The Expedition 56 crew members are configuring the International Space Station for several new experiments being delivered on the upcoming SpaceX Dragon cargo mission. The orbital residents also explored space physics and serviced U.S. spacesuits.
NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold worked on science hardware today to support new research being delivered aboard Dragon when it arrives Monday at 7 a.m. EDT. The duo also continued studying the robotics procedures necessary to capture Dragon after its approach and rendezvous next week.
Feustel cleaned a mouse habitat for the Rodent Research-7 experiment observing microbes in the gastrointestinal system in mice. Arnold checked out the functionality of the Veggie facility that will process plants for the Veg-03 study researching how to grow food in space.
Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor looked at how cement solidifies in space exploring its microstructure and material properties. Results could impact the design of lightweight space habitats and improve cement and concrete processing on Earth.
Finally, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency looked at spacesuit gear and set up the Quest airlock for future spacewalk operations. Gerst purged nitrogen from the suit’s oxygen lines and helped ground controllers prepare for overnight oxygen leak checks.