U.S. spacesuits and hot, fiery research kept the Expedition 57 crew busy Friday. The three-member crew from around the world also continued the ongoing upkeep of the International Space Station’s systems.
A pair of spacesuits inside the Quest airlock had their cooling loops scrubbed today by station Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency). The suit maintenance comes ahead of a pair of spacewalks being planned to connect new lithium-ion batteries on the space station’s port truss structure.
Fellow flight engineers Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos worked on advanced science hardware. The two devices, the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF) and the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR), enable the safe research of high temperatures, flames and gases.
Auñón-Chancellor cleaned up the ELF inside the Kibo lab module after removing samples exposed to extremely high temperatures. Scientists are observing how microgravity affects the thermophysical properties of a variety materials at different temperatures.
Prokopyev worked in the Destiny lab module replacing fuel bottles for experiments inside the CIR researching how fuels and flames burn in space. Results may guide the development of rocket engines and fire safety aboard spacecraft.