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Preparations for the Axiom Ax-1 departure and space launch will end the working week at the space station

From NASA on April 22, 2022

The International Space Station is pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavor during an orbiting laboratory flight on November 8, 2021, after its disconnection from the Harmony module spaceport. The orbital complex flew 263 miles above Marshall. Pacific Islands when this photo was taken. Credit: NASA

The crew of Expedition 67 is preparing for the departure of the first private astronaut mission and another ascent into space on the International Space Station. On Friday, there was still time on board the orbital laboratory for biomedical science to learn more about how the human body adapts to microgravity.

NASA Station Commander Tom Marshburn spent some time on Friday assisting four outgoing 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 with pilot Larry Connor and mission specialists Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibb and close the hatch on Saturday at 4:30 PM EDT. The four Ax-1 astronauts will then disconnect at 18:35 from the Harmony module spaceport for a splashdown on Sunday off the coast of Florida.

The full moon is pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 261 miles over the Gulf of Mexico off Pensacola, Florida on April 9, 2022. Credit: NASA

The next mission planned at the station is the fifth space launch in a year for further maintenance and upgrades at the station. Roskosmos astronauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev will reunite on April 28 to continue activating the European Robotic Arm (ERA) attached to the Nauka multi-purpose laboratory module.

The couple joined their fellow cosmonaut Sergei Korsakov on Friday morning to evaluate the tasks planned for the upcoming space launch. This excursion will witness the first movement of ERA, which sets up a manipulator for future robotic activities on the Russian segment of the station. The trio then devoted the rest of Friday to various inspections and maintenance.

NASA flight engineers Kayla Barron and ESA (European Space Agency) flight engineer Matthias Maurer processed blood and urine samples during the morning for later analysis. NASA flight engineer Raja Chari worked on life support equipment and then joined Marshburn on pre-flight activities within the Dragon Endurance crew.