Crew Works Maintenance, Botany Before Resupply Ship Relocation

An aurora streams over the Earth as the space station orbited above the southern Indian Ocean in between Australia and Antarctica.
An aurora streams over the Earth as the space station orbited above the southern Indian Ocean in between Australia and Antarctica.

Life support, spacesuits and botany work filled Wednesday’s schedule for the Expedition 66 crew aboard the International Space Station. The orbital residents are also gearing up for a Russian resupply ship backing away from the station tonight and switching docking ports just over a day later.

Astronauts Megan McArthur of NASA and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) were back in the Tranquility module today replacing components inside the oxygen generation system (OGS). The duo started the work on Tuesday flushing OGS parts of contaminants. They closed out the work today and reactivated the U.S. life support device.

Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) spent the afternoon in the U.S. Quest airlock working on a U.S. spacesuit. The two-time space station resident verified the resized suit is fully functional ahead of an upcoming spacewalk planned for later this year.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei serviced a pair of science freezers during the morning. Afterward, he cleaned debris around the Advanced Plant Habitat then photographed the condition of the botany research facility. Station Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough of NASA, who is also commander of the SpaceX Crew-2 mission, is now packing cargo and turning his attention to early November’s return to Earth of he and his Crew-2 crewmates McArthur, Hoshide and Pesquet aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour.

Two Roscosmos cosmonauts are sleeping in today before monitoring tonight’s undocking of a Russian cargo craft from the Poisk module. They will shift their schedule again on Thursday when the ISS Progress 78 resupply ship redocks to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module just over a day later.

Roscosmos Flight Engineers Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov will be on duty monitoring the Progress 78’s undocking tonight at 7:42 p.m. EDT. However, there will be no live TV coverage of the undocking. NASA TV will be on the air on Thursday at 11:30 p.m. and broadcast its redocking to Nauka set for Friday at 12:23 a.m.

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