Expedition 31 will end early Sunday when Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers undock in their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft at 12:48 a.m. EDT. The trio will land in Kazakhstan at 4:14 a.m. Sunday (2:14 p.m. Kazakhstan time).
In preparation for the end of their mission Kononenko, Pettit and Kuipers practiced emergency Soyuz descent drills. Flight Engineers Gennady Padalka, Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin also reviewed their emergency roles and responsibilities as they get ready for the expedition handover.
Expedition 32 will begin at undocking as Padalka, Acaba and Revin continue their stay aboard the orbital laboratory. Kononenko will ceremonially hand over command of the International Space Station to Padalka beginning Friday at 7:35 p.m.
Meanwhile, station maintenance and science proceed as usual with the six crew members focusing on numerous tasks.
Flight Engineer Joe Acaba worked in conjunction with flight controllers at the Tsukuba Space Center in Japan while fixing a cooling pump inside the Kibo Laboratory’s Thermal Control System rack. He also set up Robonaut 2 in the Destiny laboratory to receive ground commands testing the humanoid robot’s configuration.
Padalka and Revin conducted ongoing Russian science. They worked throughout the day on the Membrana experiment which studies the production of porous materials in microgravity. The duo also worked on the BAR experiment analyzing methods for detecting station pressure leaks and studied the adaptation of the cardiovascular system for the Pneumocard study.
Before beginning Soyuz descent drills Pettit cleaned bacteria filters in the U.S. nodes. He then joined Acaba inside the Kibo lab for the cooling pump work.
Kononenko and Kuipers spent the majority of their day on departure preparations.
Below, watch the ISS Update for June 27: