11 Astronauts on Space Station Busy with Research, Cargo Work and Spacewalk Preps

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Eleven Member Space Station Crew

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The 11-member crew aboard the station consists of the seven-member Expediton 67 crew and the four-member Axiom Mission 1 crew. Credit: NASA

It was very busy on the International Space Station on Monday with the orbiting lab internet hosting 11 crew members together with the four-member Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) crew. The non-public astronauts and the seven-member Expedition 67 crew have been engaged in a large number of duties at present equivalent to packing a U.S. cargo ship, researching life science, and getting ready for a pair of Russian spacewalks.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Kayla Barron swapped cargo in and out of the U.S. Cygnus space freighter today. The duo replenished the station’s galley with food from Cygnus while stowing trash and other discarded items inside the resupply ship ahead of its departure at the end of May. The astronauts were also joined by NASA Commander Tom Marshburn and ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer during some of the cargo work.

Maurer spent the majority of Monday setting up hardware for the Transparent Alloys physics study and the AstroPi computer that students can program from Earth to understand the space environment. Marshburn helped the four Ax-1 astronauts get up to speed with space station operations and emergency procedures.

Former NASA astronaut and Ax-1 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria is on his fourth space flight and his first as an Axiom Space astronaut. He partnered with Ax-1 Pilot Larry Connor today exploring how living in microgravity affects cellular aging and cardiac cells. The other two Ax-1 astronauts, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe, explored DNA sequencing, brain dynamics, the cardiovascular system, and tested holoportation, or transmitting mixed-reality, 360-degree images of humans to space.

Two cosmonauts continue gearing up for a pair of spacewalks later this month to configure the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module for the European Robotic Arm (ERA). Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev had a fitness test, checked their Orlan spacesuits, and installed pressure tanks in the Poisk module as part of standard pre-spacewalk preparations. Russian Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov set up hardware to assist the spacewalkers during the ERA work outside Nauka.