The Expedition 51 crew reviewed Friday’s spacewalk today and researched how the human body adapts to microgravity. At the Johnson Space Center, three future International Space Station crew members introduced themselves live on NASA TV.
Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer reviewed procedures for Friday morning’s spacewalk this morning. The duo will replace an avionics box that sends electricity and data to science experiments installed outside the space station. Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet will assist the spacewalkers from inside the station. This will be the 200th spacewalk at the station for assembly and maintenance, the ninth for Whitson and the first for Fischer.
NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei and cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin talked about their upcoming Expedition 53-54 mission today from Houston. The trio’s mission is due to launch Sept. 13 and stay on orbit until March 2018.
The Expedition 51 crew is getting ready for a spacewalk Friday and working on several scientific investigations. Robotics controllers also swapped out a power relay box over the weekend through a complex and innovative robotic procedure.
Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer will exit the International Space Station for a 6.5-hour spacewalk on Friday. The duo will replace an avionics box that routes command and data information to external science experiments. Friday’s spacewalk will be the 200th at the station for assembly and maintenance, the ninth for Whitson and the first for Fischer.
Friday evening and into Saturday, Robotics Ground Controllers maneuvered the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Arms and successfully removed a failed Main Bus Switching Unit-2 and replaced it with a spare. The MBSU in question had stopped communicating telemetry back on April 25 but was still routing power to station systems.
The crew had installed a series of jumpers to power systems connected to the MBSU during the replacement, ensuring no impact to continued station operations. This was the first time an MBSU was swapped out by means other than a spacewalk. Since the successful replacement, the MBSU was powered up and checked out successfully with all station systems back to nominal power configuration.
The five-member crew aboard the International Space Station was back at work Thursday researching how living in space affects the human body. Two of today’s experiments looked at how microgravity weakens bones and alters DNA.
Commander Peggy Whitson joined Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet for the OsteoOmics bone loss study. The experiment compares bone loss in the free-floating environment of microgravity versus magnetic levitation on Earth and observes the molecular changes that place. Results may improve the health of crews in space and humans on Earth, possibly counteracting bone loss and preventing bone diseases.
Pesquet later checked samples for the Genes In Space experiment that is based on a winning proposal submitted during a student science competition. That study is testing new technology to track how a space mission alters an astronaut’s DNA and impacts their immune system.
The rest of the crew, including NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Novitskiy, split their time between loading a Russian cargo craft, crew orientation and systems maintenance.
The Expedition 51 quintet studied how long-term space missions affect bone loss and explored new ways to exercise in space today. The crew also reviewed emergency procedures and equipment onboard the International Space Station.
Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Thomas Pesquet set up samples today for the OsteoOmics bone study that will last four weeks on the station. Doctors are researching the molecular mechanisms that impact the bones of astronauts living in space. The experiment could lead to therapeutic insights improving the health of astronauts in space and humans on Earth.
New Flight Engineer Jack Fischer performed an ultrasound scan of his leg muscles with assistance from Whitson and remote guidance from ground personnel. The ultrasound data is being collected for the Sprint study that is exploring the benefits of high-intensity, low-volume exercise to maintain muscle, bone and heart functions.
Whitson and Fischer then joined veteran cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin for a couple of hours of emergency training. The trio took note of safety gear locations, followed escape paths to the docked Soyuz vehicles and inspected hatches for proper clearances.