An international crew of three is ready for a two-day ride to the International Space Station. The Soyuz rocket that will lift them to space is set to launch tonight from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:37 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Sept. 2.
Veteran cosmonaut Sergey Volkov will command the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft. Joining him for the trip to the station will be first time flyers Andreas Mogensen from the European Space Agency and Aidyn Aimbetov from Kazcosmos, the National Space Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Meanwhile aboard the station, One-year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko continued their Human Research Program studies today taking measurements for the Fluid Shifts study and Fine Motor Skills.
JAXA astronaut Kimiya Yui is continuing work to reconfigure the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) to support the new Mouse Habitat Unit (MHU) delivered on HTV-5. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren is performing post-transfer work on the newly arrived Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR)-2.
The crew of Expedition 43 spent much of the day on Monday working on experiments that will be coming home on SpaceX’s Dragon vehicle later this month.
NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Terry Virts studied the effects of microgravity on living organisms for the Rodent Research experiment. They are looking at mice and how their body systems change in space. The results may promote the development of new drugs tackling the effects of aging and disease on Earth.
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti configured one of the station’s Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubators (MERLIN) for return on Dragon. She also transferred a number of other items into the unmanned cargo craft. Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station on May 21.