Science, Spacewalks Preps Underway as Crew-4 Targets Launch

Expedition 67 Commander Thomas Marshburn configures hardware for material flammability and fire safety experiment.
Expedition 67 Commander Thomas Marshburn configures hardware for material flammability and fire safety experiment.

It was a very busy day aboard the International Space Station as the 11-person crew focused on human research experiments and spacewalk preparations. Back on Earth, four Commercial Crew astronauts are in quarantine ahead of their planned to launch to the orbiting lab in less than two weeks.

Expedition 67 Commander Tom Marshburn of NASA began his day continuing to explore how living in space affects cellular aging and cardiac cells. Afterward, he moved on and assisted the four Axiom Mission 1 astronauts with their packed schedule of microgravity research. Flight Engineers Kayla Barron of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) collected and stowed their blood samples in the morning for an ongoing muscle biochemical properties study.

Next, Barron serviced a diverse array of research hardware throughout the day including the Life Science Glovebox, a mixed-reality headset, and finally a science freezer. Maurer set up acoustic monitoring hardware before powering up the CIMON mobile artificial intelligence companion for a technology demonstration.

NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari configured a commercial microscope that can be operated on the station and remotely from the ground to streamline imaging and analysis for a variety of space research. Chari then turned his attention to departure preparations for he and his SpaceX Crew-3 crewmates at the end of the month before wrapping up the day with orbital plumbing activities.

Two spacewalks with cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev are currently scheduled for April 18 and 28. Today, the duo was joined by fellow cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov and reviewed the procedures the spacewalkers will use during both excursions to ready the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for the European Robotic Arm (ERA).

The four Axiom Mission 1 astronauts had a full day of space science and commercial and private activities. Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria resumed his cancer research while Pilot Larry Connor continued testing a miniature antenna. Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy were back exploring brain dynamics and transmitting 3D images of humans to space.

The next Commercial Crew mission to the orbiting lab, SpaceX Crew-4, is now targeted to launch on April 23 at 5:26 a.m. EDT. The mission’s four astronauts, including Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Robert Hines, and Mission Specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti, have entered their quarantine period to ensure their health and protect the crew aboard the orbiting lab.

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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