Orbital Lab Busy as Pair of Spaceships Prepare for Launch

New Expedition 43 Crew Members
Expedition 43 NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, left, and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, center, and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos take in the view from an overlook during media day, Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

The three Expedition 43 crew members were back at work Tuesday on ongoing advanced microgravity science benefiting life on Earth and future crew members on long-term space missions. The International Space Station team is also getting ready to greet a new set of crew members and a private space freighter.

Commander Terry Virts participated in a second day of vision checks for the Ocular Health study. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti continued more runs of the TripleLux-B experiment studying cellular mechanisms that cause impairment of immune functions in microgravity. Finally, veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov worked on a pair of Russian investigations studying the effects of Earth’s magnetism on the space station and radiation exposure on a simulated crew member, or mannequin.

› Read more about the Ocular Health study
› Read more about the TripleLux-B experiment

Meanwhile, Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and One-Year Crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are in the final stages of their preparations before launching Friday afternoon to join Expedition 43. Kelly and Kornienko will return home March 2016. Padalka will end his stay in space in September.

› Read more about the One-Year Crew

The sixth SpaceX Dragon commercial resupply mission is targeting an April 10 launch and an arrival at the space station April 12.

› View NASA’s SpaceX mission page

2 thoughts on “Orbital Lab Busy as Pair of Spaceships Prepare for Launch”

  1. “Ocular Health study” – Actually, seeing that astronauts often experience “flashes” from the interaction of hard cosmic radiation with the material in their eyeballs, I would have expected both eyesight and the immune system (q.v. the other study mentioned) to be affected more by radiation than gravity. Having said that, I also once read that e.g. wound healing is affected greatly by the atmospheric composition (and pressure) both with regard to deep sea divers and astronauts and I wonder if your immune studies would take into account the potential greater effect on the immune system (and probably health in general) that the atmosphere “up there” might have rather the gravity component?! Also I believe your atmosphere in space ships and stations is much more pure than “on earth” (for example, indoors air, esp. in carpeted offices and apartments) often is 20 times as “dusty” as outdoors, even in industrial areas, let alone rural – so I suspect another (positive?) health effect would be your atmospheric composition cum purity and thus I tend to believe controlling these variables in a study that cannot separate these effects might be challenge!

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