Saturday, May 18, 2024

Crew Begins Week with Spacesuits, Space Physics, and Human Research – Space Station

NASACrew Begins Week with Spacesuits, Space Physics, and Human Research – Space Station

The official Expedition 71 crew portrait with (bottom row from left) Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin and NASA astronauts Mike Barratt, Matthew Dominick, and Jeanette Epps. In the back row (from left) are, NASA astronaut Tracy C. Dyson and Roscosmos cosmonauts Nikolai Chub and Oleg Kononenko.

Spacesuits and space physics kicked off the work week for the Expedition 71 crew. The International Space Station residents also continued their ongoing human research activities and cargo operations.

NASA astronauts Mike Barratt and Matthew Dominick took turns on Monday servicing a pair of U.S. spacesuits. Barratt spent the morning inside the Quest airlock dumping and filling the suits’ water tanks then filtering their cooling loops. In the afternoon, Dominick wrapped up the maintenance work and deconfigured and powered down the spacesuits.

Barratt earlier joined NASA Flight Engineer Tracy C. Dyson in the Columbus laboratory module as she checked his eye function. After Barratt’s spacesuit work, NASA Flight Engineer Jeanette Epps checked his blood pressure and scanned his veins with the Ultrasound 2 device. The biomedical work is part of the CIPHER investigation to gain a broad view of the physiological and psychological changes astronauts experience during long-term space missions.

Dyson moved on and removed a small satellite orbital deployer from the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock after it deployed three CubeSats into Earth for communications and technology studies. At the end of her shift, Dyson tested her vision by reading characters off a standard eye chart.

Epps and Barratt also alternated their schedules continuing to swap cargo in and out of the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft. Epps then began replacing hardware inside the Cold Atom Lab, a quantum research device for observing the behavior of atoms chilled to lower than the average temperature of the universe.

Cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub are gearing up for the next spacewalk set for 10:55 a.m. EDT on April 25. The duo spent Monday reviewing their spacewalk tasks, measuring their arm strength, and replacing components on their Orlan spacesuits. Kononenko and Chub are expected to spend about seven hours in the vacuum of space removing and installing hardware on the orbital outpost’s Roscosmos segment.

Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin worked throughout the day primarily on life support maintenance tasks. The first-time space flyer also photographed electrical components inside the Zarya module then updated the station’s inventory management system.

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