Human research took precedence aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday as the Expedition 65 crew explored how weightlessness affects the immune system. The orbital residents also trained for a medical emergency and ensured station systems continued operating in tip-top shape.
NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Megan McArthur worked in the Kibo laboratory module researching possible age-associated effects of the human immune system. The Celestial Immunity study observes donor cells in Kibo’s Life Science Glovebox for insights into new vaccines and drugs which may advance the commercialization of space.
McArthur started her day with NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough collecting blood samples, spinning them in a centrifuge and stowing them in a science freezer for later analysis. Kimbrough then spent the rest of Tuesday replacing fans that cool science racks in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module.
Station Commander Aki Hoshide started the fan replacement work before swapping out life support components in the Tranquility module. At the end of the day, he and ESA Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet stowed hardware in Tranquility’s end cone. Pesquet also packed the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter with trash and discarded gear ahead of its departure in a few weeks.
Vande Hei joined his Soyuz MS-18 crewmates Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov and trained for the unlikely event of a medical emergency in space. The trio reviewed medical hardware, performed simulated chest compressions, and practiced communication and coordination.
Novitskiy also transferred cargo from the ISS Progress 77 (77P) resupply ship before studying planetary spacecraft piloting techniques. Dubrov worked on plumbing tasks inside the 77P before contributing to the Russian future pilot study.