Trio Finalizes Packing, Science Activities Before Friday Departure

Astronaut Loral O'Hara is pictured inside the cupola as the orbital complex soared 259 miles above Turkmenistan.
Astronaut Loral O’Hara is pictured inside the cupola as the orbital complex soared 259 miles above Turkmenistan.

The 10 residents aboard the International Space Station worked a half-day then went to bed early on Friday resting up before the departure of three crewmates. During their shortened day, the orbital crewmates packed the departing Soyuz crew ship and continued ongoing science tasks.

NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and Belarus spaceflight participant Marina Vasilevskaya are in their sleep period having gone to bed just before lunchtime. The trio is sleep-shifting before entering the Soyuz MS-24 crew ship and undocking from the Rassvet module at 11:54 p.m. EDT tonight. They will ride the Soyuz back to Earth and parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan at 3:17 a.m. on Saturday (12:17 p.m. Kazakh time). Live mission coverage will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday on NASA+, NASA TV, the NASA app, YouTube, and the agency’s website.

On Friday morning, O’Hara finished her packing work and wrapped up biomedical activities documenting her adaptation to microgravity. Novitskiy continued transferring cargo inside the Soyuz and made final checks of the spacecraft’s systems. Vasilevskaya relaxed during her shift. The threesome will wake up several hours before their departure, finalize science tasks, and complete loading the Soyuz spacecraft.

NASA Flight Engineers Matthew Dominick and Tracy C. Dyson teamed up Friday morning for biology work inside the Destiny laboratory module. The duo cleaned habitats and fed mice being observed for a study testing a gene therapy to improve eye health in space. NASA Flight Engineers Mike Barratt and Jeanette Epps gathered in the Kibo laboratory module and removed external research hardware that had been placed outside in the space environment. The gear holds samples exposed to space radiation and extreme temperatures to inform the development of advanced materials and promote the commercial space industry.

Cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Alexander Grebenkin began their day swabbing station surfaces and collecting microbe samples for analysis. Kononenko also prepared salt tablets for the departing crewmates to ingest and help with their adjustment to Earth’s gravity. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub also assisted with the microbe sampling duties then stowed protein crystal growth kits inside the returning Soyuz crew ship.

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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