At 8:20 p.m. EDT (5:20 a.m. Baikonur time) on Tuesday, October 25, the uncrewed Roscosmos Progress 82 launched on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It is now safely in orbit and headed for the International Space Station (ISS).
On its way to meet up with the orbiting laboratory and its Expedition 68 crew members, the resupply ship reached preliminary orbit and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned.
Progress will dock to the space-facing side of the Poisk module two days from now, on Thursday, October 27, at 10:49 p.m. EDT (7:49 p.m. PDT). Live coverage on NASA TV of rendezvous and docking will begin at 10:15 p.m. EDT.
Progress will deliver almost three tons of food, fuel, and supplies to the ISS.
Meanwhile, the four astronauts and three cosmonauts aboard the station spent the day today focused on numerous state-of-the-art science experiments benefiting humans both in space and on Earth. Ranging from space botany, human research, and microgravity physics, the research helps crew members adjust to long-term missions in weightlessness and provide innovations enhancing products and services on Earth.
Frank Rubio, NASA Flight Engineer, spent Tuesday morning nourishing and monitoring vegetables growing inside the Columbus laboratory module. The XROOTS investigation explores soilless methods, or hydroponic and aeroponic techniques, to grow crops in space and sustain crews living off the Earth.
Rubio also joined his fellow flight engineers, Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann, both from NASA, and Koichi Wakata from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for eye scans using the Human Research Facility’s ultrasound device. The optic exams give researchers insight into how microgravity affects the eye’s shape, pressure, retinas, and vision.
Mann, who also cleaned and inspected U.S. module hatch seals, joined Wakata and pointed their cameras outside the station photographing the condition of solar array components. In addition, Wakata turned on an Astrobee robotic free-flyer to demonstrate its use of wireless technology, or radio frequency identification, to manage cargo inventory on the space station. Cassada worked inside the Zarya module to maximize storage space.
Commander Sergey Prokopyev configured research hardware in the Columbus module to explore plasma crystals, or highly-charged microparticles, to gain fundamental space physics knowledge and possibly improve the design of future spacecraft. Cosmonauts Dmitri Petelin and Anna Kikina took turns studying future planetary spacecraft and robotic piloting techniques. Petelin then went on and explored how the digestion system adapts to microgravity, while Kikina observed Earth’s nighttime atmospheric glow in the near-ultraviolet wavelength.