Spacewalks Rescheduled As Space Station Gears Up for Orbital Boost

Aurora and Atmospheric Glow Crown Earth’s Horizon

An aurora and an atmospheric glow crown Earth’s horizon in this photograph from the International Space Station as it orbited 266 miles above a cloudy Indian Ocean southwest of Australia. In the foreground, from left, are a portion of Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter, the Rassvet module, and the Soyuz MS-25 crew ship docked to the Prichal docking module which is itself mated to the Nauka science module. Credit: NASA

Following a spacewalk delay, Expedition 71 astronauts are preparing for two upcoming spacewalks while NASA’s crew readies for their return from the ISS, discussing and reviewing Starliner procedures. The ISS orbit was also enhanced by a resupply ship boost, aiding the cosmonauts’ daily research and maintenance duties.

The Expedition 71 crew members are relaxing today following the delay of Thursday’s spacewalk. Mission planners rescheduled the spacewalk for June 24 when two spacewalkers will remove faulty radio hardware and swab station surfaces for microorganisms. A second spacewalk to remove and replace a gyroscope assembly, relocate an antenna, and prepare for future Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer upgrades is planned for July 2. Meanwhile, the two Boeing Crew Flight Test astronauts from NASA continued vehicle testing.

Sun Reflects off Caribbean Sea From Space

The Sun reflects off the Caribbean Sea, creating a land-like appearance as the International Space Station soared 259 miles above the Cayman Islands. Credit: NASA

NASA and Boeing will discuss Starliner’s mission and departure from the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test in a pre-departure media teleconference at 12 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 18. Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, who have previously visited the orbital outpost, called down to Boeing mission controllers on Friday and discussed their upcoming departure. Afterward, the duo entered Starliner and reviewed the spacecraft’s flight operations and procedures.

RoscosmosProgress 87 resupply ship, docked to the Zvezda service module, will fire its engines late Friday night boosting the space station’s orbit. The reboost maneuvers occur regularly restoring the orbiting lab’s altitude as it degrades over time due to Earth’s gravity and atmospheric drag.

Seaport of Salina Cruz From Space

The seaport of Salina Cruz, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca on the Pacific coast, is pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 260 miles above. Credit: NASA

The three cosmonauts working aboard the space station stayed busy on Friday with their standard complement of space research and life support maintenance duties. Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub wrapped their work shift with eye scans using a medical imaging device looking at the retina, optic nerve, and cornea. Flight Engineer Alexander worked throughout the day on computer maintenance, vent cleaning, and orbital plumbing.

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