Science has doubled in the International Space Station with the addition of three new residents to the galaxy. However, they will leave on October 21 before launching four more astronauts to join the crew of Expedition 64 in November.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, on her mission to the second station, will enter her role as space scientist today while rising at the speed of life in orbit. He wears virtual reality goggles to explore how his sense of perception fits into microgravity. Rubins later developed a biology research device that could produce up to 2g of artificial gravity.
Rubins’ fellow crew members Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov will stay with him in space until April. Ryzhikov, during his second stay in the orbiting lab, unpacked the cargo from the new Soyuz MS-17 crew ship today. First-time space-flyer Kud-Sverchkov checked Russian science hardware.
Station Commander Chris Cassidy is nearing the end of his stay at the station with teammates Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. The trio is already packed with cargo and personal items inside the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft that will parachute personnel back to Earth on October 21. Cassidy will issue the station command to Ryzhikov on October 20.
All six station residents met in the middle of the day and reviewed their emergency duties and responsibilities.
Meanwhile, four astronauts plan to launch at the station aboard SpaceX Dragon Crew Vehicle. The company’s first operational personnel mission is targeted to launch no earlier than early to mid-November. NASA Commander Mike Hopkins will lead Pilot Victor Glover and Mission Experts Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi and remain in space until Spring.