Science, Spacewalk Work During U.S. Resupply Ship Preps

(From left) Astronauts Akihiko Hoshide and Mark Vande Hei install components on a U.S. spacesuit inside the U.S. Quest airlock.
(From left) Astronauts Akihiko Hoshide and Mark Vande Hei install components on a U.S. spacesuit inside the U.S. Quest airlock.

The Expedition 65 crew was multi-tasking today working on everything from physics research to U.S. spacesuits to cargo transfers from Russia’s new science module. Meanwhile, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter is on track to resupply the International Space Station next week.

Station Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Thomas Pesquet were back on science duty today conducting more runs for the InSpace-4 space-manufacturing study. The investigation takes place inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox researching ways to harness nanoparticles and develop advanced materials in microgravity to improve space and Earth systems.

The duo will also be watching Cygnus approach the space station a day-and-a-half after its launch from Virginia on Aug. 10 at 5:56 p.m. EDT. McArthur will command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to grapple Cygnus at 6:10 a.m. on Aug. 12. Pesquet will back her up as he monitors the U.S. cargo craft’s approach and rendezvous.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei joined Commander Akihiko Hoshide gathering spacewalking tools and checking spacesuit tethers inside the U.S. Quest airlock. The crew is ramping up for a spacewalk to prepare the orbital lab’s Port-4 truss structure ahead of the installation of the next set of roll out solar arrays.

Throughout Thursday, Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough worked on three different EXPRESS racks which are refrigerator-sized research devices supporting a wide variety of science experiments. Kimbrough first repaired components with minor damage inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module’s EXPRESS-11 rack. Afterward, the three-time station visitor removed an incubator from the Kibo laboratory module’s EXPRESS rack-8 and installed it in the Columbus laboratory module’s EXPRESS rack-3.

Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov continued unpacking hardware delivered inside the new “Nauka” Multipurpose Laboratory Module. Novitskiy also worked on water transfers from the ISS Progress 78 cargo craft while Dubrov photographed microbes growing for a Russian science experiment.

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