The seven members of the Expedition 68 crew divided their day between space suits and rocket science. A spacewalk to upgrade the International Space Station’s power system is planned soon, as advanced microgravity research is ongoing aboard the orbiting laboratory.
Astronauts Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) partnered inside the Quest airlock preparing a pair of Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), or spacesuits, for an upcoming walk space. The pair were joined by NASA flight engineers Frank Rubio and Josh Cassada who reviewed the EMU components and prepped Quest ahead of the upcoming spacewalk to prepare the station for its upcoming deployment of solar arrays.
Meanwhile, space research is continuously carried out aboard the space station, whether experiments are operated manually by astronauts, remotely by scientists on Earth, or autonomously with little or no input from members. crew or payload specialists.
Wakata began his day in the Kibo lab module working on video components and cables to support research observation activities. Mann swapped out a hard drive and installed new software on a laptop that provides scientific data and command capabilities for an EXPRESS rack.
Cassada worked at a pair of research facilities Thursday swapping fuel bottles inside the Integrated Combustion Rack and then watering tomato plants growing inside the Veggie space botany system. Rubio serviced the confocal space microscope that provides fluorescence images of biological samples and provides critical information on cellular and tissue characteristics.
Commander Sergey Prokopyev installed the Earth observation hardware on Thursday morning before turning on a 3D printer and printing test samples. Flight engineer Dmitri Petelin studied the physics of fluids exposed to electric and magnetic fields in microgravity. Flight engineer Anna Kikina dedicated her day to maintaining electronic equipment, charging equipment and checking cable connections.
Learn more about the station’s activities by following the space station blog, @Spacial station Y @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.
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