Station Crew Busy with Cargo Ship Ops and Space Research

5 months ago
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Expedition 65 Flight Engineer Megan McArthur works on a protein crystal experiment potentially benefitting pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on Earth.Expedition 65 Flight Engineer Megan McArthur works on a protein crystal experiment potentially benefitting pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on Earth.

Cargo operations continue at the International Space Station as a Russian resupply ship gets ready for docking tonight and a U.S. spaceship prepares for undocking next week. The Expedition 65 crew is also staying focused today on life science and physics research.

Russia’s ISS Progress 78 cargo craft is orbiting Earth today fine-tuning its maneuvers as it heads toward the orbiting lab. Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov will be monitoring Progress as it approaches the station’s Poisk module for an automated docking at 9:03 p.m. EDT. NASA TV begins its live broadcast at 8:15 p.m. on the agency’s website and the NASA app,.

NASA Flight Engineers Megan McArthur, Shane Kimbrough and Mark Vande Hei joined Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) on Thursday and continued readying the Cargo Dragon for its undocking on July 6 at 11:05 a.m. EDT. The quartet is packing and organizing Dragon before final loading of critical research samples begins on Monday for analysis back on Earth.

Microgravity research has been proceeding apace as always with the astronauts exploring an array of space phenomena today. Commander Akihiko Hoshide worked on the Plant Habitat Facility throughout the day preparing for upcoming botany research. McArthur peered at protein crystals through a microscope before investigating how microgravity affects bacteria.

Kimbrough conducted operations inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox exploring ways to harness nanoparticles to fabricate and manufacture new materials. Vande Hei serviced the Cold Atom Lab, a research device that explores the physics of temperatures near absolute zero, preparing some components for return to Earth aboard Dragon next week.