Crew Awaits Cargo, Works Science and Departure Following Spacewalk

Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy conducts a spacewalk
Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy conducts a spacewalk to set up the Tranquility module for the future installation of a NanoRacks airlock.

The Expedition 63 crew is turning its attention to Thursday’s express cargo delivery mission following a successful spacewalk on Tuesday.

Russia’s Progress 76 (76P) rocket stands at its launch pad in Kazakhstan packed with nearly three tons of food, fuel and supplies to replenish the International Space Station. The 76P will blast off at 10:26 a.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and dock to the station’s Pirs docking compartment at 1:47 p.m. NASA TV is broadcasting the launch starting at 10 a.m. and returns at 1 p.m. to cover the 76P’s approach and rendezvous.

NASA Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineer Bob Behnken took it easy Wednesday morning after a five-hour and 29-minute spacewalk on Tuesday. The duo then participated in standard health checks before a series of two-hour cycling and jogging workout sessions. The astronauts, who now have 10 spacewalks each, finished the day servicing U.S. spacesuits and cleaning up the Quest airlock.

Cassidy also managed to juggle a pair of science experiments as he stowed student-controlled Earth observation gear then collected samples for a food physiology study. Behnken joined his fellow SpaceX Crew Dragon crewmate Doug Hurley and began packing for their return to Earth and splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico on Aug. 2.

Cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner are ready and will be on duty Thursday afternoon monitoring the arrival of the 76P. However, the duo spent Wednesday on a variety of Russian science and maintenance tasks. Ivanishin checked air flow sensors and cleaned vents and fans. Ivanishin worked on specialized Earth observation gear throughout the day before downloading radiation readings.

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