The six-person Expedition 44 space station crew is getting ready to expand to nine people next week. A docked Soyuz vehicle will be moved early Friday morning making room for a new Soyuz spacecraft carrying Sergei Volkov, a new Expedition 45 crew member, and two visiting crew members Andreas Mogensen and Aidyn Aimbetov.
The orbital residents will shift their schedules tonight as One-Year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko join Commander Gennady Padalka for a short Soyuz ride from one docking port to another. The relocation opens up a port for a new Soyuz crew launching Sept. 2 and docking two days later.
As usual, advanced medical science is ongoing in the orbital laboratory with inputs from payload controllers on the ground and direct participation of the astronauts. Eye studies continued today as scientists observe microgravity’s long-term effects on a crew member’s vision.
The crew continued exploring high intensity, low volume exercise to prevent muscle and bone loss in space. They also explored the effects of fatigue due to packed work schedules and sleep loss resulting from the disruption of the normal sunrise/sunset schedule.