Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Thomas Pesquet worked throughout Thursday scanning their leg, foot, arm, neck and lower back muscles with an ultrasound device. The duo performed the scans before and after working out on the advanced resistive exercise device. The long-running Myotones experiment, ongoing since 2011, measures how space affects muscle tone, stiffness and elasticity.
Commander Akihiko Hoshide installed an incubator inside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module for upcoming research for the Kidney Cell-02 study. The biology study could lead to improved treatments for kidney stones and osteoporosis for humans living on and off the Earth. The three-time station visitor then joined NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Mark Vande Hei packing the U.S. Cygnus space freighter ahead of its departure at the end of June.
Vande Hei and Kimbrough also took turns during the day contributing to a space agriculture study that started in October of last year. The Plant Water Management explores hydroponics in microgravity and may also improve watering systems on Earth.
Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov partnered together Thursday morning pedaling on an exercise bike to evaluate their cardiovascular function. The duo then spent the rest of the day configuring Orlan spacesuits for a spacewalk scheduled on June 2 to service Russian hardware and install science experiments.
The very next day SpaceX will launch its upgraded Cargo Dragon vehicle from Kennedy Space Center to the station at 1:29 p.m. EDT. It will automatically dock on June 5 at 5 a.m. to the Harmony module’s space-facing international docking adapter carrying about 7,300 pounds of science, supplies and hardware. Dragon is also carrying the first set of new solar arrays that will be installed on upcoming spacewalk to augment the orbital lab’s power system.