Five Expedition 64 astronauts are relaxing aboard the International Space Station today as they get ready for the arrival of the next-generation SpaceX Dragon resupply ship. The two cosmonauts stayed focused on their contingent of Russian space science and lab maintenance.
The Falcon 9 rocket that will carry the Cargo Dragon spacecraft into Earth orbit stands at its launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Currently, there is a 50% chance of favorable weather conditions for a launch on Saturday at 11:39 a.m. EST to the orbiting lab.
Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Victor Glover will be on duty early Sunday to monitor the Cargo Dragon’s approach and rendezvous. Its automated docking is planned for 11 a.m. to the Harmony module’s space-facing port adjacent to the Crew Dragon vehicle. The duo will also be readying the Tranquility module for Dragon’s primary payload, the NanoRacks Bishop science airlock.
The other three astronauts, Shannon Walker, Soichi Noguchi and Michael Hopkins, will be working on Sunday servicing a variety of research gear. They will be checking out advanced hardware like the Kubik incubator, the Hermes planetary science facility, the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace and a specialized science freezer nicknamed FRIDGE.
The station’s two cosmonauts, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, spent Friday day on research and maintenance tasks. The Russian duo explored ways to improve the effectiveness of space exercise and also worked on lab computers and life support gear.