Crew Works Science, Maintenance Before Dragon Launches Tonight

Astronauts (from left) Loral O'Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli pose for a portrait while working inside the Quest airlock.
Astronauts (from left) Loral O’Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli pose for a portrait while working inside the Quest airlock.

A U.S. cargo craft is at its launch pad in Florida counting down to a liftoff tonight to the International Space Station. Meanwhile, the Expedition 70 crew spent the day working on robotics research, cell biology, and a fitness evaluation.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is due to blast off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 8:28 p.m. EDT today. It will carry several tons of science, supplies, and hardware to the orbital outpost and automatically dock to the Harmony module’s forward port at 5:21 a.m. on Saturday. Watch the NASA+ streaming service at no cost on demand. The Dragon launch also will air live on NASA Television, the NASA appYouTube, and on the agency’s website. Learn how to stream NASA TV through a variety of platforms including social media.

NASA astronauts Loral O’Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli will be on duty Saturday morning overseeing Dragon’s automated approach and rendezvous maneuvers. The NASA duo spent Thursday afternoon with Commander Andreas Mogensen and Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa reviewing the new cargo manifest and the unloading operations they will perform after Dragon arrives and the hatches open.

Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) began his day in the Kibo laboratory module and worked there until the afternoon testing the operations of the Astrobee robotic helper. The robotics work was demonstrating how the toaster-sized free-flyer can use a small robotic arm and grasp handrails to maneuver throughout the space station.

Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) also worked inside Kibo setting up research hardware to study how cells sense gravity. Afterward, he assisted O’Hara and Moghbeli as they worked throughout Thursday cleaning and installing components inside the Tranquility module’s bathroom, formally known as the Waste and Hygiene Compartment.

Roscosmos Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov attached sensors to himself and jogged on the Zvezda service module’s treadmill for a fitness evaluation during the morning. Afterward, he spent the rest of the day cleaning smoke detectors inside the Nauka science module.

Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko spent the morning on maintenance tasks inside Zvezda then prepared an experiment that records the vibrations the station experiences when a spacecraft docks or undocks. Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub worked on life support and electronics maintenance and packed the Progress 84 resupply ship with trash and discarded gear.

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.

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