Astronauts Pack Dragon for Return; Cosmonauts Practice Spacewalk

The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship (at top) is pictured docked to the Harmony module's forward port on the International Space Station.
The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship (at top) is pictured docked to the Harmony module’s forward port on the International Space Station.

Skin healing processes and spacewalk preparations filled the work schedule aboard the International Space Station on Friday. The Expedition 67 crew members are also readying a U.S. space freighter for its return to Earth next week.

Four astronauts aboard the orbiting lab practiced surgical techniques to heal wounds in microgravity on Friday in the Kibo laboratory module. The quartet split up in groups of two with NASA astronaut Bob Hines joining ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti for the first practice session during the morning. In the afternoon, NASA Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Jessica Watkins began their session studying how to take biopsies and suture wounds inside the Life Science Glovebox.

During the middle of the day, the foursome had time set aside time for gathering frozen research samples inside science freezers and preparing them for departure back to Earth inside the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship. Dragon is due to leave the station on Aug. 18 loaded with over 4,000 pounds of station supplies and science experiments after 33 days docked to the Harmony module’s forward port. The commercial cargo craft will parachute to a splashdown off the coast of Florida the next day for retrieval by NASA and SpaceX personnel.

Watkins and Cristoforetti started the day collecting blood samples for spinning in a centrifuge then stowing them in a science freezer. Lindgren  evaluated the effectiveness of the Butterfly IQ Ultrasound device that uses mobile-computing technology to promote crew autonomy. Hines wrapped up his day with light orbital plumbing tasks and spacewalk tether inspections.

Two cosmonauts are gearing up for a spacewalk on Aug. 17 to continue configuring the European robotic arm (ERA) for operations on the station’s Russian segment. Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Denis Matveev tried on their Orlan spacesuits, tested communications gear, checked for leaks, and practiced maneuvers planned for next week’s six-and-half-hour excursion. Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov assisted the duo during the spacewalking dry run and will be on duty monitoring his two crewmates when they exit the Poisk module’s airlock next week for the ongoing ERA work.

Crew Studies Life Science, Botany and Prepares for Spacewalk

Cosmonauts (from left) Denis Matveev and Oleg Artemyev configure the European robotic arm on the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module during a spacewalk on April 18, 2022.
Cosmonauts (from left) Denis Matveev and Oleg Artemyev configure the European robotic arm on the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module during a spacewalk on April 18, 2022.

Healing wounds in space and growing crops in low-Earth orbit and beyond were the main research topics aboard the International Space Station on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Expedition 67 crew is also packing a U.S. cargo craft and preparing for a Russian spacewalk next week.

Two-time space station resident Kjell Lindgren of NASA set up hardware during the morning inside the Life Science Glovebox for a biology experiment studying how skin heals in weightlessness. He was joined in the afternoon by fellow astronauts Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins, both from NASA, and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) for an experiment procedures review and a conference with the payload developer on the ground. Observations may provide insights improving wound healing techniques for astronauts and Earthlings.

Hines and Watkins began their day drawing their blood samples, spinning them in a centrifuge, then stowing them in a science freezer for later analysis. Hines then inspected seeds and recirculated fluids for the XROOTS botany study growing mizuna greens and radishes to explore agricultural techniques in space. Watkins later worked on orbital plumbing duties inside the Unity module.

Cristoforetti began her day servicing research gear as she downloaded Acoustic Monitor data to a laptop computer then swapped components on a fluorescence imaging microscope. At the end of the day, she continued stowing cargo inside the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship readying it for its return to Earth later this month.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev are gearing up for another spacewalk on Aug. 17 to prepare the European robotic arm (ERA) for operations on the station’s Russian segment. The duo has been readying their Russian Orlan spacesuits, spacewalking tools, and the Poisk module’s airlock for next week’s planned six-and-half-hour spacewalk. Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov, who will assist the spacewalkers next week, is also configuring the ERA for the upcoming excursion, which would be this year’s seventh spacewalk.

Aging Process, CubeSat Preps, and Space Physics Fill Station Research Schedule

Astronaut Jessica Watkins sets up cell samples for viewing in a microscope for an immune system aging study.
Astronaut Jessica Watkins sets up cell samples for viewing in a microscope for an immune system aging study.

Human research, nanosatellites, and space physics topped the research operations aboard the International Space Station on Wednesday. The Expedition 67 crew also continued packing a U.S. cargo craft while servicing Russian spacesuits.

NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins peered at tissue stem cells through a microscope in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module today to understand how the human immune system ages in space. Observations may provide insights into the biological aging process and tissue regeneration possibly informing new ways to keeps astronauts healthy in space and treat medical conditions on Earth. Watkins then spent the afternoon readying cargo packed inside the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship for return to Earth in mid-August.

A small satellite deployer loaded with CubeSats has been installed on an external science platform and placed inside the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock by NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren today. The deployer will soon be moved into the vacuum of space where the CubeSats will be released into low-Earth orbit for a variety of research programs. Lindgren later set up an AstroBee robotic free-flyer to rehearse pre-programmed maneuvers for the upcoming student-based Kibo Robotic Programming Challenge 3.

Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) explored the dynamics of foams, droplets, and granular materials with implications for future planetary travel and industries on Earth. She swapped the samples inside the Fluid Science Laboratory’s Soft Matter Dynamics experiment container.

NASA Flight Engineer Bob Hines started his day transferring U.S. spacewalking gear into the orbiting lab’s Russian segment. During the afternoon, he serviced hardware supporting the Ring Sheared Drop fluid physics study that could lead to a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and the development of advanced materials.

Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev took the U.S. spacewalk components, including tools and video cameras, Hines delivered today and installed them on a pair of Russian Orlan spacesuits. The duo will conduct a spacewalk on Aug. 17 to continue outfitting the European robotic arm. Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov focused on network cable connections inside the Nauka and Zvezda modules.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Multilateral Coordination Board Joint Statement

This mosaic depicts the space station pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour on Nov. 8, 2021.
This mosaic depicts the space station pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour on Nov. 8, 2021.

The International Space Station Multilateral Coordination Board met Friday, July 29, to discuss the status of the combined work aboard the microgravity laboratory. Partner representatives from NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency,  the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan / the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Roscosmos discussed a variety of topics including space station utilization, operations, and research, and transition planning and partnership in low-Earth orbit in the post-space station era. The board, tasked with  coordinating the management of the space station, also discussed extension of space station operations beyond 2024. Each partner confirmed it will continue to work through respective government processes on station extension and utilization beyond 2024.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Biology, Botany Research on Station Promoting Healthy Humans

Astronaut Kjell Lindgren processes samples to explore the immunological aging of cells in microgravity possibly informing therapies on Earth and in space.
Astronaut Kjell Lindgren processes samples to explore the immunological aging of cells in microgravity possibly informing immun system therapies on Earth and in space.

Understanding how microgravity affects humans and plants is key to supporting not only astronauts on long-term space missions but also improving life on Earth. The Expedition 67 crew explored those very subjects today while also working on U.S. cargo activities and checking Russian spacewalking gear aboard the International Space Station.

NASA Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines worked a pair of different experiments on Tuesday with benefits for humans living on and off the Earth. Lindgren processed samples and explored how the immune system ages in microgravity to learn how to keep astronauts healthy on long term missions and treat immunity conditions on Earth. The two-time station visitor conducted the unique research operations using the Life Science Glovebox located in the Kibo laboratory module.

Hines replaced life support components inside the Plant Habitat, a space botany research device helping NASA and its international partners learn how to sustain crews on future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. He worked in the Harmony module swapping carbon dioxide bottles and filters inside the Plant Habitat ensuring ongoing commercial and fundamental plant experiments in weightlessness.

Astronauts Jessica Watkins of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) partnered together swapping cargo inside the SpaceX Dragon space freighter expected to depart the station in mid-August. Watkins also processed samples for an investigation exploring how space affects the skin healing process. Cristoforetti, on her second spaceflight, tested a specialized vest that wirelessly transmits health data then participated in a cognitive assessment aboard the orbiting lab.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev continued maintenance on a pair of Russian Orlan spacesuits on Tuesday. The duo conducted leak checks and valve tests before testing the suit’s communications systems. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov photographed microbe samples growing inside the station’s Russian segment. Korsakov also continued ventilation maintenance inside the Nauka and Zvezda modules.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Critical Research Under Way Benefiting Humans on and off Earth

Spacewalker Samantha Cristoforetti works outside the space station to outfit the European robotic arm on July 21, 2022.
Spacewalker Samantha Cristoforetti works outside the space station to outfit the European robotic arm on July 21, 2022.

The seven Expedition 67 residents kicked off a busy week of critical research benefitting humans living on and off the Earth. The orbital residents also continued supporting the International Space Station’s vast array of flight, research, and life support systems.

Astronauts Bob Hines of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) took turns on Monday cleaning hardware and supporting samples for a biology study that is exploring skin healing in space. Observations may provide insights improving wound healing therapies for astronauts and Earthlings. Hines then spent the afternoon installing seed cartridges and root modules for the XROOTS space agriculture investigation to begin a 30-day growth period of radishes and mizuna greens. The research uses hydroponics and aeroponics techniques to learn how to produce crops on a larger scale on future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren opened up the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock and retrieved an external science platform and installed a small satellite deployer on the research gear. The deployer will be placed outside Kibo in the vacuum of space before deploying a set of CubeSats into low-Earth orbit for a variety of research and education programs.

NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins started her morning with cable connections inside the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR), a refrigerator-sized research rack. The CIR is located in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module and enables safe investigations into the behavior of fuels, flames, and soot, in weightlessness. Watkins then assisted Lindgren in the afternoon as he installed a barrier on the Quest airlock’s vent relief and isolation valve to prevent inadvertent contact with the life support device.

Two cosmonauts, station Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Denis Matveev, spent Monday servicing a pair of Russian Orlan spacesuits. The duo inspected the suits’ communications and life support systems. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov began his day exploring future spacecraft piloting and robotic control techniques then moved on to inspections in the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module and ventilation maintenance inside the Zvezda service module.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Crew Finishes Week Scrubbing Spacesuits, Adjusting Hardware, and Transferring Cargo

The sun's rays begin to illuminate the Earth's atmosphere as the International Space Station flew into an orbital sunrise 261 miles above Texas on July 16, 2022.
The sun’s rays begin to illuminate the Earth’s atmosphere as the International Space Station flew into an orbital sunrise 261 miles above Texas on July 16, 2022.

The Expedition 67 crew wrapped up its week aboard the  International Space Station by scrubbing spacesuits, adjusting hardware, and transferring cargo.

NASA Flight Engineer Bob Hines spent portions of the day performing cooling loop scrubs for spacesuits, called Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), which enable astronauts to work outside the station. He then reconfigured the EMU loop scrub hardware for iodination. Loop scrubs and iodinates are required to remove contaminants from the EMU transport loop.

NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren and ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti worked together to remove and store sample carriers for a suite of experiments that test how space affects various materials and components. If these materials can withstand the harsh environment outside the station, they could help improve equipment for future space exploration.

Lindgren and NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins also continued working on cargo operations. The duo took turns packing cargo into Cargo Dragon to prepare for the SpaceX CRS-25 undock on August 18.

The Russian segment of the station largely concentrated on carrying out maintenance tasks. Commander Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos joined Cosmonaut Denis Matveev to route cables and prepare spacesuits. Meanwhile, cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov conducted a health check on video equipment and closed the day performing maintenance work on a ventilation subsystem.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Installations, Inspections, and Training Fill Crew’s Midweek Schedule

The sun's glint beams off the Coral Sea northeast of Australia as the International Space Station orbited 264 miles above on July 11, 2022. Pictured in the right foreground, are a pair of the station's main solar arrays and a radiator.
The sun’s glint beams off the Coral Sea northeast of Australia as the International Space Station orbited 264 miles above on July 11, 2022. Pictured in the right foreground, are a pair of the station’s main solar arrays and a radiator.

The Expedition 67 crew’s midweek schedule aboard the International Space Station centered on installing equipment, inspecting for leaks, and a training exercise.

NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins set up the drain for an installed recycling tank for the Environmental Control and Life Support System, a piece of hardware that provides the station with clean water and air. She also made configurations to the Plant Habitat Facility, which monitors plants grown in space.

NASA Flight Engineer Bob Hines completed a session for the Cerebral Autoregulation investigation, which assesses how the human brain regulates blood flow in microgravity. The experiment required him to wear electrodes and sensors that measured blood flow in his head and chest. Results of the study may benefit astronauts readjusting to Earth’s gravity upon their return.

NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren completed a photo survey of fasteners of the station’s airlock close out panel. He later inspected a leak and reconnected parts for the Solid Combustion Experiment Module designed to investigate the oxygen concentration required to sustain a flame over solid fuels.

ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti installed a sample into hardware for the Ring Sheared Drop investigation. The experiment examines the formation and flow of a type of protein, called amyloids, in microgravity. Amyloids are associated with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Results of the study could help researchers better understand these diseases and aid the development of advanced materials.

Commander Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos and Cosmonaut Denis Matveev met with specialists to stage spacewalk equipment and tools. Cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov spent time photographing microbial samples stored in petri dishes.

Toward the end of the day, the crew gathered to train on how to respond to an emergency aboard the station. The team practiced communicating, executing procedures, and makings decisions based on cues from simulator displays.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Crew Readies Free-Flying Robots, Prepares Sample Returns, and Transfers Cargo

The free-floating Astrobee robots perform flight maneuvers with support from university ground teams and the astronauts aboard the space station on December 9, 2021. Credit: ESA/NASA
The free-floating Astrobee robots perform flight maneuvers with support from university ground teams and the astronauts aboard the space station on December 9, 2021. Credit: ESA/NASA

The Expedition 67 crew kept busy aboard the International Space Station today readying free-flying robots, preparing sample returns, and transferring cargo.

NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren set up Astrobee’s free-flying robots for a student robotics competition. For the competition, students write software to control one of the station’s Astrobee free-flying robots. Finalists have their code downloaded by NASA to the Astrobee platform and observe its performance.

NASA Flight Engineer Bob Hines made progress preparing and photographing sample returns for the Genes in Space-9 study, which evaluates how cell-free technology could be used in microgravity. The technology may provide a portable, low-resource, and low-cost tool with medical and monitoring applications for future space missions.

NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins continued to purge and take samples of carbon dioxide from the Thermal Amine Scrubber, which tests a technology for removing carbon dioxide from the station’s air. ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti spent time talking with students about life in space and other space-related topics. Watkins and Cristoforetti worked together to transfer cargo from the SpaceX CRS-25 Dragon spacecraft.

In the Russian segment of the station, Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos and Cosmonaut Denis Matveev were tasked with locating, photographing, and storing equipment and tools during a meeting with specialists. Cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov spent time replacing a carbon monoxide filter and sensor a part of a gas analyzer.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Crew Focuses on Prepping Equipment and Samples for Science Experiments

NASA astronaut Bob Hines is shown performing Genes in Space-9 aboard the International Space Station on July 21, 2022.
NASA astronaut Bob Hines is shown performing Genes in Space-9 aboard the International Space Station on July 21, 2022.

The Expedition 67 crew focused a portion of their time aboard the International Space Station today prepping equipment and samples for various science experiments.

NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren spent the latter part of the day changing the media for specific samples inside the Life Sciences Glovebox. He performed the task for an investigation studying the effects of microgravity on cell tissue regeneration and whether recovery occurs post-flight. Results could provide insight into whether the effects of the biological aging process can be reversed.

NASA Flight Engineer Bob Hines set up hardware and photographed samples for the Genes in Space-9 study. The experiment evaluates two approaches for using cell-free technology in microgravity, including protein production and biosensors that can detect specific target molecules.

NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins purged and took samples of carbon dioxide from the Thermal Amine Scrubber, which tests a technology for removing carbon dioxide from the station’s atmosphere. She and ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti also teamed up to route a power cable for a life support rack.

Cristoforetti concentrated on removing, packaging, and transferring containers for the Space Biofilms-2 experiment. The investigation characterizes the mass, thickness, structure, and associated gene expression of biofilms (molds) that form in space by analyzing a fungal species grown on different materials.

Commander Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos met with specialists to test a 3D printer. Meanwhile, cosmonauts Sergey Korsakov and Denis Matveev had a chance to take microbial samples from assigned areas aboard the station.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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