Most of the Expedition 64 crew started a three-day weekend today following a busy start to 2021 that saw two U.S. cargo ship departures and two spacewalks. Four of the orbital residents aboard the International Space Station will break a U.S. space record from the ’70s on Sunday, and Super Bowl fans in Tampa may be able to Spot the Station.
Four SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts living aboard the International Space Station will surpass the U.S. record on Sunday for most days in space by a crew launched aboard a U.S. spacecraft. They will surpass the record of 84 days set by the Skylab 4 crew on Feb. 8, 1974.
Expedition 64 flight engineers Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi, docked the “Resilience” SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft to the Harmony module’s international docking adapter on Nov. 16, 2020. The Skylab 4 crew, with NASA astronauts Gerald Carr, Edward Gibson and William Pogue, docked their Apollo crew ship to the Skylab space station 47 years to the day when the crew of “Resilience” docked to the orbiting lab.
On the same day, the space station’s orbital path will take it within sighting range of Tampa, Florida, home of Super Bowl LV, at 7:15 p.m. EST . Weather permitting, the sighting opportunity will be about the same time two NFL football teams will be competing to win the game at Raymond James Stadium.
Four NASA astronauts and one JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut are relaxing today beginning a three-day weekend. The quintet were busy packing Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter and the SpaceX Cargo Dragon in January and monitoring their departures. Then they redirected their attention to a pair of spacewalks by Hopkins and Glover to upgrade communications and power systems. During that period microgravity research was running full speed ahead exploring everything from life science to space physics to advanced technology demonstrations.
Meanwhile in the Russian segment of the station, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov serviced exercise equipment and video communications gear. Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov set up and activated Earth observation hardware and assisted Ryzhikov with the upkeep of the Zvezda service module’s treadmill.