December is shaping up to be a busy month as the Expedition 64 crew gears up for space freighter traffic. All seven crew members also practiced responding to a simulated emergency aboard the International Space Station.
NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins set up the tools that she and fellow Flight Engineer Victor Glover will use when the new SpaceX Dragon cargo craft arrives this weekend. The duo will monitor Dragon’s arrival on Sunday almost 24 hours after it launches from Florida on Saturday at 11:39 a.m. EST.
Rubins’ science work today consisted of setting up a microscope then servicing botany gear supporting the Plant Habitat-02 experiment. Rubins harvested the first crop of radish plants on Monday. Glover researched how diet affects the immune system in space for the Food Physiology study.
Flight Engineer Shannon Walker organized hardware inside the Human Research Facility today making room for future space deliveries. JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi worked in the Kibo laboratory module servicing external experiment hardware.
The behavior of water droplets is being observed in the orbiting lab’s Microgravity Science Glovebox today. Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins closely watched how the droplets react to different surfaces which may help improve the design of fuel and life support systems.
The entire crew, including cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, gathered together Wednesday afternoon and trained for the unlikely event of an emergency at the orbiting lab. They coordinated with mission controllers around the world practicing their communication, locating safety gear and maneuvering through escape routes.