International Space Station Crew Looks to Crew-4 Arrival and Spacewalk This Week

Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev Waves Spacewalk

Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev waves to the camera while working outside the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module during a spacewalk that lasted for six hours and 37 minutes to outfit Nauka and configure the European robotic arm on the International Space Station’s Russian segment. Credit: NASA

The Expedition 67 crew is gearing up for the arrival of the SpaceX Crew-4 mission following Sunday’s departure of the Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) crew. The International Space Station will also see another spacewalk to set up a new robotic arm, following up on the 6-hour and 37-minute spacewalk on April 18.

The orbiting lab’s four astronauts from NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) slept in on Monday after seeing off the Ax-1 crew on Sunday evening. Commander Tom Marshburn and Flight Engineers Raja Chari, Kayla Barron, and Matthias Maurer woke up just before lunchtime on the orbital lab and worked on housecleaning duties while testing a garment that may prevent space-caused dizziness and blurred vision, also known as orthostatic intolerance.

NASA SpaceX Crew-4 Astronauts Training

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts participate in a training session at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA. From left to right: NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-4 mission specialist Jessica Watkins; NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-4 pilot Robert “Bob” Hines; NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-4 commander Kjell Lindgren; and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and Crew-4 mission specialist Samantha Cristoforetti of Italy. Credit: NASA

The next mission, SpaceX Crew-4, to visit the space station is at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The four commercial crew astronauts are in final preparations for launch aboard the Dragon Freedom targeted for 3:52 a.m. EDT on Wednesday. Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Robert Hines, and Mission Specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti, would dock to the station several hours later to begin a four-and-a-half-month stay on the orbiting lab.

Two cosmonauts are once again getting ready for a spacewalk to activate the European robotic arm (ERA) attached to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev are scheduled to exit the Poisk module’s airlock at 10:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday for a six-and-a-half-hour excursion to set up the ERA for its first motion. The ERA is the station’s third robotic arm and will operate on the space lab’s Russian segment for both payload and spacewalk operations.

Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov joined his cosmonaut crewmates today and reviewed the spacewalk tasks planned for Thursday. Korsakov will be inside the station assisting the spacewalkers and helping them in and out of their Orlan spacesuits. Artemyev and Matveev will release the ERA launch locks on Nauka, install new handrails, and monitor the robotic arm’s first motion.

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