Ten’s a Crowd: Life and Science Aboard the Bustling Space Station

Moon’s Image Refracted Due to Earth’s Atmosphere

The Moon’s image is refracted due to Earth’s atmosphere in this photograph from the International Space Station as it orbited 262 miles above the Pacific Ocean south of Alaska’s Aleutian islands on August 31, 2023. Credit: NASA

Ten people are currently living aboard the International Space Station (ISS) following Friday’s arrival of three crewmates aboard the Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft. However, at the end of the month, another trio of orbital lab residents will return to Earth after a year in space.

Astronaut Loral O’Hara Enters a Soyuz Spacecraft Simulator

NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara prepares to enter a Soyuz spacecraft simulator in her Sokol launch and entry suit for preflight training before beginning her mission to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Veteran and New Astronaut Activities

Kononenko is beginning his record fifth mission as a space station crew member. The experienced cosmonaut spent Monday on a variety of activities including charging video camera batteries and unpacking cargo delivered aboard the new Soyuz crew ship. Kononenko will stay in space for a year with Chub, while O’Hara will live aboard the station until spring for a six-month mission.

Tropical Storm Jova Is Pictured in Pacific Ocean

Tropical storm Jova is pictured in Pacific Ocean from the International Space Station as it orbited 259 miles above on September 9, 2023. Credit: NASA

Expedition 69 Crew’s Other Activities

The station’s other four Expedition 69 flight engineers are in their fourth week aboard the orbital lab having arrived on August 27 aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft. The foursome has completed its familiarization and orientation activities and is working full-time on space research and lab maintenance.

Astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA and Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) kicked off Monday with life science in the Columbus laboratory module. Moghbeli set up a pair of Kubik incubators that Mogensen used to stow blood samples. The duo later conducted a vision test in the Destiny laboratory module using similar tools found in a doctor’s office.

JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa spent Monday on housekeeping tasks cleaning up the Harmony module, reorganizing food packs, and transferring cargo in and out of the Cygnus space freighter. Cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov primarily spent his day on electronics maintenance and wiping down surfaces for microbes in the Roscosmos segment of the orbiting lab.