Ongoing exercise research and gym maintenance took place aboard the International Space Station to ensure astronaut health and mission success. The Expedition 56 crew members also worked on autonomous satellite operations and botany and astronomy gear.
European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst has been participating in an exercise study all week developed by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). He has been working out in a custom t-shirt with a specialized fabric for the SpaceTex-2 experiment that may improve an astronaut’s comfort and thermal relief while working out in space.
A treadmill is getting its twice-yearly checkup today in the Tranquility module. Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA spent Friday morning checking the treadmill’s belt tension, greasing axles and replacing parts. Engineers on the ground will review its condition before the crew gets back on the treadmill for daily runs.
Commander Drew Feustel set up a pair of tiny internal satellites today, known as SPHERES, and tested the autonomous operation of the free-floating devices. The SmoothNav experiment is researching using algorithms that spacecraft may use to operate and communicate with each other when conducting space-based tasks.
NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold worked on botany and astronomy gear inside the orbital lab. The former teacher reinstalled the Plant Habitat during the morning after some maintenance work on the Japan Kibo lab module’s EXPRESS rack.
In the afternoon, Arnold switched to the METEOR experiment installing new computer software and positioning a camera in the U.S. Destiny lab module’s Window Observational Research Facility. METEOR observes and takes spectral measurements of the chemical composition of meteors entering Earth’s atmosphere.