Advanced Space Research Ahead of Weekend Cargo Mission

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy holds a Parmigiana di Melanzane meal packet
NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy holds a Parmigiana di Melanzane meal packet given to him by European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Luca Parmitano.

Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA continued working on a variety of science hardware throughout the International Space Station today. His two crewmates worked in the orbiting lab’s Russian segment on their complement of science and maintenance.

Cassidy started Tuesday in the Japanese Kibo laboratory module setting up a small satellite deployer. CubeSats are installed into the device, which is then loaded into Kibo’s airlock. Then the deployer is positioned in the vacuum of space to eject the tiny shoebox-sized satellites into Earth orbit.

In the afternoon, Cassidy moved over to the U.S. Destiny laboratory module and swapped computer parts inside the Fluids and Combustion Facility (FCF). The FCF consists of two refrigerator-sized research racks enabling safe observations of the behavior of fluids and flames in microgravity. Scientists use the data to design advanced fuel transfer systems and increase fire safety.

Russian Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner logged their meals today to understand how spaceflight affects a crewmember’s nutrition and metabolism. The duo then worked throughout the day on life support maintenance while continuing to get used to life onboard the station.

Russia’s next cargo craft to resupply the station is completing final processing and assembly at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Progress 75 (75P) space freighter packed with several tons of food, fuel and supplies is due to launch on Friday at 9:51 p.m. EDT. The 75P will make a two-orbit, three-and-a-half hour trip and automatically dock to the aft port of the Zvezda service module.

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