Week Ends With Spacesuit Checks, Dragon Packing and Eye Exams

Week Ends With Spacesuit Checks, Dragon Packing and Eye Exams

Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov is pictured during a spacewalk on Sept. 3, 2021, to begin outfitting the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.
Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov is pictured during a spacewalk on Sept. 3, 2021, to begin outfitting the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

The Expedition 66 crew is wrapping up the work week continuing its Russian spacewalk preparations while packing a U.S. resupply ship for departure next week. The orbital residents also had time set aside for eye checks and science hardware work.

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle is due to complete its mission at the International Space Station on Jan. 21 after 30 days docked to the Harmony module’s space-facing port. NASA Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Thomas Marshburn began Friday loading up the Dragon with a variety of cargo that will be returned to Earth one day after the vehicle’s undocking. ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer assisted the duo in the afternoon organizing and securing the cargo inside the U.S. commercial cargo craft.

Chari and Maurer also led a pair of eye checks aboard the orbiting lab on Friday afternoon with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei as the subject. Maurer started the first exam scanning Vande Hei’s eye with the Ultrasound 2 device. Following that, Chari looked at the veteran astronaut’s retinas using standard medical imaging gear, optical coherence tomography, that can be found inside a doctor’s office.

NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron spent Friday working on experiment hardware throughout the space station’s U.S. segment. She started the morning retrieving research components exposed to the harsh environment of space from inside the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock. During the afternoon, Barron began setting up and photographing science gear in several station modules to prepare for upcoming research.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov spent the last day of the week trying on their Russian Orlan spacesuits, checking for pressure leaks and testing their communication systems. They will exit the Poisk module on Jan. 19 for a seven hour spacewalk to outfit and configure the Prichal and Nauka modules.


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

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Heidi Lavelle

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Busy Day for Biology Research as Spacewalk Preps Continue

Busy Day for Biology Research as Spacewalk Preps Continue

Astronauts Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer participate in a robotics training session inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module.
Astronauts Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer participate in a robotics training session inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module.

Space biology research and spacewalk preparations kept the Expedition 66 crew busy aboard the International Space Station on Thursday. The orbital residents also ensured space hardware including exercise gear, a specialized microscope, and fluid systems continued operating in tip-top shape.

Living long-term in microgravity affects every aspect of the human body and the eyes are no exception. A study recently delivered aboard the SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle and under way today at the orbital lab is exploring how visual function is impacted by extended space missions. Three NASA astronauts, Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, and Kayla Barron were on duty throughout the day contributing to the investigation that may protect astronaut’s vision and improve eye treatments on Earth.

Marshburn first started his day in the Tranquility module strengthening cables on the advanced resistive exercise device. Chari, toward the end of his work shift, cleaned the Veggie space botany facility before uninstalling and packing a spacecraft atmosphere monitor for return to the ground.

Microbe collections continued for the third day this week as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer swabbed station surfaces and stowed the samples for later analysis. The German astronaut also serviced the Mochii electron-scanning microscope, set up a computer for Earth observations, and worked on the Cytoskeleton human cell experiment.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei was on duty Thursday afternoon in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module conducting life support maintenance. The three-time station visitor worked on the fluid servicer system that removes gas bubbles and cleans fluid lines throughout the orbital lab.

Vande Hei also joined cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov helping the Russian duo install lights, batteries and video gear on their Orlan spacesuit helmets. The pair started the day with a physical fitness test to prepare for a spacewalk planned for Jan. 19. They will spend about seven hours in the vacuum of space configuring both the Prichal and Nauka modules.


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

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Heidi Lavelle

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Cosmonauts Prep for Spacewalk as Astronauts Work Science and Maintenance

Cosmonauts Prep for Spacewalk as Astronauts Work Science and Maintenance

NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn peers out from a window inside the cupola, the International Space Station's
NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn peers out from a window inside the cupola, the International Space Station’s “window to the world.”

In one week the first spacewalk of 2022 is set begin at the International Space Station. Two Expedition 66 crew members are getting their spacesuits ready as the rest of the crew works research and maintenance.

Station Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov are due to exit the Poisk module in their Russian Orlan spacesuits on Jan. 19 at 7 a.m. EDT. They will spend about seven hours configuring both the Prichal docking module and the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module in the vacuum of space.

Both cosmonauts continued setting up and attaching components to their spacesuits on Wednesday. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei, who will assist the spacewalkers next week, joined the pair during the afternoon and reviewed the Poisk airlock depressurization/repressurization timeline.

The station’s other crew members focused on space physics, life science and lab maintenance. NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari started his day working on hardware maintenance for the Ring Sheared Drop experiment then took a robotics test for a behavioral study. Astronaut Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) continued collecting microbe samples swabbed from station surfaces for analysis.

NASA astronaut Kayla Barron collected microbe samples from the station’s atmosphere then took samples from a carbon dioxide removal system for analysis. At the end of the day, Vande Hei gathered equipment ahead of operations planned for station fluid systems.


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

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Heidi Lavelle

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Dragon, Spacewalk Preps Amidst Space Botany and Biology Research

Dragon, Spacewalk Preps Amidst Space Botany and Biology Research

The station is pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour during a fly around that took place on Nov. 8, 2021.
The station is pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour during a fly around that took place on Nov. 8, 2021.

The International Space Station is gearing up for the departure of a U.S. resupply ship and a Russian spacewalk next week. Meanwhile, the Expedition 66 crew is maintaining its pace of research exploring how microgravity affects variety of biological phenomena.

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle has been docked to the Harmony module’s space-facing docking port since Dec. 22 when it delivered over 6,500 pounds of new science experiments, crew supplies, and station hardware. It is now being readied for departure on Jan. 21 its return to Earth a day later loaded with completed space research and old lab gear for analysis and inspection.

NASA Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Raja Chari took turns Tuesday morning organizing and packing gear inside the Cargo Dragon. Chari then spent the afternoon swapping out science freezer components inside Dragon that will soon house research samples for examination by scientists on Earth.

Barron later collected root and shoot samples from Arabidopsis plants grown on petri plates readying them for stowage and analysis back on the ground. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei worked on another space botany investigation as he photographed and harvested cotton cultures grown on the station to understand how weightlessness affects plant genetics.

NASA Flight Engineer Thomas Marshburn spent Tuesday on several human research and space biology tasks. He wrapped up blood pressure measurements for the Vascular Aging study, set up the Life Science Glovebox for an upcoming experiment, then took a robotics test for a behavioral investigation. Astronaut Matthias Maurer from ESA (European Space Agency) also worked on life science as he collected microbe samples for analysis, swapped particle samples inside the Mochii electron-scanning microscope, then took a cognition test.

Two cosmonauts, station Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov, continue getting ready for a spacewalk on Jan.19. Today, they configured a pair of Russian Orlan spacesuits that will be worn in the vacuum of space when they configure the station’s two newest modules, Nauka and Prichal.


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

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Mark Garcia

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Crew Starts Week with Space Agriculture, Human Cells and Spacesuits

Crew Starts Week with Space Agriculture, Human Cells and Spacesuits

Pictured from left, are the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship and the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module with the Prichal docking module attached.
Pictured from left, are the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship and the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module with the Prichal docking module attached.

The Expedition 66 crew kicked off Monday promoting space agriculture and observing how the human cell adapts to weightlessness. Two cosmonauts are also gearing up for the first spacewalk of 2022 set to begin next week at the International Space Station.

Growing plants in space is critical to keeping crews healthy as NASA and its international partners plan human missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Just like humans living in space, microgravity affects plants and scientists want to learn how to successfully grow crops in space to sustain crews with less support from Earth.

Today, NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei harvested the shoots and roots of Arabidopsis plants grown on petri plates inside the Veggie facility. Fellow NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari collected the harvested samples and stowed them in a science freezer for later analysis. The APEX-07, or Advanced Plant Experiment-07, study is looking at how microgravity affects genetic expression in plants.

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer worked throughout Monday on the Cytoskeleton space biology study. That study takes place in the Kibo laboratory module and uses the Life Science Glovebox to explore how the internal machinery of the human cell is impacted by long-term space missions.

NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron also worked in Kibo and set up the new Mochii electron-scanning microscope to identify trace particles aboard the station. NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn fed mice and cleaned their habitats throughout Monday before inspecting and cleaning hatch seals in the station’s U.S. segment.

Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov partnered together during the morning on a pair of Russian studies looking at how space affects heart activity and arm muscles. The duo later spent the rest of the day setting up Russian Orlan spacesuits for a spacewalk set to begin on Jan. 19. The two cosmonauts will spend about seven hours in the vacuum of space outfitting the station’s newest modules, Nauka and Prichal.


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

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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

Get The Details…

Mark Garcia

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