WASHINGTON , Oct. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — NASA will provide live coverage of the return to Earth for agency astronaut Chris Cassidy and two Russian cosmonauts Wednesday, Oct. 21 , after six months aboard the International Space Station . Complete coverage of the return will be available on NASA TV and the agency’s website .
Cassidy, the Expedition 63 commander, and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos, will close the hatch to their Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft at 4:10 p.m. EDT Wednesday . Their Soyuz will undock at 7:32 p.m. from the Poisk module’s space-facing port. A parachute-assisted landing is set for 10:55 p.m. EDT ( 8:55 a.m. Oct. 22 Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan on the steppe of Kazakhstan .
NASA TV coverage of crew farewells and hatch closing will begin at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday . Undocking coverage will begin at 7 p.m. , and Soyuz deorbit burn and landing coverage at 9:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, Oct. 20 , Cassidy will hand over station command to newly arrived cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos in a change of command ceremony that will be broadcast live at 4:15 p.m. on NASA TV.
The three crew members will wrap up a 196-day mission spanning 3,136 orbits of Earth and 83 million miles. Cassidy is completing his third flight for a total of 378 days in space, the fifth highest total among U.S. astronauts. Ivanishin is completing his third flight into space, totaling 476 days. This was Vagner’s first spaceflight.
After landing, the crew will return by Russian helicopters to the recovery staging city in Karaganda, Kazakhstan . From there, Cassidy will board a NASA plane for a flight back to Houston , while Ivanishin and Vagner will board a Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center aircraft and return to their homes in Star City, Russia .
At the time of undocking, Expedition 64 will begin aboard the station, with Kate Rubins of NASA, new station commander Ryzhikov and cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos comprising a three-person station crew until the arrival of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission targeted to launch in November. NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins , Victor Glover and Shannon Walker , and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, will launch on the first long-duration commercial crew mission to the station.
During their expedition, Cassidy, Ivanishin, and Vagner welcomed the arrival of NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission, the first crewed flight of a commercial spacecraft and the first launch of humans from American soil to the space station since the final space shuttle flight in 2011. During their time aboard, Behnken joined Cassidy for four battery-replacement spacewalks outside the orbiting complex, switching aging nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries.
Cassidy worked on many research experiments during his time aboard the orbiting laboratory, including the Onco-Selectors experiment, which arrived at the space station on Northrop Grumman’s 14th commercial resupply mission earlier this month. The Onco-Selectors investigation leverages microgravity to identify targeted cancer therapies. He also contributed to research on the Droplet Formation Study , which evaluates water droplet formation and water flow, and worked with the Astrobee cube-shaped, free-flying robots being tested for use as astronaut assistants for routine duties.
An unusual meteorite that streaked across the sky of Michigan as a fireball before landing on a frozen lake in 2018 has granted scientists with a peek at the things space rocks can ferry down to Earth.
Namely, the meteorite was chock full of organic compounds — carbon-containing molecules that serve as the building blocks of life on Earth — that had clear extraterrestrial origins, according to research accepted for publication in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science. In this case, scientists from Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History got to it so quickly that they were able to rule out the sorts of contamination that usually impedes meteorite research.
Typically meteorites are teeming with life, but only because they were sitting around long enough for Earthly microbes or lichens to move in and colonize them, lead study author Philipp Heck, a Field Museum curator and University of Chicago professor, explained in a press release.
“This meteorite is special because it fell onto a frozen lake and was recovered quickly,” Heck said. “It was very pristine. We could see the minerals weren’t much altered and later found that it contained a rich inventory of extraterrestrial organic compounds.”
It’s compounds like these that some scientists theorize kickstarted life on Earth after they were brought down by a series of ancient meteorite impacts.
“These kinds of organic compounds were likely delivered to the early Earth by meteorites and might have contributed to the ingredients of life,” Heck said in the release.
Halloween Predictions: Much of British Columbia is eerily cold under a full moon
While the weather is expected to be frighteningly cold in most parts of BC this Halloween, those who venture outside might be in for a place to have fun.
A rare full “blue” moon is expected Saturday night, and it is the second full moon this month.
The last time Trick-or-Treaters went out under a full moon in British Columbia was in 2001, but the last Halloween moon in all time zones was in 1944, according to a farmers’ calendar.
As for the weather, if you’re in Metro Vancouver, it will likely be clear and sunny during the day with temperatures as low as 11 degrees Celsius, then partly cloudy at night with temperatures as low as 5 degrees Celsius, according to the Canadian Department of Environment and Climate Change.
Elsewhere in British Columbia, areas of Prince George and Williams Lake should see a combination of sun and cloud with highs of 4 or 5 ° C and an overnight low of 2 ° C, while in the Okanagan it is likely overcast and 10 ° C low. Down to 4 degrees Celsius throughout the night with the chance of light showers.
In the northern region of Dis Lake, the weather appears sunny during the day and freezing at night, with the temperature dropping to minus 7 degrees Celsius throughout the night.
In central British Columbia, it may snow in some communities on Saturday. The agency expects a good chance of flash waves in Smithers during the day, but it will fall throughout the night.
While the weather is expected to be frightfully cold in much of B.C. this Halloween, those who venture outdoors may be in for a treat.
A rare full “blue” moon is expected Saturday night, the second full moon this month.
The last time trick-or-treaters went out under a full moon in B.C. was in 2001, but the last Halloween full moon in all time zones was in 1944, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
As for the weather, if you’re in Metro Vancouver it’s likely going to be clear and sunny during the day with a high of 11 C, and then partly cloudy at night with a low of 5 C, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Elsewhere in B.C., the Prince George and Williams Lake areas should see a mix of sun and cloud with a high of around 4 or 5 C and an overnight low of 2 C, while in the Okanagan it will likely be overcast and 10 C, dipping down to 4 C overnight with a slight chance of showers.
In the northern region of Dease Lake, the forecast looks for sunny during the day and freezing at night, plunging to minus 7 C overnight.
In the central B.C. region, some communities may have snow Saturday. The agency is forecasting a good chance of flurries in Smithers during the day but showers overnight.
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