Following Science, Spacewalk Cleanup a Planned Cygnus Boost Approaches

Astronaut Woody Hoburg poses for a portrait inside the vestibule that separates the Unity module from the Cygnus space freighter's hatch.
Astronaut Woody Hoburg poses for a portrait inside the vestibule that separates the Unity module from the Cygnus space freighter’s hatch.

The Expedition 69 crew is continuing to unpack a U.S. cargo craft before it fires engines to reboost the International Space Station on Friday. The orbital residents are also continuing their science and maintenance activities while cleaning up the day after a spacewalk.

NASA astronauts Frank Rubio and Stephen Bowen continued unpacking some of the several tons of science and supplies still packed inside the Cygnus space freighter on Thursday. Cygnus will also fire it engines on Friday reboosting the orbital outpost. This will raise the station to the correct altitude for the upcoming arrival of a Roscosmos cargo craft in two weeks. The station will also be in the proper phasing for a Soyuz crew swap mission planned in mid- to late September.

Rubio also opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack to troubleshoot the computer electronics inside. Bowen monitored his blood pressure throughout the day and swapped samples in the Microgravity Science Glovebox for a space manufacturing study.

NASA Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg spent his day on inflight maintenance as he replaced charcoal filters in the Harmony module and loaded new software on a tablet computer. UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi organized food bags, helped Rubio unload the Cygnus cargo craft, then finally replaced window scratch panes in the cupola.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin are cleaning their Orlan spacesuits and stowing spacewalking gear following Wednesday’s spacewalk. The duo spent six hours and 35 minutes in the vacuum of space installing orbital debris shields and relocating a portable workstation on the Roscosmos segment of the space station.

Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev is returning the European robotic arm (ERA) to its stowage configuration on the Nauka science module.  Fedyaev commanded the ERA during Wednesday’s spacewalk moving the workstation from the Rassvet module to Nauka and testing its ability to maneuver a spacewalker with Prokopyev attached for the first time.

The Roscosmos trio got a late start on Thursday after sleeping in following a good night’s rest. During their cleanup activities, Prokopyev and Petelin also called down to mission controllers to discuss the previous day’s spacewalk activities.

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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