Study Improving Fiber Optics; Cosmonauts Relaxing After Cargo Mission

Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy
Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy services botany research hardware in Europe’s Columbus laboratory module.

The International Space Station provides an orbiting research platform that benefits not only human health, but also industry and technology. Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy kicked off a physics study today that explores space manufacturing.

Cassidy began his workday in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module configuring the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) for the Space Fibers physics investigation. The study is using the MSG to test techniques for manufacturing fiber optic cables superior to those produced on Earth.

Gravity degrades the performance of fiber optic cables produced on Earth. Space Fibers may enable the manufacturing and commercialization of cables with greater transparency and higher transmission rates than on Earth.

The NASA commander then spent Monday afternoon on regularly scheduled maintenance for the COLBERT treadmill in the station’s Tranquility module. Cassidy greased the treadmill’s axles, tightened belts and replaced components.

In the Russian segment of the station, cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner took the day off after a weekend of cargo activities. The duo welcomed the new Progress 75 cargo craft after its docking early Saturday and started unloading the nearly three tons of food, fuel and supplies.

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