NASA Astronaut Hands Over Command to Russian Cosmonaut As SpaceX Crew-3 Prepares To Depart Space Station

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NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn handed over command of the International Space Station to Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev in a traditional Change of Command ceremony today ahead of Crew-3’s departure tonight. Credit: NASA TV.

NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn handed over command of the International Space Station (ISS) to Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev in a traditional Change of Command ceremony which began at 2:35 p.m. EDT (11:35 a.m. PDT) today. Artemyev, a veteran of three spaceflights to the space station, will lead the Expedition 67 crew until the end of summer.

Marshburn and his Crew-3 crewmates Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer have been living aboard the orbital lab since November 11, 2021, and are set to depart tonight. Hatch closure is set for 11:20 p.m. EDT (8:20 p.m. PDT), with undocking following at 1:05 a.m. EDT (10:05 p.m. PDT). The commercial crew quartet is due to splashdown off the coast of Florida at 12:43 a.m. EDT on Friday, May 6 (9:43 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 5). Watch live on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the app.

Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev at Expedition 65 Press Conference

Expedition 65 backup crew member Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos is seen in quarantine, behind glass, during a press conference, Thursday, April 8, 2021, at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Expedition 65 NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, Roscosmos cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft on April 9. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Crew-3 astronauts worked on final Dragon cargo operations and configuring Dragon for departure, final egress, and hatch closure, as well as transferring emergency hardware from Dragon to the space station prior to departure. The Endurance crew closed out research operations which included transferring and packing frozen samples and ice bricks from the Minus Eighty (Degrees Celsius) Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) into coldbags in preparation for the return to Earth. MELFI provides the space station storage and fast-freezing of life science and biological samples. The Crew-3 astronauts also removed and stowed their Actiwatches, small, lightweight, wrist-worn devices that simultaneously detect body movement and light intensity. They are used to evaluate sleep-wake adaptation and circadian cycle and determine if space travel has an impact on the sleep-wake patterns of crewmembers.

The station’s four newest astronauts, Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins, and Samantha Cristoforetti, had a light-duty day performing some life science, lab maintenance, and inventory tasks. The foursome and their three Russian crewmates are due to have an off-duty day following the departure of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission.

In the station’s Russian segment, Artemyev and Flight Engineers Sergey Korsakov and Denis Matveev performed monthly maintenance checks on laptops and video equipment, as well as physical training, and a robotic piloting experiment.



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