Today’s space biology work aboard the International Space Station observed samples swabbed from an astronaut’s skin and bone cells living in media bags. Other ongoing studies explored space piloting techniques and microgravity’s effects on the orbiting lab’s structure.
NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan swabbed his nose, forehead and forearm early Tuesday before stowing the samples in a science freezer. Scientists on the ground will analyze the samples for the Standard Measures study that seeks to understand how humans adapt to spaceflight.
In the afternoon, Morgan joined fellow Expedition 62 Flight Engineer Jessica Meir for more robotics training ahead of the SpaceX Dragon resupply mission due to launch Friday at 11:50 p.m. EST. The duo practiced on a computer the techniques they would use to capture the U.S. space freighter with the Canadarm2. Meir also activated the command panel that sends and receives vehicle telemetry and commands from Dragon as it approaches the station.
NASA TV will begin its live launch broadcast Friday at 11:30 p.m. Dragon’s rendezvous and capture coverage starts Monday at 5:30 a.m. with its robotic capture planned for 7 a.m.
Meir tackled a pair of advanced life sciences studies during the afternoon checking hardware that enables the printing of human tissue and the nourishment of bone cells. First, she tested the operation of the BioFabrication Facility that seeks to overcome the detrimental effects of printing biological structures in Earth’s gravity. Afterward, Meir replenished the media used to support bone cells being observed to gain therapeutic insights into Earth ailments such as osteoporosis.
Roscosmos Commander Oleg Skripochka spent Tuesday morning exploring how to pilot a spacecraft or control a robotic rover under a variety of microgravity conditions. Later, he checked heart research gear before looking at data on the physical stresses that mission events such as spacecraft dockings place on the station.