Space Health and Station Gardening Fill Today’s Research Schedule

Expedition 60 Flight Engineer Christina Koch of NASA
Expedition 60 Flight Engineer Christina Koch of NASA works on a U.S. spacesuit in the Quest airlock where U.S. spacewalks are staged aboard the International Space Station.

Biomedical research and space agriculture dominated the Expedition 60 crew’s schedule today. The investigations aboard the International Space Station are helping scientists, doctors and engineers plan human missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Nick Hague of NASA started Tuesday morning collecting and stowing his blood and urine samples for a pair of life science studies. His blood samples are being compared with samples from space mice, other astronauts and ground patients for changes in protein expression. Another study is comparing the biological samples taken before, during and after a spaceflight.

NASA Flight Engineer Christina Koch set up a 360-degree camera to record station gardening activities. The crew has been recording immersive, cinematic experiences throughout the year to share with audiences on Earth.

It was harvest time during the afternoon in the orbiting lab’s Harmony module today. Hague and Koch were picking salad-type plants after 28 days of growth, stowing samples for analysis and taste testing the rest. The VEG-04 botany study is exploring the viability of growing fresh food in space to support astronauts on long-term missions.

Exercising in microgravity is critical to maintain a crewmember’s health and ensure successful space missions. Commander Alexey Ovchinin spent Tuesday morning supporting a Russian study investigating the effectiveness of space workouts. In the afternoon, he moved on to lab maintenance changing out life support system components.

4 thoughts on “Space Health and Station Gardening Fill Today’s Research Schedule”

  1. I think space veggies are critical. Is it being considered to grow any veggies by themselves or with combination of moon dust and earth soil? I would suggest getting a sample of moon dust from
    the polar region of the moon somehow, perhaps robotically, and returning the sample to earth.
    Or, if there is any lunar soil available here on earth, to try to grow what grew on the space station
    with combination lunar soil/earth soil.
    This is fascinating! The fruit “Dates” actually have protein in them, to my surprise. Another idea!
    Joe Kotula

    1. NASA is planning several spacewalks at the space station to install new gear and work on batteries. The next spacewalk is planned for no earlier than Aug. 15 to install the International Docking Adapter-3. Dates for future spacewalks will be announced when tasks and procedures have been finalized.

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