Orbiting Trio Busy With Station Upkeep and Science Work

March 20 Solar Eclipse
Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti photographed the March 20 solar eclipse from a window on the International Space Station. View more solar eclipse imagery… https://flic.kr/s/aHsk8QNu7h

Commander Terry Virts was the maintenance man Friday as he inspected windows and checked for dust buildup in vents inside the Destiny lab module. Virts also conducted more plumbing work, replacing a recycle tank in the Water Recovery System.

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti was in Europe’s Columbus lab module continuing her week-long science activities in the BioLab. She ran the TripleLux-B experiment using the BioLab’s glovebox for the second time this week to study cellular mechanisms that cause impairment of immune functions in microgravity.

› Read more about the TripleLux-B experiment

Back on Earth, three new crew members are at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, waiting to join Expedition 43. Soyuz TMA-16M Commander Gennady Padalka and One-Year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are preparing for launch on March 27. Kelly and Kornienko will stay in space until March 2016. Padalka will return to Earth on Sept. 11.

› Read more about the One-Year Crew