Crew Training for the Arrival of Two New Spaceships

Astronauts Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins
Astronauts Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins talk to journalists from La Crosse, Wis., and Reuters Science. Credit: NASA TV

A Russian Progress 64 (64P) cargo craft is getting ready for a Saturday launch to the International Space Station. A private U.S. space freighter, the SpaceX Dragon, is also getting prepared for a launch early Monday morning.

Both spacecraft will take two-day trips to the orbital laboratory. Cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Anatoly Ivanishin are practicing manual docking techniques in the unlikely event the 64P is unable to dock automatically Monday night. Commander Jeff Williams is also training for the robotic capture of Dragon when it arrives Wednesday morning.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins set up hardware in the Microgravity Science Glovebox to prepare for the Heart Cells experiment flying on Dragon next week. The study will explore how living in space affects heart muscle tissue changing its shape and gene expression.

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