Saturday, May 18, 2024

Neurology Study and Spacewalk Preps Kickoff Week – Space Station

NASANeurology Study and Spacewalk Preps Kickoff Week – Space Station

Astronaut Mike Barratt processes brain organoid samples inside the BioServe Tissue Chamber to learn how microgravity affects the central nervous system.

The Expedition 71 crew kicked off a busy schedule on Monday exploring ways to treat neurological diseases while gearing up for a spacewalk planned for Thursday. Cargo operations are also picking up as a U.S. cargo craft gets ready for its departure from the International Space Station.

Researchers use the orbital outpost’s weightless environment to gain insights impossible to achieve on Earth’s surface. Results extrapolated from the space investigations can be applied not only to promoting living in space for crews but also improving health and industry on Earth for humans.

On Monday, NASA Flight Engineers Tracy C. Dyson and Mike Barratt took turns processing brain organoid samples for a neurodegenerative disorder study. Dyson first serviced the specimens and injected a drug treatment into the sample cultures for a microscopic analysis of the therapy’s ability to counteract the effects of microgravity. Barratt processed the samples at the end of the day preparing them for stowage and later analysis. Doctors will use the results to learn how protect a crew member’s central nervous system and provide treatments for neurodegenerative conditions on Earth.

The duo then joined fellow NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick and Jeanette Epps and helped pack the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft with cargo ahead of its targeted undocking on Friday, April 26. Soon the crewmates will begin concentrating on stowing completed science experiments, including the brain organoid study, and their critical research samples inside Dragon for the ride back to Earth and analysis in laboratories.

Station Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub are getting ready for the year’s first spacewalk at the orbital lab set to begin at 10:55 a.m. EDT on Thursday. The duo tried on their Orlan spacesuits today checking for pressure leaks and testing their communications and medical systems. The cosmonauts will spend about seven hours in the vacuum of space configuring hardware and installing experiments on the Roscosmos segment of the space station.

Cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin assisted his cosmonaut crewmates helping the duo in and out of their Orlan spacesuits and checking the suits’ components and batteries. Grebenkin then spent the rest of Monday servicing Roscosmos life support hardware and ventilation systems.

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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