Three astronauts aboard the International Space Station are keeping busy as they await the launch next week of their new crewmates on a Soyuz rocket.
Station Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineers Don Pettit and André Kuipers have occupied themselves by carrying out observations and experiments as well as preparing for new arrivals.
The hype of this week's "supermoon", with the largest Full Moon of the year, was reflected in space. The crew captured a video of the Moon looking beautiful as it rose in the blackness of space above the Earth's thin atmosphere.
Pettit and Kuipers also helped carry out cardiovascular experiments to add to the space station's contribution to medical research that will benefit space travellers as well as patients back home.
Rising supermoon videoed from the ISS. Credit: NASA
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More mundane tasks included Kuipers packing some items for transfer to the arrival of a SpaceX Dragon, the first commercial spacecraft, that is scheduled for its delayed launch that has now slipped to May 19.
Kononenko has spent time unloading supplies from a Progress cargo ship that is currently docked to the station. He also joined Pettit and Kuipers in a conference to chat with their future crewmates.
NASA's Joseph Acaba and Russian cosmonauts Sergei Revin and Gennady Padalka are due to lift off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on May 14 aboard Soyuz TMA-22 to make up the rest of Expedition 31 on the ISS.
Currently the space station has a depleted crew following the return to Earth of Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin on April 27.
The men who make up the crew of Expedition 31. Credit: NASA
Konenko, Kuipers and Pettit are due to return home on July 1 leaving the newcomers to spend nearly three more months in space before their return on September 17.
Of the new crew, Acaba previously flew on the space shuttle Discovery and carried out nearly 13 hours of space walks helping fit the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and truss element to the ISS.
Padalka, a father of three, is a space veteran. Dad of one Revin is on his first trip into space. The Expedition 31 crew were pictured together for a "family snap" against a strange Van Gogh style backdrop before any of them launched on their current mission.