Research, Lab Upkeep Fill Crew Day Before Emergency Training Session

Astronaut Woody Hoburg works replaces life support system components inside the International Space Station's Destiny laboratory module.
Astronaut Woody Hoburg works replaces life support system components inside the International Space Station’s Destiny laboratory module.

The Expedition 69 crew spent Wednesday servicing an array of science gear, maintaining orbital lab systems, and readying gear for the next private astronaut mission. The International Space Station crew members also joined each other at the end of the day and practiced responding to a variety of emergency scenarios.

NASA Flight Engineers Frank Rubio and Woody Hoburg worked during the morning on science hardware supporting different space biology experiments. Rubio uninstalled video components inside the Cell Biology Experiment Facility, a research incubator that generates artificial gravity. Hoburg deployed a computer on the Tranquility module’s life support rack before ground controllers loaded network security software into the device.

Rubio later joined UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and returned the station’s Treadmill 2 to its normal configuration inside Tranquility. Alneyadi and Hoburg had worked the day before on the treadmill rotating it out of its stowage position to inspect and clean its electronic components.

NASA Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen swapped out pharmaceutical samples inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox for the Ring Sheared Drop experiment that seeks potential treatments for neuro-degenerative diseases. He also removed a vest and headband he was wearing that recorded his vital signs and prepared the medical data for review by doctors on the ground.

Bowen also prepared computer tablets that will be used during the upcoming Axiom Mission-2 (Ax-2). Bowen configured the devices to allow the Ax-2 crew to access ground resources and connect to the internet. Ax-2 will be commanded by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson who will lead first-time space flyers Pilot John Shoffner and Mission Specialists Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi. The private quartet is scheduled to launch aboard the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft at 5:37 p.m. EDT on Sunday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and automatically dock to the orbiting lab at 9:24 a.m. on Monday.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin worked throughout Wednesday on life support maintenance before partnering together and testing ultrasound gear for a human research study. Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev spent his day inspecting surfaces inside the Roscosmos station modules.

At the end of the day, all seven crewmates joined each other for a regularly scheduled emergency training session. The orbital residents reviewed how they would coordinate their response to unlikely emergency events such as a fire, an ammonia leak, or a pressure leak. They familiarized themselves with escape routes, safety gear, and communication protocols with mission controllers.


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Crew Works Science, Maintenance Ahead of Second Axiom Mission

Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin work outside the space station to deploy and activate a radiator on the Nauka science module during a spacewalk on May 12, 2023.
Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin work outside the space station to deploy and activate a radiator on the Nauka science module during a spacewalk on May 12, 2023.

Mission managers have given the go for the launch of the second private astronaut mission to the International Space Station on Sunday. The Expedition 69 crew is preparing to meet the new astronauts while also keeping up its human research, maintaining orbital lab systems, and stowing spacewalk tools.

Axiom Space, SpaceX, and NASA managers met on Monday and agreed to launch four Axiom Mission-2 (Ax-2) crew members to the space station at 5:37 p.m. EDT on Sunday. Veteran astronaut and commander Peggy Whitson will lead first-time space flyers Pilot John Shoffner and Mission Specialists Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi aboard the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and guide it to an automated docking at 9:24 a.m. on Monday. The private astronauts will enter the station through the Harmony module’s space-facing port and begin several days of research, outreach, and commercial activities before returning to Earth.

Four station flight engineers joined each other during Tuesday afternoon and reviewed the Ax -2 mission schedule. NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen, Frank Rubio, and Woody Hoburg, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi familiarized themselves with the upcoming mission activities and reviewed how the crews will coordinate during docked operations.

In the meantime, the seven space station residents continued ongoing microgravity science and kept up the maintenance of the orbital outpost. Spacesuit work and cargo transfers also rounded out the day.

Bowen was back on human research Tuesday morning servicing samples in a centrifuge for a study exploring the immunity systems of astronauts. Rubio powered on the Astrobee free-flying robotic assistants then removed experiment hardware from inside the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock.

Hoburg and Alneyadi spent most of the day working on the Tranquility module’s treadmill. The duo rotated the exercise rack from its stowage position to gain access to its internal electronics components for inspection and cleaning. Alneyadi then spent a few moments testing the operations of the Astrobees for an upcoming student competition to control the robotic devices.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin continued cleaning up after last week’s spacewalk. The duo reconfigured the Poisk airlock and stowed the tools and hardware used during the five-hour and 14-minute excursion that saw the deployment of a radiator on the Nauka science module. Prokopyev also partnered with Roscosmos Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev unpacking cargo from the ISS Progress 83 cargo craft, while Petelin also explored how weightlessness affects the cardiovascular system.


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Crew Works Human Research and Cleans Up After Spacewalk

Astronauts (from left) Sultan Alneyadi and Woody Hoburg show off the tools they used to successfully open a hatch on the Unity module.
Astronauts (from left) Sultan Alneyadi and Woody Hoburg show off the tools they used to successfully open a hatch on the Unity module.

The seven-member Expedition 69 crew began its week studying microgravity’s effects on human immunity, replacing critical life support gear, and cleaning up after last week’s spacewalk. Axiom Space is also counting down to its second private mission to the International Space Station.

The orbital lab’s main purpose is gaining scientific knowledge not possible in Earth’s gravity to gain new insights benefitting humans on and off the Earth. Human research and physics are a key part of the microgravity science program helping NASA and its international partners plan missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

NASA Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen started Monday processing blood samples that will be analyzed to understand how living in space affects cellular immune function to promote healthier astronauts. At the end of the day, Bowen put on a vest and headband packed with sensors that will record his physiological data to the Canadian Space Agency’s Bio-Monitor device.

Station flight engineers Frank Rubio of NASA and Sultan Alneyadi of UAE (United Arab Emirates) worked throughout Monday on experiment hardware supporting advanced space biology research. Rubio worked in the Kibo laboratory module checking out the Confocal Space Microscope that captures fluorescence imagery to observe the fundamental nature of cellular and tissue structures. Alneyadi installed a syringe filled with a protein solution inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox for the Ring Sheared Drop experiment that may provide potential treatments for neuro-degenerative diseases.

Rubio and Alneyadi also assisted NASA Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg as he worked throughout the day on the Destiny laboratory module’s carbon dioxide removal assembly. Hoburg spent several hours throughout Monday replacing components then checking for leaks on the life support device located in Destiny’s air revitalization system rack.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin relaxed Saturday and Sunday following their five-hour and 14-minute spacewalk on Friday to deploy and activate a radiator on the Nauka science module. The two cosmonauts then kicked off Monday uninstalling components and checking for leaks on their Orlan spacesuits then returning the Poisk airlock to its post-spacewalk configuration. Afterward, the pair checked the heart monitoring gear they would wear during their descent to Earth inside the Soyuz MS-23 crew ship.

Roscosmos Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev spent his day primarily on maintenance activities as he cleaned ventilation equipment and laptop computers in the Zvezda service module.  Fedyaev also spent a few moments on human research activities recording and downloading his body mass measurements then collecting his own blood sample for later analyzing.

The second private astronaut mission from Axiom Space, Axiom Mission 2, is scheduled to launch to the space station at 5:37 p.m. EDT on Sunday. Commander Peggy Whitson with Pilot John Shoffner and Mission Specialists Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi will ride the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the orbiting lab’s space-facing port on the Harmony module where they are scheduled to dock at 9:24 a.m. on Monday. The private quartet will conduct research, outreach, and commercial activities before returning to Earth.

The Axiom Mission 2 Flight Readiness Review was conducted today and has concluded. The media briefing will begin as scheduled at 5 p.m. EDT today. More: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-sets-coverage-for-axiom-mission-2-briefings-events-broadcast


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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Dragon Crew Ship Docks to New Port

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft approaches the Harmony module's forward port for a docking during its relocation maneuver above the United States. Credit: NASA TV
The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft approaches the Harmony module’s forward port for a docking during its relocation maneuver above the United States. Credit: NASA TV

The SpaceX Dragon, with Expedition 69 crew members Steve Bowen and Woody Hoburg of NASA, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev aboard, has successfully docked to the forward port of the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 8:01 a.m. EDT.

This was the 27th spacecraft relocation in space station history. The move made room for the arrival of the uncrewed SpaceX Dragon carrying cargo to station as part of the company’s 28th commercial resupply services mission for NASA, targeted to launch in June.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 members are scheduled to return to Earth in August.


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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Dragon Crew Ship Undocks to Move to New Port

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience is pictured during a relocation maneuver on April 5, 2021, carrying astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience is pictured during a relocation maneuver on April 5, 2021, carrying astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi.

The SpaceX Dragon, with Expedition 69 crew members Steve Bowen and Woody Hoburg of NASA, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev aboard, has undocked from the Harmony module on the space-facing side of the complex, and is on its way to redock to the forward port of the module.

Redocking to the forward port of the module is planned for approximately 8:06 a.m. EDT, and is airing live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

This is the 27th spacecraft relocation in station history. The move is making room for the arrival of the uncrewed SpaceX Dragon carrying cargo to station as part of the company’s 28th commercial resupply services mission for NASA, targeted to launch in June.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 members are scheduled to return to Earth in August.


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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Dragon Crew Ship Moving to New Port Live on NASA TV

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience is pictured during a relocation maneuver on April 5, 2021, carrying astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience is pictured during a relocation maneuver on April 5, 2021, carrying astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi.

NASA coverage is underway as four crew members aboard the International Space Station take a short trip inside their SpaceX Dragon to relocate the spacecraft from one docking port to another.

Undocking is scheduled at 7:10 a.m. EDT with redocking planned at 7:53 a.m. Relocation activities will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

The SpaceX Dragon, with Expedition 69 crew members Steve Bowen and Woody Hoburg of NASA, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, will undock from the space-facing port of the Harmony module, and redock to the station’s forward Harmony port.

This will be the 27th spacecraft relocation in station history. The move will make room for the arrival of the uncrewed SpaceX Dragon carrying cargo to station as part of the company’s 28th commercial resupply services mission for NASA, targeted to launch in June.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 members are scheduled to return to Earth in August.


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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Dragon Crew Ship Changing Ports, Cosmonauts Cleanup After Spacewalk

Four Expedition 69 flight engineers aboard the International Space Station pose for a portrait in the pressure suits they will wear when they relocate the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour crew ship.
Four Expedition 69 flight engineers aboard the International Space Station pose for a portrait in the pressure suits they will wear when they relocate the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour crew ship.

Four Expedition 69 crew members are reviewing the procedures they will use when they move the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft to a new port on Saturday morning. The rest of the crew aboard the International Space Station is cleaning up after completing a spacewalk earlier this week.

NASA Flight Engineers Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg will respectively command and pilot the Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft when it undocks from the Harmony module’s space-facing port at 7:10 a.m. EDT on Saturday. The pair will be flanked by UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev during the planned 43-minute relocation maneuver. Endeavour, with the four crewmates inside, will automatically redock to Harmony’s forward port at 7:53 a.m. NASA TV begins it live relocation coverage at 7 a.m. on the agency’s app and website.

The quartet began Friday morning simulating their spacecraft maneuvers in coordination with mission controllers on the ground. Afterward, the foursome held a space-to-ground conference with the controllers discussing training, procedures, and mission readiness.

Endeavour’s relocation will open up Harmony’s top port for the upcoming SpaceX CRS-28 cargo mission. This enables the Canadarm2 robotic arm to reach out and access the cargo inside the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship’s trunk. Inside Dragon’s trunk will be a new set of roll-out solar arrays that the Canadarm2 will grapple and temporarily stow on the station’s starboard-side truss structure. Two astronauts on a future spacewalk will permanently install the roll-out solar arrays on the starboard truss augmenting the orbital outpost’s power generation system.

Three cosmonauts reconfigured the Roscosmos segment of the space station following Wednesday’s spacewalk to move an experiment airlock. Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin deactivated and cleaned their spacesuits then stowed the tools they used during their seven-hour, 11-minute spacewalk. Fedyaev, who controlled the European robotic arm (ERA) during the spacewalk, spent Friday inside the Nauka science module removing cameras and powering down the ERA.

Prokopyev and Petelin have one more spacewalk to conduct this month when they exit the Poisk airlock on May 12 to deploy a radiator that was attached to Nauka during a previous spacewalk on April 19. Fedyaev will be inside the station monitoring the spacewalkers who will also fill the radiator with coolant and perform maintenance on the ERA.


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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Axiom Mission 2 No Longer Targeting Early May Launch

The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour carrying four Axiom Mission 1 astronauts approaches the space station above the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco on April 9, 2022.
The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour carrying four Axiom Mission 1 astronauts approaches the space station above the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco on April 9, 2022.

NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX are working together to identify the best availability opportunity to launch the Axiom Mission 2 to the space station; we are no longer targeting opportunities in early May. More information on the updated target launch date will be shared soon.


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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Crew Preps for Spacewalk and Dragon Relocation During Research

The space station's Nauka science module, Prichal docking module, and Soyuz MS-23 crew ship are pictured as the orbital lab soared 259 miles above north Africa.
The space station’s Nauka science module, Prichal docking module, and Soyuz MS-23 crew ship are pictured as the orbital lab soared 259 miles above north Africa.

Two cosmonauts are getting ready to exit the International Space Station on Wednesday to conduct the year’s fifth spacewalk. The rest of the Expedition 69 crew spent Tuesday preparing to relocate the SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship, setting up robotic free-flyers, and working on life support maintenance.

Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin of Roscosmos are finalizing their procedure reviews and completing their Orlan spacesuit configurations today ahead of a spacewalk planned to start at 4:05 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. The duo will spend about six-and-a-half hours removing an experiment airlock from the Rassvet module then installing it on the Nauka science module. Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev will be inside the station assisting the spacewalkers and maneuvering the European robotic arm with the airlock in its grip.

Coming up on Saturday, four crew members will enter the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour and move the spaceship to a new station port. NASA Flight Engineers Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg will command and pilot, respectively, Endeavour while flanked by Flight Engineers Sultan Alneyadi of UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Fedyaev of Roscosmos. The quartet will undock from the Harmony module’s space-facing port at 7:10 a.m. then redock to Harmony’s forward port at 7:53 a.m.

The quartet joined each other on Tuesday and checked the pressure suits they will wear during their short ride inside Dragon. The foursome also reviewed their relocation procedures, checked vehicle hatches, and configured the spacecraft cabin.

NASA TV is covering both the spacewalk and the Dragon relocation activities live on the agency’s app and website. Spacewalk coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday and the Dragon relocation broadcast begins at 6 a.m. on Saturday.

Robotics and bioprinting were the top research priorities on Tuesday in the midst of the spacewalk and Dragon preparations. Hoburg turned on an Astrobee robotic free-flyer in the Kibo laboratory module during the morning and tested its operations in conjunction with mission controllers. The robotics work is being done to demonstrate ways to control the free-flyers using student-written code. NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio worked on the BioFabrication Facility (BFF) replacing and installing components. The BFF is designed to print organ-like tissues in microgravity and learn how to manufacture whole, fully-functioning human organs in space.

Bowen and Sultan partnered together during the morning inside the Destiny laboratory module working on life support gear. The duo took turns collecting water samples and replacing components from inside Destiny’s oxygen generation system.


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Science Ops, Axiom Mission Announced After Soyuz Relocation

The Soyuz MS-23 crew ship with three Expedition 69 crew members aboard is pictured shortly after relocating from the Poisk module and docking to the Prichal docking module. Credit: NASA TV
The Soyuz MS-23 crew ship with three Expedition 69 crew members aboard is pictured shortly after relocating from the Poisk module and docking to the Prichal docking module. Credit: NASA TV

Three Expedition 69 crewmates are relaxing today after relocating their Soyuz crew ship to another port. Meanwhile, the other four International Space Station residents continued a variety of space research while maintaining orbital lab systems. Axiom Space also announced its second private mission to the orbital outpost.

NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio took a 37-minute ride inside the Soyuz MS-23 crew ship Thursday morning alongside Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin. The trio undocked from the Poisk module at 4:45 a.m. EDT and docked to the Prichal docking module, on the opposite side of the station, at 5:22 a.m. The relocation maneuver opens up Poisk’s airlock for a series of upcoming spacewalks in Orlan spacesuits and frees its docking port for the ISS Progress 84 resupply mission.

After a couple of hours of pressure and leak checks, the Soyuz and Prichal hatches opened with assistance from Roscosmos Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev. Rubio, Prokopyev, and Petelin then reentered the station, completed some Soyuz closeout tasks, and went to sleep early. They will be back on duty Friday for ongoing microgravity research and upcoming mission preparations.

Two NASA astronauts spent Thursday continuing their research into how living long-term in weightlessness changes the human body. NASA Flight Engineers Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg have been teaming up for the biology study before its return to Earth aboard the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship later this month. Scientists on the ground will use the observations to learn how to counteract space-caused symptoms and keep astronauts healthy as NASA prepares for human missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

UAE (United Arab Emirates) Flight Engineer Sultan Alneyadi spent his day on a pair of different experiments studying both space physics and biotechnology. Alneyadi first swapped sample hardware inside the Materials Science Laboratory‘s low gradient furnace that supports research into new applications for existing materials or new and improved materials. Afterward, the UAE astronaut peered through a microscope at protein crystals for the Monoclonal Antibodies study that may improve the development of drugs on Earth.

Fedyaev, who earlier assisted his crewmates during their Soyuz relocation, worked on ventilation maintenance inside the Zvezda service module. He ended his day inside the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module inspecting and photographing cables.

Axiom Space announced its next private astronaut mission to the space station today. The Axiom-2 crew is, retired NASA astronaut and Mission Commander Peggy Whitson, Pilot John Shoffner, and Mission Specialists Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi, all three first-time space flyers. Axiom-2 is targeting a launch to the station no earlier than 10:43 p.m. EDT on May 8 aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.


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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