Crew Works Multitude of Research Before Fourth of July Weekend
The seven Expedition 67 crew members are going into the weekend with a host of microgravity research and housekeeping activities. The four astronauts and three cosmonauts will also relax on Monday observing the Fourth of July U.S. holiday aboard the International Space Station.
NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines participated in a robotics test on Friday. The duo practiced simulated robotics maneuvers on a computer for the Behavioral Core Measures space psychology study. The investigation may provide insights into behavioral health and performance issues crews may face separated from family and friends while on missions farther away from Earth.
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti started Friday checking samples for the Soft Matter Dynamics fluid physics study potentially impacting the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries among others. Cristoforetti also serviced combustion research hardware and installed new software to maintain operations and support ongoing science inside an EXPRESS rack.
In the Russian segment of the orbiting lab, Commander Oleg Artemyev had a hearing test then moved on and set up hardware to measure activity in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Flight Engineer Denis Matveev studied ways future crew members might pilot spacecraft and robots on planetary missions. Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov collected his blood and saliva samples for an experiment investigating how the immune system adapts to long-term spaceflight.
All seven space station crew members will spend Saturday on housekeeping activities such as disinfecting surfaces, vacuuming dust, and clearing vents for better airflow. Also on Saturday, the NanoRacks Bishop airlock will open up to the vacuum of space for the first time and jettison a trash container toward Earth’s atmosphere for a fiery, but safe disposal. The crew will then relax on Sunday and Monday enjoying a long Fourth of July weekend.
Thursday’s Research Explores Botany, Artificial Intelligence, and Immune System
The Expedition 67 crew members tended to plants and explored artificial intelligence aboard the International Space Station today. The four astronauts and three cosmonauts also split their day configuring a U.S. airlock and investigating how microgravity affects the human body.
NASA Flight Engineer Bob Hines worked in the Columbus laboratory module on Thursday afternoon processing radish seeds germinating for the XROOTS space botany study. The investigation uses soilless techniques, such as hydroponics and aeroponics, to nourish and grow plants for producing crops on a larger scale for future space missions.
Hines also joined NASA Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Jessica Watkins configuring the NanoRacks Bishop airlock for its first trash disposal task this weekend. The trio prepared the airlock for its depressurization and closed its hatch in the Tranquility module after packing a trash container in Bishop on Wednesday. The container will be jettisoned outside Bishop towards Earth’s atmosphere for a fiery, but safe disposal on Saturday.
Today, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti set up the Microgravity Science Glovebox and serviced components for the Intelligent Glass Optics space physics study. The advanced experiment uses artificial intelligence to adapt Earth-bound manufacturing techniques for the space environment. Results may improve Earth- and space-based technologies such as communications, aerospace, and medicine.
The orbiting lab’s three cosmonauts participated in a series of human research experiments today. Commander Oleg Artemyev attached sensors to himself to collect data about his cardiac activity while working in weightlessness. Flight Engineers Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov collected their blood and saliva samples for analysis to understand how the stresses of spaceflight, including radiation exposure and changes in sleep patterns, affect the human immune system.
NASA Awards Engineering, Technology, Science Contract
NASA has awarded the JSC Engineering, Technology, and Science (JETS) II contract to Jacobs Technology Inc. of Tullahoma, Tennessee, to provide engineering and scientific products, technical services and related services for the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, other NASA centers and government agencies.