Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Space Science and Spacewalk Preps Keep Crew Busy – Space Station

NASASpace Science and Spacewalk Preps Keep Crew Busy – Space Station

Astronaut Jeanette Epps smiles for a portrait after she finished conducting a HAM radio session with Italian students.

The Expedition 71 crew members continued ongoing biology and physics research, as well as spacewalk preparations on Tuesday. The seven International Space Station residents also kept up more CubeSat work, cargo operations, and lab maintenance throughout their shifts.

Eye checks were on the schedule Tuesday as NASA Flight Engineers Tracy C. Dyson and Mike Barratt contributed to the CIPHER human research study. The duo participated in a pair of eye exams looking at the retina and optic nerve for one portion of the investigation that examines ocular structure and function in microgravity. Results may inform countermeasures that protect an astronaut’s vision on long-term space missions farther away from Earth.

Dyson earlier replaced cardiac cell samples inside the Advanced Space Experiment Processor, a research incubator, that were printed using the BioFabrication Facility. Barratt installed a small satellite orbital deployer into the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock. The Japanese robotic arm will grapple the deployer and point it away from the station where it will release a series of CubeSats into Earth orbit for scientific and technology research.

NASA Flight Engineers Jeanette Epps and Matthew Dominick joined each other during the afternoon finalizing hardware swaps inside the Cold Atom Lab. During the installation work the duo also cleaned filters and checked power readings on the research device that observes the quantum behavior of atoms chilled to near absolute zero.

Dominick began his day processing blood samples with Dyson spinning them in a centrifuge for later analysis. The duo later took turns transferring cargo in and out of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.

Cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub continue preparing for an April 25 spacewalk that will see the Roscosmos duo work outside in the vacuum of space for about seven hours. The two crewmates spent the afternoon gathering spacewalking tools and preparing their Orlan spacesuit components for upcoming operations. During the morning, the pair took turns studying spacecraft and robotic piloting techniques that may be used on future planetary missions.

Roscosmos Flight Engineer Alexander Grebenkin spent the majority of his day servicing life support components inside the Zvezda service module. At the end of the day, Grebenkin moved to the Tranquility module and worked out on the advanced resistive exercise device for an exercise evaluation.

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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