The four Expedition 68 astronauts are enjoying their vacation on Tuesday after packing a U.S. cargo ship for the weekend and preparing for Monday’s departure. His three astronauts on the International Space Station spent the day focusing on heart research while servicing various orbital experimental systems.
SpaceX’s Dragon supply ship is orbiting Earth after detaching from the Harmony Module’s space-facing port at 5:05 p.m. ET on Monday. It returns approximately £4,400 of station hardware and science freight.
NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, Josh Kasada and Frank Rubio and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) flight engineer Koichi Wakata completed loading the Dragon hours before it departed Monday. Over the weekend and Monday, the quartet carefully stored and packed sensitive biological and physical research samples within the Dragon for retrieval and analysis in the Earth’s laboratory. All four flight engineers took time off to relax on Tuesday for a quick checkup, watering the plants, and visiting family.
Meanwhile, the three Roscosmos astronauts at the Orbital Laboratory were busy Tuesday with a standard research and maintenance schedule.
Commander Sergei Prokopyev, working with flight engineers Dmitri Petelin and Anna Kikina, attached alternating electrodes to himself to measure heart activity. The study, just one of many in orbit heart studies, explores how long stays in space affect the cardiovascular system.
Prokopyev also spent time dismantling the navigation components inside the ISS Progress 81 cargo ship. Petelin investigated the physics of fluids subjected to vibrations, magnetic fields, and electric fields under microgravity. Kikina worked on orbital plumbing work and filmed crew activities on the station.
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