Blog about NASA activities

The Soyuz MS-23 Capsule after landing (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago, cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin and astronaut Frank Rubio returned to Earth on the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft, which landed in Kazakhstan. They spent just over one year on the International Space Station, where they arrived on September 21, 2022, as part of Expedition 67. According to the original schedule, they were supposed to spend about six months on the Station but the failure of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft led to to double their mission’s duration.

The capsule containting asteroid Bennu's samples (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago, the samples taken from the asteroid Bennu brought back to Earth by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx space probe were collected by the American space agency’s crew in the area of their landing, at the Utah Test and Training Range. They will be transported to the Johnson Space Center, the first stage of a series of operations needed to process them while avoiding their contamination. In this study, NASA is collaborating with the Japanese space agency JAXA, which will receive some of the samples to compare them with those collected by its own Hayabusa 2 space probe on the asteroid Ryugu and returned to Earth in December 2020.

The Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft blasting off atop a Soyuz-2.1a rocket (Image NASA TV)

A few hours ago, the Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and after a little more than three hours reached the International Space Station with three new crew members on board. It docked with the Station’s Rassvet module. As is becoming increasingly common for crewed trips as well, the ultra-fast track was used which halves the journey duration.

Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub will spend about a year on the International Space Station while Loral O’Hara will spend about six months there and return to Earth with different traveling companions. Expedition 69 is almost over, as in less than two weeks, the crew members who’ve been on the Station for a year will return to Earth marking the start of Expedition 70.

The XRISM space telescope and the SLIM Moon lander blasting off atop an H-IIA rocket (Image courtesy JAXA)

A few hours ago, the Japanese XRISM space telescope and the SLIM Moon lander were launched from the Tanegashima space center atop an H-IIA rocket. After just over 14 minutes, XRISM separated from the rocket’s last stage and after about 48 minutes, SLIM did the same. XRISM will reach low Earth orbit, where it will position at an altitude of approximately 550 kilometers. SLIM started a much longer journey.

The Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft during its descent (Image NASA TV)

A few hours ago, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft concluded its Crew-6, or SpaceX Crew-6, mission for NASA by landing without problems. On board were astronauts Sultan Alneyadi, Woody Hoburg, and Stephen Bowen and cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, who had reached the International Space Station on March 3, 2023, and were part of Expedition 68/69. The four of them finished the sixth regular crewed mission of SpaceX in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast east of Jacksonville, Florida. The Crew Dragon departed the Station about seventeen hours earlier.