Spacewalk Preps Today amid Cancer, Robotics and Agriculture Research

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir prepare for a spacewalk
NASA astronaut Christina Koch (right) poses for a portrait with fellow Expedition 61 Flight Engineer Jessica Meir of NASA who is inside a U.S. spacesuit for a fit check.

Science experiments continue aboard the International Space Station as two NASA astronauts prepare for their first spacewalk together, which is set to take place Friday. The Expedition 61 crew researched a variety of space phenomena today and reviewed procedures for tomorrow’s excursion.

Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will venture out into the vacuum of space on Friday to replace a failed power controller, also known as a battery charge-discharge unit (BCDU). The BCDU regulates the charge to the batteries that collect and distribute solar power to the orbiting lab’s systems. They will set their spacesuits to battery power around 7:50 a.m. EDT and exit the Quest airlock for the 5.5-hour repair job on the Port 6 truss structure. NASA TV begins its live coverage at 6:30 a.m.

Commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan will assist the spacewalkers. Parmitano will control the Canadarm2 robotics arm and Morgan will provide airlock and spacesuit support. All four astronauts gathered together today for a final procedures review.

In the midst of the spacewalk preparations, the crew continued ongoing microgravity science. The astronauts had time set aside today for researching cancer therapies, DNA sequencing, planetary robotics and space agriculture.

Morgan set up protein crystals critical to tumor growth and survival in a microscope for observation and photography. Koch continued exploring the viability of sequencing microbial DNA in microgravity.

Parmitano is readying hardware that will enable an astronaut on the station to control a robot on the Earth’s surface. Future astronauts could use the robotic technology to explore a planetary surface such as the Moon or Mars while orbiting in a spacecraft.

The crew is also in the second week of growing a crop of Mizuna mustard greens. Meir watered the Mizuna plants today for the ongoing space agriculture study to learn how to provide fresh food to space crews.

Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka had their own slate of human research to conduct today. The duo studied cardiac output changes and blood flow regulation including the effects of space on enzymes.

12 thoughts on “Spacewalk Preps Today amid Cancer, Robotics and Agriculture Research”

  1. Is there any research about how long is Earths age as living object and how these research help of mankind is any helpful please mention specially in medical field.

  2. Hej from Sweden och härligt jobbat idag Jessica. Vilken förebild för alla barn som nyfiket tittar upp mot himlen varje dag.

  3. Long time ago NASA we had contact….
    I`m proud of both girl`s who are
    working for whole humanity in space.

    Keep up the good work and keep all relations
    + cooperations with other nations in progress

    We came as one and will go as one beyond.

    yours sincerely Jan Molendijk

  4. Suzy Someday from Nowheresville, USA: Future Female Astronaut.

    For the first time in history an all-women spacewalk occurred. On 18 October 2019 American NASA flight engineers Christina Koch and Jessica Meir of Expedition 61 worked side by side for 7 hours and 17 minutes replacing a failed battery charge-discharge unit with a new one.

    Sitting at home streaming curiously on NASA’s YouTube channel is Suzy Someday, an 8 year old girl from Nowheresville, USA. She is in awe as her hero’s do their work. She is now, for her first time, witnessing what can be accomplished when little American girls dream. One dreamer born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the other in Caribou, Maine. Both dreamers once like Suzy.

    Suzy’s mother, who is preparing the family dinner catches sight of her little girl and secretly takes a quick snap to send to her loving husband working hard on the Amazon factory floor. Both parents, doing what many parents have been doing for years, sacrificing day and night so their children can grow up and have a better life than they did.

    Growing up Suzy will encounter failure, but forever there to help her overcome will be those images of her hero’s. A constant reminder of what it means to dream big, sacrifice often, and never give up.

    In school her classmates will be preparing for homecoming, chasing puppy love on the weekends and daydreaming about popularity. All useless thoughts to Suzy.
    Suzy is focused on her dream of one day becoming an astronaut, very much the same as Christina Koch and Jessica Meir once were.

    It is endless goals and hours of work for Suzy. All in the name of furthering women’s influence and our exploration of space.

    A much improved human race is on the rise. At the head are women like Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, and eventually Suzy Someday from Nowheresville. The notion that women belong only at home is for small brained people who are mouselike in thought.

    Young girls of 10 or 11, who are looking to one day make a name and want to push along the social-status of women need not look to politics but rather to space. Space work requires patience, enthusiasm and devotion. All three are highly developed naturally among women. The future work for women is space work.

  5. Is there any way that plants could be grown on the surface of other planets providing them with conditions just like the ones at the space station?

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