11 Astronauts Busy with Research, Cargo Work and Spacewalk Preps

The 11-member crew aboard the station is composed of the seven-member Expediton 67 crew and the four-member Axiom Mission 1 crew.
The 11-member crew aboard the station is composed of the seven-member Expediton 67 crew and the four-member Axiom Mission 1 crew.

It was very busy on the International Space Station on Monday with the orbiting lab hosting 11 crew members including the four-member Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) crew. The private astronauts and the seven-member Expedition 67 crew were engaged in a multitude of tasks today such as packing a U.S. cargo ship, researching life science, and preparing for a pair of Russian spacewalks.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Kayla Barron swapped cargo in and out of the U.S. Cygnus space freighter today. The duo replenished the station’s galley with food from Cygnus while stowing trash and other discarded items inside the resupply ship ahead of its departure at the end of May. The astronauts were also joined by NASA Commander Tom Marshburn and ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer during some of the cargo work.

Maurer spent the majority of Monday setting up hardware for the Transparent Alloys physics study and the AstroPi computer that students can program from Earth to understand the space environment. Marshburn helped the four Ax-1 astronauts get up to speed with space station operations and emergency procedures.

Former NASA astronaut and Ax-1 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria is on his fifth space flight and his first as an Axiom Space astronaut. He partnered with Ax-1 Pilot Larry Connor today exploring how living in microgravity affects cellular aging and cardiac cells. The other two Ax-1 astronauts, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe, explored DNA sequencing, brain dynamics, the cardiovascular system, and tested holoportation, or transmitting mixed-reality, 360-degree images of humans to space.

Two cosmonauts continue gearing up for a pair of spacewalks later this month to configure the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for the European Robotic Arm (ERA). Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev had a fitness test, checked their Orlan spacesuits, and installed pressure tanks in the Poisk module as part of standard pre-spacewalk preparations. Russian Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov set up hardware to assist the spacewalkers during the ERA work outside Nauka.


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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Station Crew Preps for Spacewalks and Ax-1 Mission

An orbital sunrise is pictured from the space station beaming across Earth's horizon revealing the silhouetted clouds above the South China Sea.
An orbital sunrise is pictured from the space station beaming across Earth’s horizon revealing the silhouetted clouds above the South China Sea.

The seven-member Expedition 67 crew is gearing up for a pair of spacewalks scheduled for later this month while ensuring the International Space Station orbits Earth in tip-top shape. Meanwhile, the first private astronaut mission is less than one day from launching toward the orbital lab.

NASA astronaut Raja Chari is helping two cosmonauts get ready for two spacewalks planned for April to outfit the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Chari shared U.S. spacesuit components including helmet lights and cameras to Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev as they organized their spacewalk tools and configured their Orlan spacesuits. The Russian duo is preparing to exit the space station toward the end of the month to outfit Nauka for the station’s third robotic arm, the European robotic arm.

Artemyev and Matveev started the day with pre-spacewalk muscle examinations before checking their spacesuits located in the Poisk module. The duo then took turns during the afternoon exploring how crew members might pilot spacecraft and robots on future planetary missions.

Station Commander Tom Marshburn and Flight Engineer Kayla Barron, both from NASA, joined ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer checking water containers in the Tranquility module and the Permanent multipurpose module. Marshburn also worked on an experiment demonstrating advanced ways to keep U.S. spacesuits cool while Maurer and Barron checked components on the station’s advanced resistive exercise device.

Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov worked on transferring water from the ISS Progress 80 cargo craft into the station. The first time space-flyer also contributed to a study exploring how international crews and mission controllers interact on Earth and in space.

The first private astronaut mission from Axiom Space is on track to launch aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday at 11:17 a.m. Ax-1 Commander and former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, along with Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy, would arrive at the space station on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. docking to the Harmony module’s space-facing port to begin their stay aboard the orbital lab.


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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Private Astronauts Near Launch as Crew Works Science, Spacewalks on Station

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon Endeavour atop stands at the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: SpaceX
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon Endeavour atop stands at the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: SpaceX

The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour sitting atop the Falcon 9 rocket has rolled out to launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Endeavour is counting down to a launch this weekend of the first private astronaut mission from Axiom Space to the International Space Station.

The Axiom Space-1 (Ax-1) crew is due to launch aboard Endeavour on Friday at 11:17 a.m. EDT. The Expedition 67 crew will welcome the Ax-1 crew when the hatches open from Endeavour to the station on Saturday around 9:30 a.m. Ax-1 Commander and former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, along with Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy, will live and work aboard the station for nine days performing contracted science experiments and commercial projects. At the end of their mission, they will undock inside Endeavour, reenter Earth’s atmosphere, and parachute to a splashdown off the coast of Florida.

Meanwhile, the station’s seven residents continued researching psychology, combustion, and robotics aboard the orbiting lab on Wednesday. The orbital crew is also gearing up for a pair of spacewalks at the end of the month.

NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari participated in a robotics test to evaluate his behavioral health and performance. Results may show how an astronaut could perform when landing on Mars and may also inform the design of future spacecraft and space habitats. NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron took acoustic measurements of the station’s habitable areas then donned a specialized radiation vest testing it for fit and comfort while working.

Commander Tom Marshburn opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack and configured the Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction study to investigate material flammability and ways to improve fire safety in space. Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) turned on an Astrobee robotic free-flyer and tested its ability to identify cargo using a radio frequency identification reader, which is similar to bar codes but uses wireless communication without needing a line of sight.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev continued getting their Orlan spacesuits and tools ready for a pair of spacewalks later this month to outfit the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov explored future spacecraft and robotic piloting techniques then worked on Russian life support and electrical systems.


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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Blood Vessels, Vital Signs and Psychology Studies Amidst Spacewalk Preps

The ten-member Expedition 66 crew poses for a portrait aboard the International Space Station in March of 2022.
The ten-member Expedition 66 crew poses for a portrait aboard the International Space Station in March of 2022.

Human research and space physics comprised the majority of the science schedule aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday. The Expedition 67 crew members also worked on U.S. and Russian cargo ships while preparing for two spacewalks.

Vein and artery scans topped the day for Commander Tom Marshburn of NASA as he attached sensors to himself and operated an ultrasound scan to observe how microgravity is affecting his blood vessels and heart. Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) turned on the Bio-Monitor and connected it to a vest he wore that measured and recorded his vital signs while he was going about his daily activities aboard the station.

Maurer also joined NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron and took turns swapping out research furnaces inside the Materials Science Laboratory rack located in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module. Barron then took a robotics test as part of a monthly psychological assessment to understand how living in space affects a crew member’s behavior and performance.

NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev worked on cargo transfers in their respective cargo ships. Chari organized cargo inside Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo ship after a morning of replacing components inside an oxygen generator. Artemyev updated the Russian inventory management system and collected items for disposal inside the ISS Progress 79 resupply ship.

Veteran cosmonaut Artemyev is also getting for the fourth spacewalk of his career currently targeted for April 18. He and first-time space-flyer Denis Matveev are collecting their spacewalk tools and configuring the Poisk module where they will exit in their Orlan spacesuits in less than two weeks. The duo is reviewing the procedures necessary to prepare the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for Europe’s first station robotic arm. Cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov spent the day servicing air conditioning gear in the orbiting lab’s Russian segment.


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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Station Waits for Private Astronauts during Science and Spacewalk Preps

Japan's Kibo laboratory module is pictured as the space station orbited above the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America.
Japan’s Kibo laboratory module is pictured as the space station orbited above the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America.

The seven-member Expedition 67 crew will wait an extra day to greet the first private astronauts who are due to launch this weekend to the International Space Station. In the meantime, the orbital residents focused on human research and physics today while gearing up for a pair of spacewalks later this month.

The first private astronaut mission, Axiom Space-1 (Ax-1), is now scheduled to launch no earlier than Friday at 11:17 a.m. EDT from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour, carrying Commander and former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy, would dock Saturday at 6:45 a.m. to the Harmony module’s space-facing port. NASA TV, on the agency’s app and website, will begin its live launch broadcast at 10 a.m.

The four astronauts and three cosmonauts living in space continued their activities today supporting ongoing space science and maintaining space station operations. The crew juggled a variety of microgravity investigations, packed a U.S. cargo ship, and reviewed procedures for two spacewalks to outfit a new Russian module.

NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron opened up the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace on Monday and swapped samples inside the research device that studies thermophysical properties of high temperature materials. Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) imaged his veins and arteries using sensors and an ultrasound device to examine the changes to blood vessels and the heart that take place in weightlessness.

Station Commander Tom Marshburn and Flight Engineer Raja Chari, both from NASA, spent some time in the Cygnus space freighter transferring cargo. Marshburn then updated emergency procedures ahead of the Ax-1 mission and the upcoming SpaceX Crew-3/Crew-4 crew swap. Chari serviced science freezers, checked components on an oxygen generator, then inspected the COLBERT treadmill.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev are getting ready for two spacewalks currently targeted for April 18 and 28. The duo is reviewing procedures to exit the Poisk module in their Orlan spacesuits and prepare Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for the European Robotic Arm. Cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov set up the EarthKAM experiment in the Harmony module to allow students on Earth to program the camera and photograph landmarks on the ground.


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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Astronauts Relax after Busy March, Cosmonauts Get Used to Station Life

Astronaut Matthias Maurer is pictured during a spacewalk on March 23, to install thermal gear and electronics components on the orbiting lab.
Astronaut Matthias Maurer is pictured during a spacewalk on March 23, to install thermal gear and electronics components on the orbiting lab.

Four Expedition 67 astronauts, who have been aboard the International Space Station since November, kicked off the weekend with a light duty day today following a pair of spacewalks and a crew swap in March. The orbiting lab’s newest crewmates, three Flight Engineers from Roscosmos, stayed busy with their science and maintenance tasks.

March was a busy month in space that saw two spacewalks, the arrival of three new cosmonauts, and finally the departure of three crewmates officially ending Expedition 66. Three NASA astronauts and one ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut took a well-deserved break on Friday following the intense period aboard the orbiting lab.

NASA Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Raja Chari conducted the first spacewalk on March 15. Chari then joined ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer on March 23 for another spacewalk. The spacewalks were dedicated to preparing the space station for its third roll-out solar array and installing electronics and communications gear.

On March 18, the crew welcomed cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Sergey Korsakov, and Denis Matveev, when they docked in their Soyuz MS-21 crew ship almost three-and-a-half hours after launching from Kazakhstan. Expedition 66 ended on March 30 when the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship undocked returning NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov back to Earth just four hours later.

In the station Russian segment today, Artemyev and Matveev set up the Poisk module’s airlock for future spacewalk work planned for the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Korsakov worked in Zvezda service module performing preventative maintenance on the ventilation system. The cosmonauts also continued getting familiar with space station systems two weeks into their six-and-a-half-month mission.


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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Trio Set to Go Home Wednesday; First Private Astronaut Mission Nears

The Soyuz MS-19 crew ship, in between the Cygnus cargo craft and the Prichal module, that will take three Expedition 66 crewmates home is pictured docked to the Rassvet module. It was pictured before the Soyuz MS-21 crew ship docked to Prichal on March 18.
The Soyuz MS-19 crew ship, in between the Cygnus cargo craft and the Prichal module, that will take three Expedition 66 crewmates home is pictured docked to the Rassvet module. It was pictured before the Soyuz MS-21 crew ship docked to Prichal on March 18.

Three Expedition 66 Flight Engineers are returning to Earth in less than two days as four private astronauts prepare for their mission to the International Space Station. The crew activities haven’t stopped the ongoing space research as the orbital residents studied biology, botany, and physics on Monday.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is nearing the end of his mission as he prepares to return to Earth on Wednesday after a NASA-record breaking 355 days in space. Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov will lead Vande Hei and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship when they undock from the Rassvet module at 3:21 a.m. EDT on Wednesday. The trio will parachute to a landing just over four hours later.

The next mission to the orbiting lab will be the Axiom Space-1 mission, or Ax-1, carrying a former NASA astronaut and three U.S. crew members. Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria will be making his fifth visit to space and his third visit to the space station while commanding the first private mission for Axiom Space. He will lead first time space visitors Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy aboard Endeavour, during the vehicle’s second mission to the station.

NASA teams supporting the Artemis I mission polled “go” today to proceed with the wet dress rehearsal, planned for Friday, April 1, through Sunday, April 3, on Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA, Axiom and SpaceX are now looking at no earlier than April 6 for the launch of Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1), the first  private astronaut mission to the International Space Station, pending range approval. For an April 6 launch, Ax-1 static fire would take place April 4. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission remains scheduled to launch no earlier than Tuesday, April 19.

Science is always ongoing aboard the station whether its crew members tending to experiments, or scientists uploading commands, or even investigations that are designed to run autonomously.

Monday’s research program aboard the station covered human research, space botany and glass optics. NASA Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Kayla Barron helped researchers understand how astronauts manipulate objects possibly informing the design of spacecraft interfaces for a variety of gravity environments. The duo also joined astronauts Tom Marshburn of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) for a standard vision test using an eye chart.

Chari also harvested cotton cultures grown for the Plant Habitat-05 experiment and prepared them for return analysis back on Earth. Marshburn serviced samples for a physics study exploring using artificial intelligence to improve the development of advanced glass optics with implications for Earth and space industries.

The orbiting lab’s three newest crew members spent the day on a variety of activities in the Russian segment including an exercise study, ventilation maintenance, and station familiarization activities. Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Sergey Korsakov, and Denis Matveev are in the second week of a six-and-a-half-month mission that began on March 18.

After successfully completing a spacewalk March 23 at the International Space Station, a thin layer of water was discovered on the inner surface of the helmet and on an absorption pad inside ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer’s helmet following airlock re-pressurization. The water found was more than normal. The space station crew expedited Maurer’s helmet removal and then gathered data in coordination with ground support teams. The space station team is looking into the cause, and any possible fixes that might be needed. The station crew members remain in good health, and they are continuing their daily activities of science and maintenance. Key objectives were completed during the spacewalk, and there are no planned U.S operating segment spacewalks in the near future as a part of normal station operations. Crew safety is a top priority for NASA. The agency and our international partners are constantly identifying and mitigating risks of human spaceflight.

Station Nears Crew Departure and First Private Astronaut Mission

Astronaut Matthias Maurer is pictured during a spacewalk to install thermal gear and electronics components on the space station as it orbited 268 miles above the Pacific Ocean.
Astronaut Matthias Maurer is pictured during a spacewalk to install thermal gear and electronics components on the space station as it orbited 268 miles above the Pacific Ocean.

The Expedition 66 crew is turning its attention to the departure of three crew members late next week following the completion of a pair of spacewalks. The International Space Station is also gearing up to welcome the first private astronaut mission aboard a SpaceX Dragon vehicle in early April.

Two astronauts had medical checkups and a light duty day today following Wednesday’s spacewalk to install thermal gear and electronics components on the orbiting lab. Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Matthias Maurer spent a few moments Thursday morning getting blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate and breathing checks. The duo spent six hours and 54 minutes on Wednesday working outside the orbital lab readying it for a third roll-out solar array and connecting cables to the Bartolomeo science platform on the Columbus laboratory module. They were joined Thursday afternoon by NASA astronauts Kayla Barron and Tom Marshburn for a conference with spacewalk specialists on the ground.

The four astronauts also called down to mission controllers and discussed the upcoming private astronaut mission from Axiom currently targeted for launch no earlier than April 3. NASA, SpaceX, and Axiom mission managers will hold a media teleconference one hour after NASA’s Flight Readiness Review, or approximately Friday at 6 p.m. EDT following their flight readiness review. Former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria will command the Axiom-1 mission with Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour vehicle.

In the meantime, NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei is nearing his return to Earth with cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov on March 30. The trio will enter the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship, undock from the Rassvet module, and parachute to landing in Kazakhstan. Vande Hei will land with a NASA-record breaking 355 days in space surpassing former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s single spaceflight record of 340 days.

Shkaplerov continued packing the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship while Dubrov helped the station’s three newest crew members get familiar with space station systems. Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev with first time space-flyers Sergey Korsakov and Denis Matveev are in the first week of six-and-a-half month mission that began on March 18 when they arrived aboard the Soyuz MS-21 crew ship.


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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Astronauts Complete Spacewalk to Install Station Upgrades

Astronauts Raja Chari and Matthias Maurer are pictured replacing an external high-definition camera during a 6-hour 54-minute spacewalk today. Credit: NASA TV.
Astronauts Raja Chari and Matthias Maurer are pictured replacing an external high-definition camera during a 6-hour 54-minute spacewalk today. Credit: NASA TV.

Expedition 66 Flight Engineers Raja Chari of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) concluded their spacewalk at 3:26 p.m. EDT after 6 hours and 54 minutes in preparation for upcoming solar array installation.

Maurer and Chari completed their major objective for today to install hoses on a Radiator Beam Valve Module that routes ammonia through the station’s heat-rejecting radiators to keep systems at the proper temperature. The crew members also installed a power and data cable on the Columbus module’s Bartolomeo science platform, replaced an external camera on the station’s truss, and conducted other upgrades to station hardware. The pair deferred a few secondary tasks, such as torque resets and cable routing, to a future spacewalk.

It was the 248th spacewalk in support of space station assembly, upgrades and maintenance, and was the second in Chari’s career and the first for Maurer. Chari and Maurer are in the midst of a planned six-month science mission living and working aboard the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions as part of NASA’s Moon and Mars exploration approach, including lunar missions through NASA’s Artemis program.


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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Astronauts Begin Spacewalk to Install Station Upgrades

Expedition 66 Flight Engineers Raja Chari of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) began a spacewalk at 8:32 a.m. EDT to install hoses on a Radiator Beam Valve Module to support temperature regulation on the International Space Station.

Expedition 66 Flight Engineers Raja Chari of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) began a spacewalk at 8:32 a.m. EDT to install hoses on a Radiator Beam Valve Module to support temperature regulation on the International Space Station.

Chari, designated extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1), is wearing a suit with red stripes. Maurer, designated extravehicular crewmember 2 (EV 2), is in an unmarked suit. Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Maurer and Chari’s primary task will be to install thermal system and electronics components on the outside of the space station.


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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