Friday, April 19, 2024

Ten-Member Crew Works on Cargo, Spacesuits, and Human Research – Space Station

NASATen-Member Crew Works on Cargo, Spacesuits, and Human Research – Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft approaches the space station for a docking to the Harmony module’s space-facing port on March 23, 2024.

The 10 crew members aboard the International Space Station, including five NASA astronauts, four Roscosmos cosmonauts, and one Belarus spaceflight participant, turned their attention on Tuesday toward cargo transfers and spacesuit work. There was still time for science on the orbital outpost as the Expedition 70 crew continued more human research.

The NASA astronauts worked throughout the day swapping cargo in and out of the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft docked to the Harmony module’s space-facing port. Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara kicked off Tuesday’s cargo work releasing launch restraints that had secured payloads during Dragon’s ascent to space. Next, Matthew Dominick and Jeanette Epps took over unstrapping more cargo to move into the station.

O’Hara then unpacked a new U.S. spacesuit helmet from Dragon and swapped it with an older helmet for return to Earth aboard the spacecraft. Dominick packed the upper torso of a U.S. spacesuit in a box then labeled and prepared it for stowing on Dragon for analysis and servicing back on Earth. NASA Flight Engineer Tracy C. Dyson assisted the duo during the spacesuit cargo work then finalized battery charging duties in preparation for an upcoming Roscosmos spacewalk.

NASA Flight Engineer Mike Barratt released and transferred science hardware from inside Dragon for installation on a space station EXPRESS rack. The EXPRESS racks are multipurpose research facilities enabling astronaut-operated or ground-controlled experiments. Barratt also installed and set up new research gear in the Harmony module expanding protein crystallization research for a space pharmaceutical study.

The Roscosmos segment’s four cosmonauts fit in an array of space science while also working on their contingent of cargo activities.  Flight Engineer Alexander Grebenkin operated gear monitoring Flight Engineer Oleg Novitskiy while has was attached to sensors recording his blood circulation. Novitskiy also partnered with spaceflight participant Marina Vasilevskaya photographing Earth landmarks and filming educational activities. Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub continued collecting his blood and saliva samples for a space immunity study.

Novitskiy also packed cargo inside the Soyuz MS-24 crew ship that he, Vasilevskaya, and O’Hara will return to Earth in on April 6. Chub stowed more cargo inside the Progress 86 resupply ship and updated the space station’s inventory management system. Expedition 70 Commander Oleg Kononenko spent his day on electronics maintenance checking video gear and computer hardware.

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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