The six-member Expedition 37 crew had a light duty day on Friday. The International Space Station’s newest trio unpacked gear from their Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft. The rest of the spacefarers performed light maintenance and exercised.
Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus commercial resupply craft has been approved to approach and rendezvous with the station on Sunday. This follows its delay last Sunday after a navigation data mismatch prevented its arrival. Ground controllers sent up a software fix when NASA decided to wait until after Wednesday’s Soyuz launch and docking to restart capture and berthing activities.
Cygnus had been orbiting safely about 1,491 miles behind the space station before it began a series of thruster burns towards the orbital laboratory Thursday night. NASA Television will begin coverage of Cygnus’ arrival Sunday at 4:30 a.m. EDT.
Flight Engineer Luca Parmitano will be in the cupola operating the Canadarm2 to capture Cygnus about 7:15 a.m. Approximately four hours later, the commercial cargo craft should be safely attached to the Harmony node. Parmitano’s backup, Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg, will be in the Destiny laboratory monitoring activities.
The station’s newest crew members, Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineers Mike Hopkins and Sergey Ryazanskiy, launched to the station Wednesday at 4:58 p.m. They docked to the Poisk module after a six-hour trip. The new Expedition 37/38 trio is scheduled for a 5-1/2 month mission in space returning in March 2014.
They joined Expedition 37 crew members Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin with Nyberg and Parmitano, who have been a board the station since May 28. Since they began their mission, Yurchikhin has participated in three Russian spacewalks. Parmitano conducted two U.S. spacewalks. Nyberg captured Japan’s Kounotori-4 resupply ship while at the controls of the Canadarm2. They are scheduled to return to Earth in November.