Expedition 69’s Spacewalk Cleanup and Cygnus Boost


Glow of Earth’s Atmosphere From Space Station

Earth’s atmosphere glows as the International Space Station soared roughly 260 miles above Egypt. Credit: NASA

The Expedition 69 crew is busy unpacking the Cygnus freighter and preparing to reboost the ISS. Along with ongoing science and maintenance activities, the team is cleaning up after a spacewalk and preparing for upcoming missions, including a Roscosmos cargo arrival and a Soyuz crew swap.

The Expedition 69 crew is continuing to unpack a U.S. cargo craft and prepare for the reboosting of the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, August 11. The orbital residents are also engaged in science and maintenance activities, and cleaning up after a spacewalk.

NASA astronauts Frank Rubio and Stephen Bowen continued unpacking some of the several tons of science and supplies still packed inside the Cygnus space freighter on Thursday. Cygnus will also fire its engines on Friday, reboosting the orbital outpost. This will raise the station to the correct altitude for the upcoming arrival of a Roscosmos cargo craft in two weeks, and it will ensure the station is in the proper phasing for a Soyuz crew swap mission planned in mid- to late September.

Cygnus Approaches Space Station Above the Red Sea

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo craft is pictured from the International Space Station as it approaches while orbiting 261 miles above the coast of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia on August 4, 2023. Credit: NASA

Science and Health Monitoring

Rubio also opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack to troubleshoot the computer electronics inside. Bowen monitored his blood pressure throughout the day and swapped samples in the Microgravity Science Glovebox for a space manufacturing study.

NASA Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg spent his day on inflight maintenance as he replaced charcoal filters in the Harmony module and loaded new software on a tablet computer. UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi organized food bags, helped Rubio unload the Cygnus cargo craft, then finally replaced window scratch panes in the cupola.

NASA Astronaut Woody Hoburg Poses for Portrait

NASA astronaut and Expedition 69 Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg poses for a portrait inside the vestibule that separates the Unity module from the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter’s hatch. Credit: NASA

Post-Spacewalk Activities

Commander Sergey Prokopyev and Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin are cleaning their Orlan spacesuits and stowing spacewalking gear following Wednesday’s spacewalk. The duo spent six hours and 35 minutes in the vacuum of space installing orbital debris shields and relocating a portable workstation on the Roscosmos segment of the space station.

Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev is returning the European robotic arm (ERA) to its stowage configuration on the Nauka science module.  Fedyaev commanded the ERA during Wednesday’s spacewalk moving the workstation from the Rassvet module to Nauka and testing its ability to maneuver a spacewalker with Prokopyev attached for the first time.

Roscosmos Crew Activities

The Roscosmos trio got a late start on Thursday after sleeping in following a good night’s rest. During their cleanup activities, Prokopyev and Petelin also called down to mission controllers to discuss the previous day’s spacewalk activities.


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