Spacesuits, Science, and Cargo Ops Kick Off Week

This nighttime view from the space station shows the city lights of the northeastern United States and its major urban areas.
This nighttime view from the space station shows the city lights of the northeastern United States and its major urban areas.

Monday was a busy day for the seven Expedition 70 crew members packed with spacesuit work, microgravity research, and cargo operations. Two astronauts are also due to exit the International Space Station on Wednesday for a maintenance spacewalk.

Two astronauts and a cosmonaut joined each other on Monday afternoon practicing powering up spacesuits and suiting up their spacewalking crewmates inside the Quest airlock. The trio of flight engineers, including Jasmin Moghbeli from NASA, Satoshi Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Nikolai Chub from Roscosmos, activated suit life support and communications components, checked water and oxygen levels, then performed a suit fit check.

Moghbeli and NASA Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara are scheduled to start a spacewalk on Wednesday at 8:05 a.m. EDT for about seven hours of communications and solar array work. The duo will remove an electronics box called the Radio Frequency Group that was part of a communications antenna system. They also will replace one of 12 trundle bearing assemblies on the station’s port solar alpha rotary joint. The bearings enable the station’s solar arrays to track the Sun.

O’Hara took a day off from spacewalk preparations on Monday and focused on space botany and cargo tasks. She first replaced components inside the Plant Habitat facility to prepare for an experiment investigating how tomato plants defend against disease in the weightless environment. Next, she swapped cargo in and out of the Cygnus space freighter. She finally cleaned up cardiac and neuron cell research hardware to make space for an upcoming SpaceX Dragon cargo mission.

ESA (European Space Agency) Commander Andreas Mogensen worked throughout Monday staging gear that will soon be packed inside the visiting Dragon cargo spacecraft. He also readied hardware that will be used during Wednesday’s spacewalk. At the end of the day, he joined Furukawa and practiced Canadarm2 robotic arm maneuvers on a computer to support the spacewalkers.

Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko began his day wearing a helmet packed with sensors practicing piloting techniques crew members might use on future planetary missions. Afterward, he worked on Roscosmos Progress 85 cargo craft maintenance then practiced a medical emergency with O’Hara and Chub. Chub also worked on a 3D printing experiment testing manufacturing in space to reduce dependency on supplies from Earth.

First-time space flyer and cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov spent an hour on an Earth photography session during the morning. He would then spend the rest of the day on a variety of life support maintenance tasks throughout the station’s Roscosmos segment.

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

Get weekly video highlights at:

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *