The seven Expedition 65 crew members will wait an extra day to greet the four SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts after their launch slipped due to high winds. The International Space Station residents will stay focused on their human research activities to improve life on Earth and in space.
NASA and SpaceX managers pushed back the launch of the SpaceX Crew-2 mission to Friday at 5:49 a.m. EDT. Unfavorable weather conditions were predicted along the flight path after Thursday’s launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with Mission Specialists Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet, are now due to arrive at the orbital lab on Saturday at 5:10 a.m. The quartet will dock the Crew Dragon Endeavour to the Harmony module’s forward-facing international docking adapter. NASA TV begins its continuous coverage of the launch and docking activities on Friday at 1:30 a.m.
Meanwhile, space research continues full speed ahead as the station residents help scientists understand how their bodies are adapting to living in microgravity. Four of the station astronauts are also preparing to return to Earth next week in the midst of the science and maintenance work on orbit.
Commander Shannon Walker began her day scanning the leg muscles of Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins using an ultrasound device to observe muscle tone, stiffness and elasticity. The duo then partnered up in the afternoon observing microscopic worms to study how space affects the genetic expression of muscles.
Flight Engineers Victor Glover and Soichi Noguchi took turns wearing virtual reality goggles and clicking a trackball today for a study exploring how astronauts perceive time when living off the Earth. The duo, along Walker and Hopkins, is also getting ready to complete its station mission on April 28. The foursome will parachute to Earth inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience and splashdown off the coast of Florida ending a 162-day space research mission.
Nearly two weeks into their mission, three new Expedition 65 crewmates have stepped into their roles as orbital researchers and troubleshooters. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei collected and stowed his blood, urine and fecal samples for a pair of space biology studies today. Veteran cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Oleg Novitskiy worked on Russian power and plumbing systems. First time cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov checked computer electronics and studied Earth photography techniques and optimal space exercises.