Crew Catches Its Breath After Busy Week

Typhoon Noul Over Pacific
Photo of Typhoon Noul from NASA astronaut Terry Virts while the storm churns over the Pacific

The crew was scheduled for a half-duty day today to catch their breath following a week of heavy maintenance and in advance of activities to come.

NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Scott Kelly completed the work they’ve been doing this week on one of the station’s Carbon Dioxide Removal Assemblies (CDRA) by reconnecting power, data and fluid lines to the unit. Ground controllers then performed a series of checkouts before the unit was powered back on. The CDRA system works to remove carbon dioxide from the cabin air, allowing for an environmentally safe crew cabin.

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti focused on a mix of experiment work including the Skin-B study and completing her runs with the Triplelux-A experiment. Skin-B is seeking to better understand the process of skin aging, which is greatly accelerated in microgravity, which could provide insight into the aging process of similar bodily tissues. Triplelux-A is investigating immune suppression in space.

The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) reported the Progress 59 cargo craft reentered the Earth’s atmosphere at 10:04 p.m. EDT on Thursday over the Pacific Ocean. Full Update


Science Continues on the International Space Station

One-Year crew speaks to reporters
One-Year crew members Scott Kelly (left) and Mikhail Kornienko (right) took a few minutes out of their day to speak to media. Credit: NASA

The Expedition 43 crew continued their work on Wednesday with a variety of research and technology demonstration activities.

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.

Meanwhile, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti continued operations with the Triplelux-A experiment and adjusted imaging equipment on the Electromagnetic Levitation study.

The crew was also notified in the morning that the planned docking of Progress 59 has been called off. Both the Russian and USOS segments of the station continue to operate normally and are adequately supplied well beyond the next planned resupply flight.

Russian flight controllers are continuing to assess the vehicle and what the plan going forward will be. More information will be provided as available.