The Expedition 47 crew began May exploring botany, genetic analysis and life science. SpaceX is also getting ready for the May 11 release and splashdown of its Dragon spacecraft.
NASA astronaut Jeff Williams harvested and fixated plants grown for the Plant Gravity Sensing study. Scientists seek to understand the chemical process that guides the direction of roots and how they sense gravity. Williams is also validating the new WetLab-2 system hardware to extract RNA from a cell sample in microgravity.
British astronaut Tim Peake swapped gear on a specialized microscope that can download imagery and video to scientists on the ground. Peake also saved data collected from an armband for the Energy study then moved on to the Rodent Research study that observes muscle and bone loss in space.
Commander Tim Kopra and Williams are packing and securing cargo inside Dragon for return to Earth next week. SpaceX engineers on a ship will retrieve the Dragon in the Pacific Ocean and return it to a port in southern California. The gear and research will be returned to NASA for analysis.