Station Gears Up for Russian Resupply Ship Relocation

The waxing gibbous Moon is pictured from the space station over Earth's horizon.
The waxing gibbous Moon is pictured from the space station over Earth’s horizon.

Tuesday aboard the International Space Station was devoted mainly to orbital maintenance tasks with some light science duties on the schedule. The Expedition 66 crew is also gearing up for a Russian cargo craft backing away from the station and moving to a new docking port this week.

Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Akihiko Hoshide began two days of work on the Tranquility module’s oxygen generation system (OGS) today. NASA’s McArthur and Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) partnered up and cleaned out contaminants in the OGS throughout the day. They will continue replacing components and reactivating the life support device on Wednesday.

NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough worked aboard the U.S. Destiny laboratory module swapping fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack to support ongoing fuel and flame research in microgravity. Mark Vande Hei, also a NASA Flight Engineer, worked in the U.S. Quest airlock checking a variety of spacewalking tools and tethers ahead of an upcoming spacewalk planned for later this year. Station commander Thomas Pesquet from ESA (European Space Agency) calibrated carbon dioxide monitors then configured temporary crew quarters in the Columbus laboratory module.

The station’s two cosmonauts, Flight Engineers Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov, are getting ready for Wednesday night’s ISS Progress 78 (78P) resupply ship relocation maneuver that begins with it undocking from the Poisk module. The duo practiced on the Zvezda service module’s tele-robotically operated rendezvous unit for the unlikely event they would have to manually redock the 78P. The Russian cargo craft is due to automatically redock to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module just after midnight Eastern time on Friday. NASA TV begins its live coverage of the redocking at 11:30 p.m. on Thursday.

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