The seven-member Expedition 64 crew is taking a well-deserved break today following a Soyuz crew ship relocation and three spacewalks in just three weeks.
NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov hitched a ride on Friday inside the Soyuz MS-17 crew ship piloted by Commander Sergey Ryzhikov. The trio backed out from the Earth-facing Rassvet module and pulled into the space-facing port of the Poisk module during the 34-minute maneuver. This opens up Rassvet for the April 9 arrival of three new Expedition 65 crew members, including NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov, aboard the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship.
Rubins and her fellow astronauts Soichi Noguchi, Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins, completed a series of three spacewalks on Feb. 28, March 5 and March 13. Rubins and Glover set out on the first spacewalk to ready the International Space Station for new solar arrays. On the second excursion, Rubins and Noguchi continued the solar array upgrade work. Finally, Glover and Hopkins worked outside the station during the third spacewalk servicing the cooling system, communications gear, and the Bartolomeo science platform.
Science and maintenance will pick up back up again on Tuesday when the crew explores microgravity’s impact on genetic expression and vision. The orbital residents will also be reconfiguring a variety of research racks to ensure advanced space science remains up and running on the orbiting lab.