Crew Gets Ready for Spacewalk and Dragon Departure This Week

Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov is pictured during a spacewalk on Sept. 3, 2021, to begin outfitting Russia's Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.
Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov is pictured during a spacewalk on Sept. 3, 2021, to begin outfitting Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

The Expedition 66 crew is getting ready for a spacewalk on Wednesday while packing a U.S. resupply ship for its departure on Friday. Meanwhile, the International Space Station also hosted a pair of space biology studies exploring exercise and vision.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov finalized their preparations today for the first spacewalk of 2022 set to begin at 7 a.m. EST on Wednesday. The duo completed reviewing the procedures they will use during the seven-hour spacewalk to outfit Russia’s new Nauka and Prichal modules. They will wear their Russian Orlan spacesuits and exit the Poisk module’s airlock at 7 a.m. where their spacewalking gear is staged.  NASA TV, on the NASA app and the agency’s website, will broadcast the space activities live beginning at 6 a.m.

Three NASA astronauts continued loading the SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle ahead of its undocking on Friday at 10:40 a.m. Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Raja Chari started the loading after lunch time, before NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn joined them at the end of the day to help organize and secure the cargo.

Marshburn, along with astronaut Matthias Maurer from ESA (European Space Agency), also participated in an workout session on the exercise cycle located in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module. The duo took turns pedaling for an hour each wearing monitors that measured their heart rate for a human research study.

Maurer then joined NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron for the rest of the day inside the Kibo laboratory module for a vision investigation. The pair conducted the research operations using the Life Science Glovebox to understand how a long-term space mission affects an astronaut’s visual function and to promote eye health on Earth.

Axiom Mission 1, the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station, is now targeting to launch March 31 to account for additional spacecraft preparations and space station traffic. Once aboard the orbiting laboratory, the four-person Axiom Space crew will conduct science, outreach, and commercial activities for eight days before their return to Earth.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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