Eye Checks, Science Work and Departure Preps Keeping Crew Busy

The seven-member Expedition 65 crew posed for a portrait aboard the space station on Oct. 4, 2021.
The seven-member Expedition 65 crew posed for a portrait aboard the space station on Oct. 4, 2021.

The Expedition 65 crew had a busy day on Thursday with eye checks, space science, and Soyuz crew departure preparations on the schedule. The 10 residents aboard the International Space Station also joined each other in the afternoon to review emergency procedures.

NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Shane Kimbrough swapped roles as crew medical officer today during a series of eye exams. Vande Hei kicked off the first session Thursday morning using an ultrasound device scanning the eyes of fellow astronauts Kimbrough, Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Akihiko Hoshide, and Commander Thomas Pesquet. Kimbrough took charge in the afternoon measuring fluid pressure in his crewmates eyes then using near-infrared imaging gear to examine their retinas.

Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) started his day replacing electrical components inside the Cell Biology Experiment Facility, an incubator with an artificial gravity generator. Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) installed a research device that will enable the observation of fluid physics and materials science experiments at high temperatures.

Veteran cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Anton Shkaplerov checked computers and electronics gear inside the docked Soyuz MS-18 and Soyuz MS-19 crew ships. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov joined Novitskiy and Shkaplerov and also assisted the two spaceflight participants Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko with their filmmaking activities today.

Novitskiy will command the Soyuz MS-18 back to Earth in just over a week with the two filmmakers. Shkaplerov will complete his mission at the end of March next year inside the Soyuz MS-19 leading Vande Hei and Dubrov back home after their near year-long mission.

All 10 residents aboard the station joined each other for an hourlong session in the afternoon to review their roles and responsibilities in the unlikely event of an emergency on the station. They located safety gear, ensured the crew vehicles were ready for an evacuation, and practiced communication and coordination with mission control centers around the world.

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