Agriculture and Disease Studies Ahead of Next Spacewalk

NASA astronauts (from left ) Jessica Meir and Christina Koch
NASA astronauts (from left ) Jessica Meir and Christina Koch are at the robotics workstation controlling the Canadarm2 robotic arm to support the first spacewalk to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

Today’s biology research aboard the International Space Station is helping scientists improve the health of astronauts in space and people on Earth. The Expedition 61 crew is also deploying a set of tiny satellites on Wednesday while getting ready for another spacewalk on Friday.

Flight Engineer Jessica Meir of NASA fed mice and watered plants today supporting a pair of long-running life science experiments. The rodent research study aims for cellular-level insights into diseases like cancer and diabetes to provide advanced therapies. The botany investigation explores the nutritional and morale-boosting benefits of growing fresh food in space.

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan recorded themselves with a 3-D video camera setting up gear that will deploy three small satellites outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. The deployer will eject the CubeSats in Earth orbit Wednesday morning to demonstrate technologies developed by several Asian nations.

Morgan and ESA (European Space Agency) commander Luca Parmitano are reviewing the tasks they will perform during this Friday’s spacewalk. They are continuing the intricate thermal control system repairs of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, the station’s cosmic particle detector. Meir joined the duo at the end of the day and practiced the Canadarm2 robotics maneuvers to necessary support the spacewalkers.

Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka set up communications gear ahead of next month’s arrival of a Russian resupply ship. The duo also worked on station plumbing tasks before setting atmospheric observation gear.

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