A Soyuz crew ship is counting down to its launch early Wednesday carrying three individuals to the International Space Station for an eleven-day visit. Back in space, the seven-member Expedition 66 crew moved along Tuesday studying space physics and biomedical science.
Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin will lead Japanese spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano aboard the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship when it lifts off from Kazakhstan at 2:38 a.m. EST (12:38 p.m. Kazakh time) on Wednesday. The trio will dock to the Poisk module at 8:41 a.m. and enter the station to greet the Expedition 66 crew about an hour-and-a-half later. Live NASA TV begins its live launch coverage on Wednesday at 2 a.m. on the agency’s website, and the NASA app.
Onboard the orbital lab today, the station residents stayed focused on microgravity science observing a variety of space phenomena. Results from the multitude of ongoing space investigations provide new insights and benefits difficult to achieve in Earth’s gravity.
NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei configured a space physics study that seeks to improve thermal systems and boiler operations for Earth and space applications. NASA Flight Engineer Thomas Marshburn ran an experiment studying ways to harness nanoparticles before setting up and wearing the Bio-Monitor that keeps track of crew physiology. ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer scanned his right leg’s femoral artery with an ultrasound device for the Vascular Aging study.
NASA crewmates Raja Chari and Kayla Barron partnered up inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance inspecting components inside the vehicle. Chari started his day spinning his blood samples in a centrifuge and stowing them in a science freezer. Barron took a cognition test in the morning then collected sound level readings throughout the space station.
The station’s five astronauts also joined cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov and practiced an emergency drill during Tuesday afternoon. The septet reviewed roles and responsibilities, coordinated communications with controllers on Earth, and mimicked the actions necessary for different emergency scenarios.