Artery, Vein Measurements and Robotic Training on Schedule Today

Storm near South America
This non-tropical storm system was captured by Commander Shane Kimbrough Dec. 6 as the International Space Station flew 250 miles over the northeast coast of South America. At the time, Kimbrough was practicing robotic maneuvers with the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm in preparation for the capture of the Japanese HTV-6 cargo ship planned for Dec. 13.

The Expedition 50 crew worked on a series of life science experiments and maintenance operations today. A pair of astronauts also trained for the arrival of Japan’s HTV-6 resupply ship next week.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko started work this morning on the long-running Fluid Shifts experiment. The crew measured their arteries and veins while wearing the Lower Body Negative Pressure suit that pulls fluids towards the feet. The crew then took ultrasound scans to help doctors understand and prevent vision changes astronauts have reported experiencing while living in space.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will roll out its H-IIB rocket with the HTV-6 cargo craft to the launch pad at the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan Thursday afternoon for liftoff Friday at Friday at 8:26 a.m. EST. The Japanese resupply ship will deliver fresh fruit, science hardware, life support gear and new lithium-ion batteries. NASA Television will broadcast the HTV-6 launch live as well as its arrival Dec. 13.

Commander Shane Kimbrough and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet got together again this afternoon practicing the robotics maneuvers necessary to capture the HTV-6 when it arrives next Tuesday at 6 a.m. Ground controllers are positioning and configuring the Canadarm2 robotic arm so it can grapple the Japanese cargo ship and install it to the Harmony module.

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