Health Activities, Microbial Research for Orbital Residents Today; Crew Handovers Continue

Earth's atmosphere glows as the International Space Station soared roughly 260 miles above Egypt.
Earth’s atmosphere glows as the International Space Station soared roughly 260 miles above Egypt.

Ten orbital residents are keeping busy Wednesday with a variety of tasks including eye exams, station maintenance, and training. While new members of the Expedition 69 crew familiarize themselves with hardware and equipment, others are completing more prep work ahead of their departure from the International Space Station next week.

After donning the Sleep in Orbit hardware overnight, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen started his day filling out a questionnaire that helps researchers gain insight into astronauts’ sleep in space and compare that data to sleep on Earth. Midmorning, he was joined by NASA astronauts and first-time station residents, Loral O’Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli, to make adjustments to their spacesuits that will be used on future spacewalks.

After lunch, Mogensensen and Moghbeli were joined by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa to conduct ultrasound eye exams. Furukawa spent most of his morning collecting surface samples for microbial analysis ahead of the exam. Afterward, he moved on to collecting air samples to continue the microbial research.

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio spent Wednesday gearing up for his trek home to Earth next week following a record-breaking mission. He spent part of his day working in the Japanese Experiment Module conducting maintenance before moving onto departure prep, including crew handover activities and prepping items that will return home with the crew on the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft.

Rubio, as well as Roscosmos Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin, launched to the space station on Sept. 21, 2022, and will undock on Sept. 27 after spending over one year in space. The two cosmonauts joined Rubio in crew handover and departure prep activities today as they prepare for a change in command and continue to train the newly arrived crew.

Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub, who arrived to the orbital outpost last Friday along with O’Hara, completed crew orientation early on in the day. In the evening, the two were joined by Mogensen, O’Hara and Prokopyev to familiarize themselves with hardware and equipment throughout various station modules.

Meanwhile, Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos spent most of the day conducting an experiment that studies the glow of Earth’s atmosphere at night in near ultraviolet.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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