Russian freighter resupplies International Space Station

Russian space freighter ISS Progress 45 (45P) has arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) where it remains docked with the Pirs compartment.

Shortly after the freighter’s arrival, the 45P crew opened the hatches and began the transfer of 1,653 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water and 3,108 pounds of maintenance gear, spare parts and experimental hardware.

Progress is scheduled to stay at the station until January 25th, when it will undock, filled with trash and discarded gear, for a fiery disposal over the Pacific Ocean. 

The next ship to dock with the orbital laboratory is expected to be the Soyuz TMA-22, which remains on track to transport three new station crew members: Flight Engineers Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin.

The trio will kick off their stay Nov. 16 at 12:37 a.m. EDT when the Soyuz spacecraft docks to the Poisk mini-research module. They will join Expedition 29 crewmates Commander Mike Fossum and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov.

Five days later Expedition 29 ends and Expedition 30 begins when Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov return home inside the Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft on November 21. 

Burbank – who will assume the station command in a ceremony on Nov. 20 – Shkaplerov and Ivanishin will become the Expedition 30 crew and work onboard the station until March of next year.

While Volkov will spend the majority of Wednesday on Progress transfer activities, Fossum is slated to continue science and exercise routines along with Furukawa. The two astronauts will also conduct an eye exam to measure their optical pressure.

Before his departure, Fossum will load new software and configure a laptop computer on a science rack in the Destiny laboratory.

Subsequently, the commander will take high-resolution photographs of space-grown crystals as part of the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test experiment. The current version of the ongoing study, called BCAT-6, may help manufacturers design new leading edge materials with molecular precision at the nanoscale.

Furukawa, who will assist Volkov with docking activities at the start of the day, will gather tools to deploy a router in the future for the station’s computer network. He will also conduct crew departure preparations with Fossum.