Crew Week Starts With Biomedical Studies and Human Research

Expedition 56 Crew Members
The entire six-member Expedition 56 crew gathers in the Cupola, the International Space Station’s “window to the world,” for a team portrait. In the front row, from left, are NASA astronauts Serena Auñon-Chancellor, Commander Drew Fuestel and Ricky Arnold. Behind them, from left, are Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Oleg Artemyev. At the top of the group is astronaut Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency).

The Expedition 56 crew members started off the work week with biomedical studies and human research to understand how living in space impacts their bodies. The crew conducted eye and vision tests, tried on a specialized exercise t-shirt and researched gene expression and protein crystals.

Five of the six International Space Station residents participated in a series of regularly scheduled eye exams and vision checks today. Each crew member covered an eye and read a standard eye chart to test their visual acuity. Next, Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Commander Drew Feustel scanned their eyes with an ultrasound device to look at the optical nerve and retina. Finally, Flight Engineers Ricky Arnold and Alexander Gerst used a Tonometer to measure eye pressure.

Arnold started his morning extracting RNA to help researchers decipher the changes in gene expression that take place in microgravity. Feustel photographed protein crystal samples with a microscope to help doctors develop more effective disease-treating drugs on Earth.

Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) worked out today in a custom SpaceTex-2 t-shirt for an exercise study testing its comfort and thermal relief while working out in space. He then moved on to the GRIP study exploring how an astronaut’s cognitive ability adapts when gripping and manipulating objects in space.

2 thoughts on “Crew Week Starts With Biomedical Studies and Human Research”

  1. It has been amazing living vicariously through the crew members on the ISS expedition 56. I have enjoyed filming the ISS as it passes over my location; however reading about the various aspects of science and what is accomplished to prepare us for deep space has been intriguing. I have shared with my son since he is considering careers as an aerospace scientist, biogenics, as well as cyber security…

    Each night, I look forward to sitting by my pool and watching the sky and researching what I visualize. This group has been extremely fun to follow since I am a huge tennis fan (I taught my ex and my son how to play) – we would spend 3 weeks at Lake Tahoe playing tennis and watching the US Open. In a addition, I am a huge Indy racing fan! I participated in the Mario Andretti Racing – I actually raced an Indy car for 7 laps with a top speed of 154.5 and with several laps in the 140s. Lastly, my son is into motogp and learning about diseases – so you can see we connected with the crew – viewing the race tracks, watching the interviews for indy racing and tennis, following the science and perusing the fab pictures!

    Thanks to NASA and the crew on ISS expedition 56! Keep up the innovative ways to connect and allow us to be involved!
    Sincerely – your biggest fan!
    Debbie Lynn Miller-Joseph

  2. This is wonderful research the ISS crew is doing that will enable scientists to understand how a weightless, orbiting environment affects our bodies. Absolutely essential for future longer space flights.

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