Crew Packing Dragon, Prepping for Next Spacewalk on International Space Station
By Space Coast Daily // June 21, 2023
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The Expedition 69 crew members are also preparing for another spacewalk later this week as they cleanup following last week’s spacewalk.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle is due to undock from the orbital outpost and return to Earth at the end of June. In the meantime, three NASA flight engineers took turns on Tuesday transferring cargo in and out of the vehicle.
Astronaut Stephen Bowen resupplied the station with medical supply kits from inside Dragon then loaded the cargo vehicle with expired supplies for disposal. Woody Hoburg and Frank Rubio each spent about two-and-a-half hours throughout the day moving supplies and hardware in and out of Dragon.
The trio also continued cleaning up following last week’s spacewalk when Hoburg and Bowen installed a roll-out solar array on space station’s Starboard-6 truss segment. Rubio scrubbed water cooling loops inside the spacesuits worn by the two spacewalkers. Hoburg and Bowen wrapped up their day stowing their spacewalking tools and spacesuits inside the Quest airlock.
Flight Engineer Sultan Alneyadi from UAE (United Arab Emirates) completed an experiment run for a study exploring how fuels behave in microgravity possibly improving spacecraft and satellite performance. Later, he joined Hoburg swabbing station surfaces and collecting air samples for microbial incubation and analysis.
Two cosmonauts are getting ready for the ninth spacewalk of the year scheduled to begin about 10:20 a.m. EDT on Thursday. Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin will exit the Poisk airlock and spend about seven hours in the vacuum of space replacing science and communications hardware on the Zvezda and Poisk modules. The duo from Roscosmos spent Tuesday organizing their spacewalking tools and installing components on their Orlan spacesuits.
Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev spent the first part of his day servicing Earth observation hardware then working on orbital plumbing tasks. In the afternoon, he moved to futuristic research wearing a sensor-filled cap that monitored his reactions as he practiced planetary spacecraft and robotic piloting techniques on a computer.