ISS Expedition 41 is now in full swing, helmed by Commander Maxim Surayev of Russia. Remaining aboard the ISS are the two flight engineers who had been working during Expedition 40, NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and German astronaut Alexander Gerst. They will have the station to themselves for the next two weeks until the arrival of their new co-workers, NASA astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore and Russian cosmonauts Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev. Their team is expected to arrive at the Baikonur launch facility later this week in preparation for the upcoming mission. Serova will be the first female cosmonaut that Russia has sent to the ISS.
Continuing work aboard the station, Wiseman and Gerst spent time this week on a nutritional analysis program that continues to improve the metrics of what the astronauts need to consume to be maximally functional in micro-gravity. They also trained in the ISS cupola, practicing with the station's robotics so as to be ready for the arrival of the unmanned commercial SpaceX Dragon supply capsule. The Dragon will be affixed to the Harmony node of the ISS with the aid of the Canadian-crafted exterior robotic arm, called the Canadarm.
That's all from low Earth orbit for this week. See you next Sunday...watch this space!
|Expedition 40, cruising and Soyuz-ing their way back home. Image courtesy Roscosmos.|