Axiom Ax-1 Departure and Preparation of the Spacewalk Complete the workweek on the space station
The Expedition 67 crew is preparing for the departure of the first private astronaut mission and the second spacewalk on the International Space Station. On Friday, there was still time in the orbital laboratory of biomedical sciences to learn more about how the human body adapts to micro-gravity.
Tom Marshburn, NASA’s station commander, spent some time on Friday helping four departing Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) crew members. The first private space quartet is set to end a two-week stay at the station this weekend. AX-1 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria will board the SpaceX Dragon Endeavor along with pilot Larry Connor and mission specialists Mark Pathi and Eaton Steibe and close the hatch at 4:30 p.m. Saturday EDT. The four Ax-1 astronauts will then undock at 6:35 p.m. From the Harmony module’s space-facing port for a Sunday splashdown off the coast of Florida.
The next mission event planned for the station is the fifth spacewalk of the year for further maintenance and upgrades to the station. Roscosmos astronauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev will once again partner on April 28 to continue activating the European Robotic Arm (ERA) attached to the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory module.
The two joined fellow astronaut Sergei Korsakov on Friday morning and reviewed plans for the upcoming spacewalk. That trip will see ERA’s first move to set up a manipulator for future robotic activities in the Russian section of the station. The trio then spent the rest of Friday in various inspection and maintenance work.
NASA flight engineers Kayla Baron and ESA (European Space Agency) flight engineer Matthias Moore processed the morning blood and urine samples for later analysis. NASA flight engineer Raja Chari worked on life support gear and then joined Marshburn for pre-departure activities aboard the Dragon Endurance Crew.