Crew Explores Fluid Shifts, Hot Physics During Cargo and Household Duties

Crew Explores Fluid Shifts, Hot Physics During Cargo and Household Duties

NASA astronaut Suni Williams investigates ways to overcome the lack of gravity when watering plants grown in space for the Plant Water Management investigation.
NASA astronaut Suni Williams investigates ways to overcome the lack of gravity when watering plants grown in space for the Plant Water Management investigation.

Thursday’s scientific objectives aboard the International Space Station included exploring ways to counter the effects of weightlessness on the human body and understanding how microgravity affects high-temperature physics. The two orbital crews also worked on research hardware, cargo transfers, household duties, and more throughout the workday.

Expedition 71 Flight Engineers Jeanette Epps and Matthew Dominick from NASA spent their shift together on Thursday testing a thigh cuff that may reverse the space-caused flow of body fluids toward an astronaut’s head. Dominick wore the thigh cuff that may change how fluids flow in the body as sensors recorded his physiological data. Epps scanned his veins with the Ultrasound 2 device, measured his blood pressure, and peered into Dominick’s eyes using standard medical imaging gear. Doctors on the ground remotely monitored the biomedical activities to determine the effectiveness of the thigh cuff. Results may counter the headward fluid shifts and prevent changes to eye structure and vision that may occur during long-term space missions.

Working in the Kibo laboratory module, NASA Flight Engineer Tracy C. Dyson stowed gear in Kibo’s logistics module to make space for an upcoming cargo delivery on the next Cygnus mission from Northrop Grumman. Afterward, Dyson cleaned the inside of Kibo’s Electrostatic Levitation Furnace and swapped samples inside the research facility that safely explores the thermophysical properties of materials exposed to temperatures as high as 2,000 degrees Celsius or more.

NASA Flight Engineer Mike Barratt focused mainly on household tasks throughout Thursday. He first replaced lithium-ion batteries in radiation detectors and lab hardware before swapping out orbital plumbing gear inside the Tranquility module.

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams of Boeing’s Crew Flight Test started their day servicing a variety of research hardware. Wilmore installed science gear inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox setting up a physics study that will observe how microparticles react to an electrical field. Williams disconnected cables and flash drives from a microscope ahead of troubleshooting activities. In the afternoon, the duo entered the Starliner spacecraft and conducted proficiency training inside the vehicle docked to the Harmony module’s forward port.

Station Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub, both from Roscosmos, partnered together loading the Progress 87 resupply ship with trash and obsolete gear ahead if its departure planned for mid-August. Flight Engineer Alexander Grebenkin tested Roscosmos laptop computers and recharged their batteries.

Beginning Monday, July 29th, the IMC Daily Summary will be discontinued.

To learn more about the groundbreaking science and engineering happening daily on the International Space Station, please visit the space station blog at https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/, or browse a variety of space station research resources at https://nasa.gov/iss-science.


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

Wednesday’s Station Research Focuses on Space Plants, Free-Flying Robotics

Wednesday’s Station Research Focuses on Space Plants, Free-Flying Robotics

The Milky Way appears in the vastness of space behind the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft docked to the space station's Harmony module.
The Milky Way appears in the vastness of space behind the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft docked to the space station’s Harmony module.

On Wednesday, space plants and free-flying robotics dominated the science schedule aboard the International Space Station. Orbital plumbing, cargo packing, and an emergency drill rounded out the day for the nine crew members living aboard the orbital outpost.

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams of Boeing’s Crew Flight Test continued exploring ways to effectively water plants in the weightless environment. The duo took turns throughout the day in the Harmony module testing how root models and plants of various sizes would absorb water in microgravity . The Plant Water Management study looks at techniques such as hydroponics and air circulation to nourish plants growing aboard spacecraft and space habitats.

Expedition 71 Flight Engineer Tracy C. Dyson coordinated with ground controllers and tested an Astrobee robotic free flyer’s ability to autonomously maneuver and recognizes gestures inside the Kibo laboratory module. She set up the cube-shaped, toaster-sized robotic assistant ahead of a student competition to write the best algorithms that will guide the Astrobee. NASA Flight Engineer Jeanette Epps activated the Astrobee before lunchtime and removed items in Kibo allowing Dyson to access the robotic free flyer’s docking apparatus. Epps also recorded another DNA research demonstration video for students on Earth.

NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick and Mike Barratt took turns on Wednesday cleaning up orbital plumbing tools used to service the Tranquility module’s bathroom, also known as the waste and hygiene compartment. Dominick also relocated protein crystal research hardware, loaded software on the Microgravity Science Glovebox computer, then reorganized cargo and trashed stowed in the Destiny laboratory module. Barratt trained Roscosmos Flight Engineer Alexander Grebenkin on the operations of the COLBERT treadmill then audited and stowed spacesuit components.

At the beginning of the day, the crew of the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft, Dominick, Barratt, Epps, Grebenkin, trained for the unlikely event they would need to evacuate the station in an emergency. Dyson, who rode to the station aboard the Soyuz MS-25 crew ship, also joined the quartet reviewing their emergency responses and procedures during the hourlong session.

Cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub began loading the Progress 87 cargo craft with garbage and discarded gear prior to its departure from the Zvezda service module in mid-August. Grebenkin had an off-duty day spending most of his time relaxing and working out on the treadmill and advanced resistive exercise device.

Beginning Monday, July 29th, the IMC Daily Summary will be discontinued.

To learn more about the groundbreaking science and engineering happening daily on the International Space Station, please visit the space station blog at https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/, or browse a variety of space station research resources at https://nasa.gov/iss-science.


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

Space Plants, Healthy Humans Top Tuesday’s Research on Station

Space Plants, Healthy Humans Top Tuesday’s Research on Station

The Cygnus space freighter and its two cymbal-shaped solar arrays is pictured attached to the Canadarm2 robotic arm before its release from the space station's on July 12, 2024.
The Cygnus space freighter and its two cymbal-shaped solar arrays is pictured attached to the Canadarm2 robotic arm before its release from the space station’s on July 12, 2024.

Space agriculture and human research operations were the prime science activities aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday. The four NASA astronauts and three Roscosmos cosmonauts representing Expedition 71 and the two NASA Boeing Crew Flight Test astronauts also participated in a variety of cargo activities and lab maintenance aboard the orbiting lab.

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams spent the majority of their day testing ways to water plants growing without soil in the weightless environment of microgravity. Williams first set up the Plant Water Management hardware in the Harmony module then tested a variety of liquid flow methods while video recording the results. Following her work, Wilmore ran more tests using hydroponics and air circulation techniques to learn how to effectively nourish a variety of plants on spacecraft and space habitats.

Cosmonaut Nikolai Chub attached sensors to his chest that recorded his heart activity while he relaxed Tuesday morning. NASA Flight Engineer Matthew Dominick performed isometric mid-thigh pulls on the advanced resistive exercise device testing his strength and force production in microgravity. Doctors use the insights from the numerous space biology studies aboard the station to keep crews healthy on long-term missions.

NASA Flight Engineer Jeanette Epps began and ended her day relocating NASA and Roscosmos hardware aboard the orbital outpost. In the middle of her shift, Epps replaced hardware in the station’s bathroom located in the Tranquility module then transferred radiation data, including electrons, protons, neutrons, and gamma-rays, collected from optical fibers to a computer.

NASA Flight Engineers Tracy C. Dyson and Mike Barratt spent most of the day inside SpaceX Dragon Endeavour configuring the spacecraft for cargo packing operations. Dominick, commander of Endeavour, pitched in to help update software, synchronize data, and charge batteries on the spacecraft’s computer tablets.

Commander Oleg Kononenko kicked off his day inside the Nauka science module continuing to explore the capabilities of a 3D printer in microgravity. He later worked on cargo transfers inside the Soyuz MS-25 crew ship docked to the Prichal docking module. Flight Engineer Alexander Grebenkin worked on household duties throughout Tuesday including orbital plumbing, reviewing inspection tasks, and cleaning smoke detectors, before ending his shift photographing Earth landmarks.

At the end of the day, all nine space station residents gathered together and practiced an emergency drill in response to unlikely scenarios such as a fire, a pressure leak, or a chemical release. The crew reviewed individual responsibilities, practiced evacuation techniques, and coordinated communications with mission controllers on the ground.

Beginning Monday, July 29th, the IMC Daily Summary will be discontinued.

To learn more about the groundbreaking science and engineering happening daily on the International Space Station, please visit the space station blog at https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/, or browse a variety of space station research resources at https://nasa.gov/iss-science.


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/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

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Mark Garcia

Life Science, Spacesuit Checks Kick Off Week Aboard Station

Life Science, Spacesuit Checks Kick Off Week Aboard Station

Clockwise from bottom, NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Jeanette Epps, Suni Williams, Mike Barratt, Tracy C. Dyson, and Butch Wilmore, pose for a team portrait inside the Unity module.
Clockwise from bottom, NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Jeanette Epps, Suni Williams, Mike Barratt, Tracy C. Dyson, and Butch Wilmore, pose for a team portrait inside the Unity module.

The Expedition 71 crew kicked off the week with life science and spacesuit checkouts aboard the International Space Station. The orbital septet also juggled a variety of maintenance duties including life support tasks and lab inspections.

Starliner Commander Butch Wilmore and Pilot Suni Williams, both NASA astronauts, participated in vein scans using the Ultrasound 2 device on Monday. Doctors on the ground monitored in real-time as the pair took turns imaging each other’s neck, shoulder, and leg veins. Afterward, Wilmore scanned the veins of NASA Flight Engineer Matthew Dominick helping researchers understand how microgravity affects the human body.

Wilmore and Dominick also spent a portion of the day taking inventory of the food stored aboard the space station. Additionally, Dominick worked in the Columbus laboratory module checking the power supply and transferring computer files on the European Drawer Rack, a science facility that can host a variety of experiments controlled remotely from the ground or operated by station crews.

Williams worked on a pair of differing studies as she first explored using the microgravity environment to manufacture higher quality optical fibers than on Earth. At the end of the day, Williams also investigated using fluid physics such as surface tension to overcome the lack of gravity when watering and nourishing plants grown in space.

NASA Flight Engineer Jeanette Epps first order of the day was life support work replacing gear inside the Tranquility module. Later on, she recorded a video for junior and high school students demonstrating how astronauts conduct DNA research in space.

NASA Flight Engineers Tracy C. Dyson and Mike Barratt took turns on Monday servicing spacesuit components in the Quest airlock. The duo checked out newly installed parts, conducted leak checks, and reconfigured the spacesuit life support systems. The astronauts wrapped up their day checking out the spacesuit jetpacks that would be used in the unlikely event a spacewalker became untethered from the orbital outpost.

The three cosmonauts from Roscosmos worked throughout Monday collecting and organizing a variety of inspection gear. Flight Engineers Nikolai Chub and Alexander Grebenkin kicked off the work reviewing the operation of some of the inspection hardware. Chub then joined Commander Oleg Kononenko to prepare for upcoming inspections in the lab’s Roscosmos segment.

Kononenko began his day on cardiac research attaching sensors to himself that recorded his activity while relaxing. Grebenkin wrapped up his day in the Nauka science module cleaning smoke detectors. Chub also joined Dominick of NASA and trained to use an ultrasonic inspection device.


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

NASA Starliner Astronauts Work Research, Maintenance Aboard Station

NASA Starliner Astronauts Work Research, Maintenance Aboard Station

Image shows Boeing's Starliner spacecraft that launched NASA's Crew Flight Test astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to the International Space Station is pictured docked to the Harmony module's forward port. This long-duration photograph was taken at night from the orbital complex as it soared 258 miles above western China.
Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft that launched NASA’s Crew Flight Test astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to the International Space Station is pictured docked to the Harmony module’s forward port. This long-duration photograph was taken at night from the orbital complex as it soared 258 miles above western China. Photo credit: NASA

Astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, crewmembers of NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test mission, performed a host of research activities and other roles aboard the International Space Station. Wilmore and Williams give the microgravity laboratory a complement of nine people working through daily tasks.

On Monday, Wilmore and Williams reviewed the procedures for using the Fluid Systems Servicer, which drains, purges, and circulates fluids on systems aboard the space station. Wilmore then refilled coolant loops in the water pump assembly located in the Columbus module. Tuesday saw the pair take turns during the morning pedaling on an exercise cycle while attached to heart and breathing sensors that measured their aerobic capacity. The duo then split up as Wilmore serviced a pair of research freezers that preserve scientific samples and Williams installed hardware on an experiment that explores atmospheric reentry and thermal protection systems.

The seven-member Expedition 71 crew joined the two Boeing Crew Flight Test astronauts to practice an emergency drill in collaboration with mission controllers. The teams aboard the orbital outpost and on the ground coordinated communications and reviewed procedures in the unlikely event of a pressure leak, chemical leak, or fire aboard the space station. Following that, Wilmore and Williams spoke to reporters from the space station, answering questions about their mission and the Starliner vehicle. NASA and Boeing managers also discussed the Crew Flight Test mission with the media in an audio teleconference afterward. Watch the crew news conference here and listen to the media briefing here. The duo also completed life support work refilling temperature loops with water in the Tranquility module’s internal thermal control system.

Advanced biology research also was underway aboard the orbiting lab on Thursday with astronauts exploring how living in space affects the human body and mind. Williams extracted DNA to identify microbe samples collected from station water systems. Results from the genetic biotechnology experiment may improve ways to keep crews healthy and spacecraft systems clean on future missions.

NASA astronaut Michael Barratt also assisted Wilmore, who spent all day servicing a pair of spacesuits in the Quest airlock. The duo cleaned the suits’ cooling loops and checked the communication systems ahead of a spacewalk planned for July 29.

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Elyna Niles-Carnes