Crew Using Virtual, Augmented Reality for Science and Maintenance

Flight Engineer Megan McArthur is wearing the Sidekick headset to test using augmented reality on the station. Commander Akihiko Hoshide is wearing virtual reality goggles for the Time Perception experiment.
Flight Engineer Megan McArthur tests augmented reality while wearing the Sidekick headset. Commander Akihiko Hoshide wears virtual reality goggles for a time perception study.

Science and maintenance using virtual and augmented reality tools were prominent aboard the International Space Station today. The Expedition 65 crew also made sure life support components remain in tip-top shape aboard the orbiting lab.

The universe’s coldest temperatures can be found inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module’s Cold Atom Lab (CAL). NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur replaced components inside the CAL today to improve the operation quality of the device that researches fundamental and quantum physics at extremely low temperatures. She wore the Sidekick headset and used augmented reality to assist her with the complex maintenance work.

Commander Akihiko Hoshide switched between a pair of different experiments on Thursday, one looking at space manufacturing and the other exploring astronaut adaptation in space. He conducted runs for the InSPACE-4 physics study that seeks to harness nanoparticles and fabricate new and advanced materials. In between that research, he wore virtual reality goggles and clicked a trackball for the Vection study observing how astronauts visually interpret motion, orientation and distance in microgravity.

Life support maintenance is critical on spacecraft so that crew members always have a safe breathing environment. Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough, Mark Vande Hei and Thomas Pesquet partnered together replacing components inside the station’s Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly and inspecting the Avionics Air Assembly.

The four SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts on the space station will relocate their Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft Wednesday, July 21. The relocation will free up Harmony’s forward port for the docking of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, scheduled for launch Friday, July 30. Live coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m. EDT on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

In the station’s Russian segment, veteran cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy explored how microgravity affects genetics then studied space photography techniques. First-time space flyer Pyotr Dubrov replaced components inside Russian Orlan spacesuits.

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