Expedition 41 Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman and Alexander Gerst are in their final week aboard the International Space Station. All three homebound crew members spent time on Monday preparing for their departure. Expedition 41 will end Nov. 9 when it undocks inside the Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft at 7:29 p.m. EST.
Gerst also drew his blood samples for stowage in a science freezer and he also worked on the Zebrafish Muscle experiment in the Kibo laboratory. Wiseman worked on plumbing tasks, then set up cameras for the Sally Ride EarthKAM experiment.
Meanwhile, NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore, who is staying in space until March, checked for leaks and worked on a fan in a U.S. spacesuit. His Expedition 41/42 crewmate Elena Serova sampled the station’s air and surfaces for microbes. Cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev transferred cargo from the ISS Progress 57 spacecraft then assisted Wiseman with the EarthKAM study.
Fourteen years ago on Nov. 2 the first International Space Station crew, Expedition 1, docked to the young orbital laboratory in their Soyuz TM-31 spacecraft. The space station at the time consisted of just three modules — the Unity node, the Zarya cargo module and the Zvezda service module. Commander William Shepherd and Flight Engineers Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko returned home aboard space shuttle Discovery after 141 days in space.