The six station residents are busy with international research that can only be conducted in space while still providing Earth-bound benefits. Expedition 38 is also preparing for supplies to be delivered in February on a Russian resupply ship and a private SpaceX cargo craft.
Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata began his workday removing and replacing a manifold bottle inside the Combustion Integrated Rack. Afterward, he continued more installation and repair work for the ISERV Earth observation experiment gear with NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins. ISERV explores the use of automated features inside the Destiny lab window to acquire Earth views and assess environmental impacts from natural and man-made disasters.
During the afternoon, Wakata measured his body mass using the space linear acceleration mass measurement device (SLAMMD). Finally, he began pre-packing experiment samples and station gear to be returned on the next SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle to visit the International Space Station in mid-February.
Hopkins is still moving ahead with the ongoing ENERGY experiment. Part of the study requires logging daily meals. For Thursday’s ENERGY tasks, Hopkins collected urine samples for stowage and downlinked data from an armband monitor he wore to a laptop computer.
Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio started his morning conducting plumbing work in the Waste and Hygiene Compartment removing and replacing an air hose and liquid indicator. Later he and Hopkins participated in an event with NASA’s eight newest astronaut candidates who were at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy are still cleaning up after Monday’s spacewalk. The duo stowed spacewalk tools, replaced Orlan spacesuit components and reconfigured the Pirs docking compartment.
Veteran cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin worked off and on throughout Thursday on the Kulonovskiy Kristall experiment. The Russian study researches special crystals and liquids formed by charged particles in a magnetic field.
The space station is set to take out the garbage Monday when the trash-filled ISS Progress 52 resupply ship undocks at 11:21 a.m. EST. It will deorbit over the Pacific Ocean Feb. 11 and burn up during reentry.
A new ISS Progress 54 cargo craft loaded with 2.8 tons of food, fuel and supplies will replenish the station crew when it launches Feb. 5 and docks six hours later to the Pirs docking compartment at 5:25 p.m.