Crew Dragon autonomously undocked from the forward port of the station’s Harmony module at 6:30 a.m. and relocated to the space-facing port at 7:08 a.m.
This is the start of a process that will enable extraction of new solar arrays from the SpaceX CRS-22 cargo mission’s trunk when it arrives to dock at the Node 2 zenith port following Crew-1 departure.
Following a short handover, Crew-1 NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, plan to return home off the coast of Florida about five days after the Crew-2 arrival to the space station as long as mission priorities and weather cooperate.
The seven-member Expedition 67 crew will wait an extra day to greet the first private astronauts who are due to launch this weekend to the International Space Station. In the meantime, the orbital residents focused on human research and physics today while gearing up for a pair of spacewalks later this month.
The first private astronaut mission, Axiom Space-1 (Ax-1), is now scheduled to launch no earlier than Friday at 11:17 a.m. EDT from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour, carrying Commander and former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy, would dock Saturday at 6:45 a.m. to the Harmony module’s space-facing port. NASA TV, on the agency’s app and website, will begin its live launch broadcast at 10 a.m.
The four astronauts and three cosmonauts living in space continued their activities today supporting ongoing space science and maintaining space station operations. The crew juggled a variety of microgravity investigations, packed a U.S. cargo ship, and reviewed procedures for two spacewalks to outfit a new Russian module.
Station Commander Tom Marshburn and Flight Engineer Raja Chari, both from NASA, spent some time in the Cygnus space freighter transferring cargo. Marshburn then updated emergency procedures ahead of the Ax-1 mission and the upcoming SpaceX Crew-3/Crew-4 crew swap. Chari serviced science freezers, checked components on an oxygen generator, then inspected the COLBERT treadmill.
Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev are getting ready for two spacewalks currently targeted for April 18 and 28. The duo is reviewing procedures to exit the Poisk module in their Orlan spacesuits and prepare Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for the European Robotic Arm. Cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov set up the EarthKAM experiment in the Harmony module to allow students on Earth to program the camera and photograph landmarks on the ground.
Four Expedition 67 astronauts, who have been aboard the International Space Station since November, kicked off the weekend with a light duty day today following a pair of spacewalks and a crew swap in March. The orbiting lab’s newest crewmates, three Flight Engineers from Roscosmos, stayed busy with their science and maintenance tasks.
March was a busy month in space that saw two spacewalks, the arrival of three new cosmonauts, and finally the departure of three crewmates officially ending Expedition 66. Three NASA astronauts and one ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut took a well-deserved break on Friday following the intense period aboard the orbiting lab.
NASA Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Raja Chari conducted the first spacewalk on March 15. Chari then joined ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer on March 23 for another spacewalk. The spacewalks were dedicated to preparing the space station for its third roll-out solar array and installing electronics and communications gear.
In the station Russian segment today, Artemyev and Matveev set up the Poisk module’s airlock for future spacewalk work planned for the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Korsakov worked in Zvezda service module performing preventative maintenance on the ventilation system. The cosmonauts also continued getting familiar with space station systems two weeks into their six-and-a-half-month mission.