Crew Unpacking Cygnus and Gearing Up for U.S., Russian Spacewalks

Astronauts Thomas Pesquet and Megan McArthur are inside the cupola with the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter just outside behind them.
Astronauts Thomas Pesquet and Megan McArthur are inside the cupola with the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter just outside behind them.

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo craft is open for business and the Expedition 65 crew has begun unpacking its more than four tons of cargo. Two astronauts and two cosmonauts are also gearing up for a series of spacewalks to outfit the International Space Station.

Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Thomas Pesquet started their day transferring frozen science samples from inside the Cygnus space freighter to the orbital lab for later observation. The duo was on duty early Thursday to capture Cygnus with the Canadarm2 robotic arm following its day-and-a-half trip that began with a launch from Virginia. NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough took over Friday afternoon and continued offloading Cygnus’ brand new science, supplies and hardware.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei spent the day scrubbing cooling loops inside a pair of U.S. spacesuits that he and Commander Akihiko Hoshide will be wearing soon. The two astronauts are preparing for a spacewalk later this month to ready the Port-4 truss structure for future Roll-Out Solar Array installation work.

In the Russian segment of the orbital lab, cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov spent the afternoon configuring the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module. The duo from Roscosmos is ramping up for a pair of spacewalks in September when they will go outside the station to outfit Nauka and ready the new module for science operations.

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