The heads of mission have given the “go” for the seventh extravehicular outing of the year which must take place in the middle of the week. A US freighter is also nearing the end of its mission with its undocking and return to Earth scheduled for the end of the week.
Two cosmonauts prepare for a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk to continue installing the European Robotic Arm (ERA) for operations outside the Russian segment of the International Space Station. Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Denis Matveev will emerge from the Poisk module airlock Wednesday at 9:20 a.m. EDT in their Russian Orlan spacesuits. The pair will install cameras on the ERA, relocate its external control panel, remove the robotic arm’s launch restraints, and test the arm’s gripping mechanism. NASA TV, on the agency’s app and website, will begin its live coverage of the spacewalk at 9 a.m.
Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov assists his fellow cosmonauts with spacewalk preparations while maintaining orbital laboratory systems and conducting space research. Today, he worked on the ventilation systems inside the Nauka module, then explored effective exercise techniques to maintain fitness in microgravity.
Meanwhile, the SpaceX Dragon supply ship is nearing the end of its month-long stay on the Harmony module’s forward port. Expedition 67 flight engineers Jessica Watkins of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) spent Monday afternoon packing Dragon with some of the station’s more than 4,000 pounds of equipment and have completed the science experiments he will return to Earth. Dragon will undock at 11:05 a.m. Thursday and parachute to a dive off the coast of Florida the next day to be picked up. Live coverage of the detachment on NASA TV begins at 10:45 a.m. Thursday.
NASA flight engineers Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines spent Monday focusing on life sciences to improve human health on and off Earth. Lindgren set up tissue stem cell samples inside the Life Sciences Glove Box (LSG) to explore how weightlessness affects immunological aging, possibly promoting therapies to protect astronauts and earthlings . Afterwards, Hines cleaned the LSG in the Kibo lab pod to prepare for experimental operations that will use the microgravity environment to develop new wound treatment techniques.
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