17m). It became the first all-female spacewalk in the history of manned spaceflights. The EVA was needed to replace a faulty battery charge/discharge unit (BCDU). The BCDU failed to activate following the October 11, 2019 installation of new lithium-ion batteries on the space station's truss. The BCDU failure has not impacted station operations, safety of the crew, or the ongoing experiments aboard the orbiting laboratory.
The BCDU's regulate the amount of charge put into the batteries that collect energy from the station's solar arrays to power station systems during periods when the station orbits during nighttime passes around Earth. Two other charge/discharge units on the affected 2B power channel did activate as planned and are providing power to station systems.
The astronauts were also able to accomplish some get-ahead tasks including installation of a stanchion on the Columbus module for support of a new external ESA (European Space Agency) payload platform called Bartolomeo scheduled for launch to the station in 2020.
Space station managers had postponed on October 15, 2019 three spacewalks previously scheduled to install new batteries. The three spacewalks will be rescheduled.

After delivering more than four tons of supplies, water, spare parts and experiments to the International Space Station, a Japanese cargo spacecraft HTV-8 departed the orbiting laboratory at 17:21 UTC on November 01, 2019.
Ground controllers used the space station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to detach the unpiloted H-II Transfer Vehicle-7 (HTV-8) of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) from an Earth-facing port of the station's Harmony module several hours before its release, then moved the spacecraft into its release position. Expedition 61 Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Jessica Meir took over the controls of the robotic arm to release the spacecraft.
HTV-8 delivered more than four tons of scientific experiments, including an upgrade to the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF-L), a small-sized satellite optical communication system (SOLISS), and a payload for testing the effects of gravity on powder and granular material (Hourglass). The spaceship also delivered supplies and new lithium-ion batteries for an upgrade from the nickel-hydrogen batteries that store power generated by the station's solar arrays.
It was loaded with trash and the nickel-hydrogen batteries removed from the station over a series of recent spacewalks.

Following its departure from the space station, HTV-8 was commanded to deorbit on November 03, 2019 and burned up harmlessly in the Earth's atmosphere.

On November 02, 2019 at 13:59:51.25 UTC Northrop Grumman launched its Cygnus NG-12 ("S.S. Alan Bean") spacecraft on an Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad-0A. The freighter is named after the late Apollo and Skylab astronaut who died on May 26, 2018, at the age of 86. This Cygnus launched 50 years to the month after Alan Bean, Charles Conrad and Richard Gordon flew to the Moon on NASA's Apollo 12 mission, during which Alan Bean became the fourth human to walk on the lunar surface. Alan Bean was the lunar module pilot aboard Intrepid with mission commander Charles Conrad when they landed on Moon at the Ocean of Storms on November 19, 1969.
Each resupply mission to the station delivers scientific investigations in the areas of biology and biotechnology, Earth and space science, physical sciences, and technology development and demonstrations.
Highlights of space station research that will be facilitated by research aboard this Cygnus mission include:
The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 (AMS-02), delivered by STS-134 and mounted on the exterior of the International Space Station (S3), looks for evidence of dark, strange and anti-matter to help us understand how our universe was formed. Using a large magnet to create a magnetic field that will bend the path of the charged cosmic particles already traveling through space, eight different instruments will provide information on those particles as they make their way through the magnet. Armed with that information, hundreds of scientists from 16 countries are hoping to determine what the universe is made of and how it began, as the AMS searches for clues on the origin of dark matter and the existence of antimatter and strangelets. And if that's not enough, there is also the information it could provide on pulsars, blazers and gamma ray bursters and any number of phenomena that have yet to be named. A series of spacewalks are planned for later this year to prolong the operational life of the AMS-02. Astronauts will cut and reconnect fluid lines, a feat not done before in space, which could prove valuable for future missions at NASA's upcoming lunar Gateway or missions to Mars.
The AstroRad Vest tests a special vest designed to protect astronauts from radiation caused by unpredictable solar particle events. Astronauts will provide input on the garment as they wear it while performing daily tasks, including how easy it is to put on, how it fits and feels, and the range of motion it allows. Garment developers can use this input to improve design. Use of the vest could protect crew members on missions to the Moon and Mars.
The Zero-G Oven examines heat transfer properties and the process of baking food in microgravity. It uses an oven designed specifically for use aboard the space station, and may have application on future long-duration missions by offering a way to increase variety in flavor and nutrition of food for crew members.
The Made in Space Recycler will test systems needed to reprocess plastic into 3D printing filament that can then be transferred for use to the Made in Space Manufacturing Device, a 3D printer that has operated on the orbiting laboratory since 2016. This has implications for space conservation and deep space missions.
Northrop Grumman used a new 24-hour late load capability on this mission. This innovative system includes a mobile clean room and a removable portion of the payload fairing that will permit time-sensitive science experiments to be loaded into Cygnus as late as 24 hours before liftoff.
The Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the space station on November 04, 2019 at about 09:10 UTC Expedition 61 astronaut Jessica Meir grappled the spacecraft using the station's robotic arm. She was backed up by astronaut Christina Koch. After Cygnus capture, ground controllers commanded the station's arm to rotate and installed Cygnus on the bottom of the station's Unity module.
The Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled to remain at the space station until January 13, 2020, when it will depart the station, deploy Nanoracks customer CubeSats, deorbit and dispose of several tons of trash during a fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere around January 31, 2020.

On November 07, 2019, an ISS reboost was performed using Progress MS-12 thrusters. This reboost was to set up for the landing of manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-13 in February 2020. The engines started at 22:40:58.115 UTC and fired 406 seconds. The ISS got 0.46 m / sec. more speed. The actual parameters are 416.2 km x 430.3 km. The ISS needs 92.8 minutes for each orbit.

Among the US experiments are:

AMS-02: Stars, planets and the molecules that make them are only about five percent of the total mass in the universe - the rest is either dark matter or dark energy, but no one has ever seen this material or been able to study it. What's more, the big bang theory holds that the universe should be made of equal parts matter and antimatter, but scientists have never detected naturally occurring antimatter. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer - 02 (AMS-02) looks for evidence of these mysterious substances, along with very high-energy radiation coming from distant stars that could harm crew members traveling to Mars.

AstroRad Vest: Comfort and Human Factors AstroRad Radiation Garment Evaluation (CHARGE) (AstroRad Vest) tests a special vest designed to protect astronauts from radiation caused by unpredictable solar particle events (SPEs). Astronauts will provide input on the garment as they wear it while performing daily tasks, including how easy it is to put on, how it fits and feels, and the range of motion it allows. Garment developers can use this input to improve design, and use of the vest may protect crew members on missions to the Moon and Mars.

ANALOG-1: Space is such a harsh place for humans and machines that future exploration of the solar system may likely involve sending robotic explorers to "test the waters" on uncharted planets before sending humans. The Investigation of the Use of an Advanced Human-Robotic Interface in Enhancing the Performance of Teleoperated Robotic Field Geology (ANALOG-1) technology project investigates how an astronaut on the space station can operate an exploration rover on a Moon-like terrain on Earth, collect rock/soil samples, and remotely investigate them - an analog scenario for future lunar or Martian exploration.

Targeting Improved Cotton through Orbital Cultivation: It is estimated that more than 25 million tons of cotton are produced around the world each year. While the economic and personal benefits of cotton are well understood, the environmental impacts of cotton production are significant. It is estimated that producing one kilogram of cotton requires thousands of liters of water. Additionally, the intensive use of agricultural chemicals in cotton farming and production can have health impacts on workers and surrounding ecosystems. This experiment will improve the understanding of cotton root systems and associated gene expression that may enable the development of cotton cultivars to be more robust in the face of drought and pests.

AzTechSat-1: Inter-satellite communication is critical to human space exploration. The AzTechSat-1 primary focus is to conduct inter-satellite communication demonstrations between AzTechSat-1 and the Globalstar Satellite Constellation. These demonstrations will further mature this capability with potential applications for deep space SmallSat missions. AzTechSat-1 will accomplish this primary focus area by using two onboard communication systems - Globalstar STINGR modem and an UHF/VHF amateur band radio. The Globalstar STINGR modem has an embedded L-Band radio and a GPS, through which the modem's crosslink communication is a patch antenna. This is the first international collaboration program between NASA and the Mexican Space Agency.

EVA data

  Name Start End Duration Mission Airlock Suit
EVA Koch, Christina 06.10.2019, 11:39 UTC 06.10.2019, 18:40 UTC 7h 01m ISS-61 ISS - Quest EMU No. 3004
EVA Morgan, Andrew 06.10.2019, 11:39 UTC 06.10.2019, 18:40 UTC 7h 01m ISS-61 ISS - Quest EMU No. 3008
EVA Morgan, Andrew 11.10.2019, 11:38 UTC 11.10.2019, 18:23 UTC 6h 45m ISS-61 ISS - Quest EMU No. 3008
EVA Koch, Christina 11.10.2019, 11:38 UTC 11.10.2019, 18:23 UTC 6h 45m ISS-61 ISS - Quest EMU No. 3004
EVA Koch, Christina 18.10.2019, 11:38 UTC 18.10.2019, 18:55 UTC 7h 17m ISS-61 ISS - Quest EMU No. 3008
EVA Meir, Jessica 18.10.2019, 11:38 UTC 18.10.2019, 18:55 UTC 7h 17m ISS-61 ISS - Quest EMU No. 3004

Photos / Graphics

Soyuz MS-12 undocking P6 Battery EVA Worksites
New Li-Ion Battery Configuration EVA Andrew Morgan on October 06, 2019
HTV-8 docked Andrew Morgan after the first EVA
EVA Andrew Morgan on October 11, 2019 ISS
fresh fruit arrived with HTV-8 ELC-1
EVA Jessica Meir on October 18, 2019 EVA Jessica Meir on October 18, 2019
Haircut in Space Peniche, Portugal
HTV-8 departure Cygnus NG-12 capture

more EVA photos

more onboard photos

more Earth observation photos


Last update on November 08, 2019.