Space Biology, Human Research in Middle of Spacewalk Preps

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano is pictured attached to the Canadarm2 robotic arm during the first spacewalk to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

The Expedition 61 crew is gearing up for another complex spacewalk this Friday while juggling an array of advanced science duties today. Three new tiny satellites were also deployed from the International Space Station, continuing to expand the opportunities for space research and technology demonstrations.

Spacewalkers Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano are finalizing their review of the intricate work necessary to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer’s (AMS) thermal control system. NASA astronaut Jessica Meir is brushing up on the Canadarm2 robotic arm maneuvers she will use to support the second AMS repair excursion. Live television coverage of this year’s 10th spacewalk begins Friday at 5:30 a.m. EST on NASA TV.

NASA Flight Engineer Christina Koch spent the majority of her time today on human research and space biology studies. Koch attached sensors to herself and a worked out on an exercise cycle to measure her aerobic output. She then gathered hardware to begin studying microgravity’s impact on cells for the development of potential therapies for Earth and space-bound ailments.

Morgan installed a new incubator that creates artificial gravity to study cells and plants inside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module. Meir serviced microbe samples for DNA sequencing before installing a science freezer inside Kibo’s Life Sciences Glovebox. Parmitano photographed CubeSats ejected into Earth orbit from Kibo’s satellite deployer this morning.

Radiation checks and cardiology research were the focus over in the Russian segment of the orbiting lab today. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Alexander Skvortsov explored how weightlessness affects the heartbeat and blood flow after exploring advanced Earth photography techniques. Cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka collected a variety of radiation detectors and downloaded measurements taken from the U.S. side of the space station.

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