Station Lifts Orbit, Crew Explores Diet and Stem Cells

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Thomas Pesquet, Oleg Novitskiy and Peggy Whitson

(From left) Crewmates Thomas Pesquet, Oleg Novitskiy and Peggy Whitson just recently celebrated 100 days in space. The trio is scheduled to return to Earth June 2.

The International Space Station fired its engines Wednesday night slightly raising its orbit to accommodate a crew exchange in April. In the meantime, the six-person Expedition 50 crew continued learning how living in space affects the human body.

The station’s third module, the Zvezda service module which launched in 2000, fired its main engines for 43 seconds overnight. The orbital reboost places the station at the correct altitude for the departure of three Expedition 50 crew members April 10. Just ten days later, two new space residents will arrive completing the Expedition 51 crew.

Scientists are exploring the best nutrition requirements to keep astronauts healthy and productive during long-term space missions. Astronaut Thomas Pesquet is contributing to that research today beginning a prescribed diet for the next 11 days. During that period he will collect urine samples and measure his breathing for the Energy study. Results will help researchers plan meals to ensure successful missions farther out into space.

Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson, who will become station commander April 9, peered at stem cells through a specialized microscope on today. She is helping scientists understand how microgravity increases stem cell replication possibly improving disease treatments on Earth.


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4 thoughts on “Station Lifts Orbit, Crew Explores Diet and Stem Cells

  1. Jay Sperling

    Yeah I just wanted to comment since there’s no light pollution there how is it that pictures of the earth are prevelent but telescopes are not… are there any telescopes on the iss??

    Reply
    1. Mark Garcia Post author

      This is a tough question based on the definition of a telescope. It depends somewhat if you limit the definition to making observations specific to the electromagnetic spectrum or if you include particle detectors that are sometimes referred to as particle telescopes.

      Obvious examples of telescopes include many payloads that have flown to station including HICO (Hyperspectral), ISERV (visible), CALET (Gamma-ray), MAXI (X-Ray) and upcoming investigations, NICER (X-Ray) and DESIS (Hyperspectral)

      Telescopic camera lenses are effectively the conversion of a camera system to a telescopic system and investigations like these include AgCam/ISSAC, EarthKAM, and even CEO.

      Additionally, there are the particle “telescopes” many of which are spectrometers and include AMS-02, CREAM, LIS, Miniaturized Particle Telescope.

      You can read about some of those experiments here… https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/experiments_by_name.html

      Reply

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