Space Biology Research Wraps Up Crew’s Work Week

Space Biology Research Wraps Up Crew’s Work Week

The sun's first rays begin illuminating Earth's atmosphere as the space station orbited 260 miles above the central United States.
The sun’s first rays begin illuminating Earth’s atmosphere as the space station orbited 260 miles above the central United States.

Bacteria, brain aging, and gravity-sensing cells were the main research subjects aboard the International Space Station on Friday. The seven Expedition 70 crew members also worked on computers, communications gear, and life support maintenance to wrap up the work week.

NASA Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara explored how microorganisms grow in microgravity, the potential damage they cause to spacecraft, and ways to disinfect the harmful bacteria. She inoculated microbe samples inside the Life Science Glovebox that will be compared to uninoculated samples. The NASA-sponsored Bacteria Adhesion and Corrosion study takes place in the Kibo laboratory module and aims to keep space crews and humans on Earth healthy.

Commander Andreas Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) viewed cell samples under a microscope for the Cerebral Ageing experiment. The study looks at brain cell-like samples to understand accelerated aging symptoms seen in patients on Earth and observed in astronauts on long-term space missions.

Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) prepared different cell samples for observation inside the Confocal Microscope then closed out the Cell Gravisensing biology Investigation. Earlier in the day, he swapped hard drives on a laptop computer then assisted O’Hara continuing to unpack the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft.

NASA Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli spent her day in the Harmony module configuring a variety of NASA and Roscosmos hardware. She first calibrated an ultrasonic inspection device that uses high-frequency sound waves to analyze materials, Afterward, Moghbeli checked space-to-ground, VHF, and inter-module communication systems.

Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko researched 3D printing techniques to learn how to manufacture tools and supplies in space and reduce dependence on cargo missions from Earth. Cosmonaut Nikolai Chub spent his day on life support and electronics maintenance. Cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov configured Soyuz crew ship and Progress resupply ship laptop computers then continued his photographic analysis of the station’s Roscosmos modules.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Mark Garcia

Station Research Benefits Humans on Earth, Crews in Space

Station Research Benefits Humans on Earth, Crews in Space

Astronaut Loral O'Hara uses a portable glovebag to replace components on a biological printer that tests the printing of organ-like tissues in microgravity.
Astronaut Loral O’Hara uses a portable glovebag to replace components on a biological printer that tests the printing of organ-like tissues in microgravity.

A variety of research taking place today on the International Space Station is helping NASA and its partners support crews living and working off the Earth. The ongoing Expedition 70 investigations are informing ways to improve human health and plan future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

Astronauts Loral O’Hara and Satoshi Furukawa joined each other in the Columbus laboratory module for vein scans using the Ultrasound 2 device. Doctors on the ground assisted the duo monitoring how weightlessness affects the neck, shoulder, and leg veins, and learning how to keep crews healthy.

O’Hara from NASA also teamed up with fellow NASA Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli and worked in the Tranquility module throughout Thursday. Both astronauts were clearing hardware from the Bishop airlock to make space for the NanoRacks External Platform. Bishop will open its door to space and the platform will be retrieved by the Canadarm2 robotic arm for scientific operations outside of the orbital laboratory. The external research gear is designed to carry experiments for exposure to the vacuum of outer space.

Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) collected cell samples from an incubator and placed them inside the Confocal Microscope to observe how they sense microgravity. He also swapped a gas bottle inside the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace then assisted O’Hara and Moghbeli with the NanoRacks work.

Commander Andreas Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) began his day with a conference with ESA managers, charged portable electronics inside the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft, then set up Earth science hardware. The two-time station visitor then supported a student-designed space botany experiment, analyzed station water samples, and serviced spacesuit batteries.

Veteran Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko practiced futuristic piloting techniques that may be used to operate spacecraft and robots on potential planetary missions. Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub tested a 3D printer for its ability to manufacture tools and supplies without assistance from Earth. Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov worked on orbital plumbing duties inside the Nauka science module then conducted a photographic analysis of the station’s Roscosmos modules.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: https://roundupreads.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Mark Garcia

Robotics Activities Continue; Crew Completes an Array of Research

Robotics Activities Continue; Crew Completes an Array of Research

An aurora glows in Earth's atmosphere as the International Space Station soared 260 miles above Utah during orbital nighttime.
An aurora glows in Earth’s atmosphere as the International Space Station soared 260 miles above Utah during orbital nighttime.

Another busy day of science activities is underway for the Expedition 70 crew and robotics ground controllers following the arrival of SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft last weekend. The seven members aboard the International Space Station spent time on an array of research today while grounds teams remotely retrieved science hardware from Dragon.

Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara started work in the morning on an experiment that studies age-related liver dysfunction and regeneration. The first-time station resident of NASA processed liver tissue samples in the Life Sciences Glovebox, research that could help scientists understand the biology of aging and its effects on disease mechanisms. Later in the day, Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA took over this work before stowing the samples.

After yesterday’s ILLUMA-T extraction, mission controllers from the U.S. spent another day on robotics activities to retrieve more science hardware delivered inside Dragon’s unpressurized trunk. Remotely controlling the Canadarm2 robotic arm, engineers extracted the new Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE) payload to mount it to the exterior of the orbiting laboratory. From its perch, AWE will track small-scale atmospheric gravity waves in our home planet’s upper atmosphere to investigate how they contribute to space weather, which affects space- and ground-based comms, navigation, and tracking systems.

While ground teams worked remotely outside the station, research experiments continued for other residents aboard. Commander Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) spent the majority of his day deploying six antimicrobial placards for a four-month investigation that will test a coating to inhibit microbial growth on several surfaces aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Meanwhile, after yesterday’s start on treating cell samples inside the Kibo laboratory, astronaut Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) continued this work for the Cell Gravisensing-2 study. Using a microscope, he observed additional samples to help researchers learn how lack of gravity affects cell response.

The trio of cosmonauts kept busy with their own scientific research and maintenance activities. Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov worked on an ongoing investigation that observes Earth’s nighttime atmosphere in near-ultraviolet and photographed the Zarya and Nauka modules to assist in future planning of repairs and science equipment placement. Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko inspected hardware in Nauka, while Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub completed some orbital plumbing and investigated the processes of liquid phases in microgravity.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: https://roundupreads.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Abby Graf

Dragon Kicks Off Robotics and Science Activities on Station

Dragon Kicks Off Robotics and Science Activities on Station

Thrusters on the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft fire automatically adjusting the vehicle's approach for a docking to the station's forward port.
Thrusters on the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft fire automatically adjusting the vehicle’s approach for a docking to the station’s forward port.

The Expedition 70 crew and robotics controllers on the ground were busy unloading a U.S. cargo craft today. The International Space Station residents are also activating new science experiments to reveal how microgravity affects humans.

The astronauts and teams on the ground are working together today unpacking some of the nearly 6,500 pounds of science, supplies, and hardware delivered inside the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft on Saturday. Commander Andreas Mogensen worked inside the commercial resupply ship on Tuesday disassembling some of the loaded crew bags strapped inside Dragon. The ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut then moved the smaller cargo items through the hatch and into the station to replenish the crew. Mogensen also supported a pair of space botany experiments to help sustain crews traveling farther away from Earth.

Mission controllers from the U.S. and Japan coordinated their robotics activities to retrieve and install some of the heavier science hardware delivered inside Dragon’s unpressurized trunk. The U.S. engineers remotely controlled the Canadarm2 robotic arm to extract the new ILLUMA-T laser communications experiment stowed in Dragon. The JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) robotics controllers were standing by as the Canadarm2 handed off ILLUMA-T to the Japanese robotic arm for installation on the Kibo laboratory module.

NASA Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara worked throughout Tuesday on a new investigation for a deeper understanding of the aging process. She processed human cell samples for incubation and stowage in a science freezer. The cell samples are being cultured in space and compared to samples on Earth to observe cell stress, metabolism, and other characteristics that may contribute to accelerated aging processes in humans living on and off the Earth.

Astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Satoshi Furukawa partnered together treating cell samples inside the Kibo lab for the Cell Gravisensing-2 study. The duo retrieved samples from an incubator, observed them in a microscope, then inserted them into a science freezer for later analysis. Observations will help researchers learn how cells respond to the lack of gravity promoting space biology and improving treatments for ailments on Earth.

Moghbeli from NASA also installed computer gear inside the Combustion Integrated Rack that enables the safe research of fuels and flames in weightlessness. Furukawa from JAXA routed cables and set up a laptop computer that will support operations for the ILLUMA-T laser technology study.

The orbiting lab’s three cosmonauts spent Tuesday focusing on their array of research and maintenance tasks for Roscosmos. Cosmonaut and five-time station visitor Oleg Kononenko inspected the Zvezda service module with inputs from specialists on the ground. Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub photographed the internal condition of the station’s Roscosmos modules for analysis then strapped on a sensor-packed cap and practiced futuristic piloting techniques. Finally, Flight Engineer Konstantin worked on orbital plumbing tasks, updated computer tablet software, and photographed landmarks on Earth for study.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: https://roundupreads.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Mark Garcia

Dragon Hatch Opened, Crew Unpacking Science and Supplies

Dragon Hatch Opened, Crew Unpacking Science and Supplies

The space station soars 260 miles above the southernmost point of Alaska into an orbital nighttime.
The space station soars 260 miles above the southernmost point of Alaska into an orbital nighttime.

The Expedition 70 crew is unpacking the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft following its arrival early Saturday morning. Meanwhile, the orbital residents are also continuing their research and maintenance activities following the International Space Station’s debris avoidance maneuver last week.

The hatches are open between Dragon and the orbital outpost following its arrival on Saturday. NASA Flight Engineers Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara monitored Dragon’s arrival and entered the cargo spacecraft less than two hours after its docking. The duo along with Commander Andreas Mogensen and Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa spent a busy weekend unloading time-sensitive experiments for installation and activation aboard the orbital outpost.

The foursome worked throughout Monday transferring science freezers stocked with research samples from Dragon into the station and kicking off some of the new investigations. Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) and Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) configured space biology hardware and began offloading some of the 6,500 pounds of new crew supplies and hardware.

O’Hara and Moghbeli assisted the two international astronauts with both the science freezer work and the cargo transfers during the morning. O’Hara then spent the afternoon servicing components on a biological printer, the BioFabrication Facility (BFF), that is testing the printing of organ-like tissues in microgravity. Moghbeli set up new life science hardware, helped with the BFF work, and maintained standard life support and electronics hardware.

At the end of the day, the four astronauts joined the space station’s three cosmonauts reviewing updated emergency procedures while the new Dragon cargo spacecraft is docked to the Harmony module’s forward. Dragon will stay attached to Harmony until early December when it will return to Earth filed with station hardware and completed research for retrieval and analysis.

Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko began his day inside the Poisk airlock checking pressurization gear, then inspected windows on the Zvezda service module, and finally jogged on Zvezda’s treadmill for a fitness evaluation. Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub spent much of his day testing a 3D printer to make tools and supplies without depending on cargo missions from Earth. Flight Engineer Konstantin Borisov deactivated a camera remotely controlled by students on Earth, inspected Roscosmos laptop computers, and cleaned ventilation systems.

On Nov. 10, the International Space Station’s Zvezda service module engines were fired for five minutes and 16 seconds beginning at 10:07 a.m. to maneuver the complex away from the predicted track of an orbital debris fragment.  The maneuver had no effect on the rendezvous and docking of NASA’s SpaceX 29th commercial resupply mission, which docked to the space station at 5:07 a.m. Nov. 11 after launching two days prior.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: https://roundupreads.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Mark Garcia