American astronaut Eugene Andrew «Gene» Cernan, a Navy pilot and veteran of NASA’s pioneering Gemini program who was the second American to walk in space and then flew to the moon twice as an Apollo astronaut, becoming the last Apollo moonwalker, passed away after a long illness on January 16, 2017. He was 82.
On January 16, 2017 six micro satellites were launched from the board of the International Space Station. The ITF-2, Freedom and Waseda-Sat3 satellites were launched at 09:11 UTC. The EGG (re-Entry satellite with Gossamer aeroshell and GPS/Iridium) satellite was launched at 09:20 UTC. The “AOBA-Velox III” satellite was launched at 10:40 UTC. The “TuPOD” satellite was launched at 10:50 UTC. The satellites were transported to the space station by the Japanese "Kounotori-6” unmanned supply spacecraft in December 2016.
On January 13, 2017, American astronauts Robert Kimbrough and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet performed the spacewalk to complete complex battery replacement work on the right side of the International Space Station’s solar power truss with enough time left over to carry out a variety of lower-priority “get-ahead” tasks. The EVA lasted 5 hours and 58 minutes. It was the 4th EVA for Kimbrough and the first for Pesquet.
On January 6, 2017, American astronauts Robert Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson performed the spacewalk to install three adapter plates in the electronics assembly and to connect them to the new Li-ion batteries. They also removed two more NiH2 batteries and mounted them on two of the adapter plates where they will remain in long-term storage. The spacewalkers completed their tasks an hour or so ahead of schedule, so flight controllers asked them to carry out three “get-ahead” tasks. The EVA lasted 6 hours and 32 minutes. It was the third EVA for Kimbrough and the seventh for Whitson.
On December 19, 2016 at 08:55 UTC, two Japanese STARS-C (Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite) satellites were launched from the board of the International Space Station. The satellites were transported to the space station by the Japanese "Kounotori-6” unmanned supply spacecraft.
On December 13, 2016 at 14:18 UTC the 6th Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV "Kounotori-6”) was installed on its berthing port of the "Harmony” module of the International Space Station.
On December 09, 2016 at 13:26 UTC the Japanese HTV-6 (H-2 Transfer Vehicle) unmanned supply spacecraft was launched from Tanegashima Cosmodrome situated at the island located 115 km south of Kyushu. Kyushu is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. The spacecraft was orbited by the Japanese H-2B rocket-carrier. The mission is Japan's sixth cargo delivery flight to the International Space station. The HTV-6 mission is also named Kounotori-6. Kounotori is the Japanese word for white stork. The spacecraft is to deliver about 5900 kilograms of cargo to the station’s crew.
On December 01, 2016 at 14:51 UTC the “Progress MS-04” unmanned supply spacecraft was launched from Baykonur Cosmodrome to the International Space Station. The spacecraft was to be orbited by the “Soyuz-U” rocket-carrier. The “Progress MS-04” spacecraft was lost as it flew nearly 190 kilometers over the Tuva Republic in Southeastern Russia. Engineers lost telemetry during the Soyuz rocket’s third stage engine burn, and most of the vehicle’s fragments burned up in the atmosphere.
On November 27, 2016 at 23:40 UTC the US "Cygnus” (CRS OA--5 “Alan Poindexter”) unmanned supply spacecraft was deorbited. The spacecraft re-entered the atmosphere and burned up over the South Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand. Packed with trash and other equipment tagged for disposal, an Orbital Sciences Corp. “Cygnus” spacecraft plunged back into the atmosphere over the uninhabited Pacific Ocean. It was the 6th flight of "Cygnus” to the ISS.