Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) plan to work hard even on the Memorial Day. They will continue to follow astronauts’ old tradition of working and serving even on national holidays.
According to NASA spokesperson Dan Huot, the astronauts of the Expedition 55 Crew will be working during the entire Memorial Day weekend. The Expedition 55 crew currently onboard the orbiting space station includes Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Cmdr. Anton Shkaplerov and U.S. astronauts Ricky Arnold, Drew Feustel and Scott Tingle.
Huot said that while the crew will actually have a full workday on Monday, they will get a day off at some future date to make up for missing the holiday. However, at the moment they have a lot of tasks to finish including unpacking of the supplies delivered by the recently launched Cygnus cargo ship.
Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo ship, which was launched on Monday, May 21 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia using an Antares 230 rocket, reached the space station safely in the early hours of Thursday, May 24.
Astronaut Scott Tingle used the space station’s robotic arm to capture the uncrewed Cygnus spacecraft at around 5:26 a.m. EDT (0926 GMT). The cargo spacecraft carried about 7,400 pounds of research equipment, cargo, science experiments, and basic supplies like clothing and food, for the station’s Expedition 55 crew members. Notably, many of the science experiments will require regular astronaut maintenance and work.
Developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Cold Atom Laboratory is among one of the most important science experiments delivered by the cargo spacecraft. The ice chest sized apparatus will try to create the coldest spot in the universe on the orbiting space station using lasers. The Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology science experiment will aim to study how long-duration spaceflight affects the DNA of astronauts, plants, and microbes.