Research Focusing on Muscles, Botany during Russian Spaceship Work

Astronaut Kayla Barron is pictured inside the seven-windowed cupola, the space station's "window to the world."
Astronaut Kayla Barron is pictured inside the seven-windowed cupola, the space station’s “window to the world.”

Wednesday’s research schedule aboard the International Space Station highlighted the human muscular and circulatory systems as well as botany. The Expedition 66 crew also continued its space physics studies while working on docked Russian spacecraft.

The lack of gravity affects the human body and station crew members exercise about two hours a day to counteract the loss of bone and muscle. Flight Engineers Thomas Marshburn of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) focused their science work today on how weightlessness affects the biochemical properties of muscles. Maurer scanned Marshburn’s arm, leg, back and neck muscles with an ultrasound device before and after the NASA astronaut worked out on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED). Observations may help doctors increase muscle health in space and on Earth.

NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari is setting up the Advanced Plant Habitat in the Kibo laboratory module which will house a space botany experiment launching on the next SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission. Over in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module, NASA Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Mark Vande Hei took turns researching how to manipulate nanoparticles for the InSPACE-4 space manufacturing study.

In the station’s Russian segment, Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov unpacked cargo from the ISS Progress 79 cargo craft and inspected the Rassvet, Poisk and Nauka modules. Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov focused on electronics work and cable connections.

Visiting Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin from Roscosmos loaded gear and readied the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship for its return on Sunday. Japanese spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano spent the day videotaping and photographing the Earth and continued more research into how the circulatory system behaves in space.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Crew Studies Vision, Psychology and Services Soyuz Crew Ships

NASA astronaut Kayla Barron is pictured inspecting and photographing components inside the space station's Materials Science Research Rack.
NASA astronaut Kayla Barron is pictured inspecting and photographing components inside the space station’s Materials Science Research Rack.

The seven-member Expedition 66 crew focused on spacesuits, eye checks and an array of microgravity science aboard the International Space Station today. Meanwhile, the lab’s three visitors filmed a station tour and continued a space biology study.

Maintaining the orbiting lab and its systems is a top priority for NASA and its international partners to keep astronauts safe and continue critical space research. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei worked in the U.S. Quest airlock cleaning cooling loops inside a pair of U.S. spacesuits. He also prepared suit components for return on the next SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission. Over in the Columbus laboratory module, Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) worked on electrical connections behind an EXPRESS science rack.

Vision and psychology are crucial to space exploration as doctors explore how long-term weightlessness impacts the human eye as well as crew dynamics. NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari took on the crew medical officer role today and scanned NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron’s eyes using medical imaging gear. The duo also took turns on a robotics test for the Behavioral Core Measures space psychology study.

Astronaut Thomas Marshburn of NASA also participated in the robotics test that measures crew performance at various points during a mission. The three-time station resident continued working in the Kibo laboratory module setting up hardware that will house rodents for an upcoming visual function study.

The three cosmonauts aboard the station worked on Soyuz activities and conducted Russian research. Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov charged camera batteries inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship and tested water samples from Russian drink bags. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov worked on computers and electrical connections in the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Veteran cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin packed hardware inside the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship that will return him and two Japanese space guests to Earth on Dec. 19.

Misurkin also partnered with spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano filming a space station tour. The visiting trio then continued researching how microgravity affects the human circulatory system.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Week Kicks Off with Space Physics, Biology Before Visitors Depart

Expedition 66 Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer is pictured inside the seven-windowed cupola, the International Space Station's "window to the world."
Expedition 66 Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer is pictured inside the seven-windowed cupola, the International Space Station’s “window to the world.”

It was a busy Monday for the 10 individuals living aboard the International Space Station as they worked on human research and space physics. The Expedition 66 crew is also gearing up for next week’s departure of three lab visitors as well as a cargo delivery before Christmas.

NASA Flight Engineer Thomas Marshburn juggled a pair of life science studies throughout Monday. He first collected blood samples for the Vascular Aging experiment, then set up rodent research hardware for an upcoming visual function study. NASA astronaut Kayla Barron assisted Marshburn with the blood collection work. The duo also began packing station gear to be returned to Earth on the next SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission due to launch Dec. 21.

Barron also partnered with fellow NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari continuing cleanup activities in the U.S. Quest airlock following Barron’s spacewalk with Marshburn on Dec. 2. Chari also serviced radiation research hardware before auditing cargo packed in the Harmony module.

Working inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox, NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei studied ways to harness nanoparticles for a space manufacturing study. ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer conducted blood pressure checks for the Vascular Aging study then spent the afternoon on maintenance work in the Columbus laboratory module.

Station Commander Anton Shkaplerov from Roscosmos worked on cargo transfers from the docked ISS Progress resupply ship. Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov checked out Russian electronics and life support gear.

The orbiting lab’s three recent station visitors, cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and Japanese spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano, are due to return to Earth on Dec. 19. Three-time space visitor, Misurkin started gathering items to be packed inside the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship the trio will undock and land in. The other two space guests researched how microgravity affects the way blood flows from the limbs to the head.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Ten Residents Aboard Station Wrap Up Week with Space Biology

NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Kayla Barron are pictured in front of the International Space Station's Advanced Plant Habitat.
NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Kayla Barron are pictured in front of the International Space Station’s Advanced Plant Habitat.

Space biology led the research schedule for the seven-member Expedition 66 crew aboard the International Space Station on Friday. The orbiting lab’s three guests also spent their day on a variety of Russian space experiments.

NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Kayla Barron partnered up throughout the day replacing components inside the Advanced Plant Habitat. Three-time station resident Thomas Marshburn of NASA prepared the Mouse Habitat Unit for upcoming rodent research.

Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) collected his blood sample and analyzed it using the Bio-Analyzer. At the end of the day, he joined Marshburn for retina scans conducted by NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari using specialized imaging hardware with support from doctors on the ground.

Station commander and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov worked on a pair of studies exploring how weightlessness affects the cardiovascular system and microbes then charged batteries inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov continued servicing and photographing bacteria samples for the Microvir space virus investigation.

Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, commander of the 11-day Soyuz MS-20 mission, serviced samples for a Russian microbiology study and had an Earth photography session. The two spaceflight participants from Japan, Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano, contributed to a study that explores how space affects the circulatory system.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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New Visitors Adapt to Station During Space Biology, Physics Research

The Soyuz MS-20 crew ship, carrying cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano, approaches the space station.
The Soyuz MS-20 crew ship, carrying cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano, approaches the space station.

Three individuals are adapting to life aboard the International Space Station following Tuesday’s launch and docking aboard a Russian crew ship. The seven-member Expedition 66 crew is back on science duty today while helping the new space travelers get up to speed with station systems and safety procedures.

10 people are living on the orbiting lab today after the arrival of three space travelers on Wednesday. Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin commanded the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship flanked by spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano during its six-hour and 2-minute trip from Kazakhstan to the orbiting lab’s Poisk module. The station guests will stay in space until Dec. 19 when they will undock from Poisk, reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and parachute to a landing back in Kazakhstan.

The seven station crew members, comprised of four NASA astronauts, an ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and two Roscosmos cosmonauts, joined their guests just before lunchtime to review emergency roles and responsibilities. All 10 lab residents spent an hour going over evacuation routes, communication procedures and other activities in response to different emergency scenarios.

Today’s microgravity research incorporated biomedical science and space physics. NASA Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron kicked off the day with blood and urine sample collections. At the end of the day, ESA Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer scanned the eyes of Thomas Marshburn from NASA using the orbiting lab’s Ultrasound 2 device. Vande Hei also set up the Fluids Integrated Rack for a space physics study that may improve thermal systems for Earth and other planetary environments.

Station Commander Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos worked throughout Tuesday on a Russian biotechnology study exploring how microbes grow in weightlessness and their impact on space systems. Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov photographed bacteria samples grown for the Microvir space virus investigation.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Soyuz Crew Ship Docks to Station with Three Visitors

The Soyuz MS-20 crew ship with three visitors approaches the space station moments before docking to the Poisk module. Credit: NASA TV
The Soyuz MS-20 crew ship with three visitors approaches the space station moments before docking to the Poisk module. Credit: NASA TV

Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano on the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft docked to the International Space Station at 8:40 a.m. EST while the station was traveling 260 miles over the Atlantic Ocean. Coverage of hatch opening and welcome remarks will air at 10:15 a.m. on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Once on station, the trio will join Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov and cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos, as well as NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, for approximately 12 days on the orbital laboratory.

On Sunday, Dec. 19, Misurkin, Maezawa, and Hirano will complete their mission, undocking the Soyuz from the Poisk module before heading for a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 10:18 p.m. EST (9:18 a.m. Monday, Dec. 20, Kazakhstan time).

NASA TV coverage times for the Soyuz MS-20 return are as follows (all times Eastern):

Sunday, Dec. 19

3 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for hatch closing at 3:32 p.m.

6:30 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for undocking at 6:54 p.m.

9 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for deorbit and landing. Landing is targeted for 10:18 p.m.

This mission is Misurkin’s third flight into space and the first flight for Maezawa and Mirano, who are making their trek into space under a contract between Space Adventures and Roscosmos.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Soyuz Trio Blasts off to Station for 11-Day Stay

The Soyuz MS-20 crew ship blasts off on time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan toward the space station. Credit: Roscosmos
The Soyuz MS-20 crew ship blasts off on time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan toward the space station. Credit: Roscosmos

Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano are safely in orbit on the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft after launching at 2:38 a.m. EST from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan (12:38 p.m. Baikonur time).

After a four-orbit, six-hour journey, the Soyuz will dock to the station’s Poisk module at 8:41 a.m. About two hours after docking, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open and the crew members will greet each other.

NASA TV coverage of docking will begin at 8 a.m. on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Three Visitors Prepare to Launch to Station Live on NASA TV

At center, Soyuz Commander Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yozo Hirano (left) and Yusaku Maezawa (right) pose for crew portrait.
At center, Soyuz Commander Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yozo Hirano (left) and Yusaku Maezawa (right) pose for crew portrait.

NASA TV coverage now is underway for the launch of a veteran Russian cosmonaut and two Japanese private citizens to the International Space Station. Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin joins spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano on the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2:38 a.m. EST (12:38 p.m. Baikonur time). Launch and docking activities will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

After a four-orbit, six-hour journey, the Soyuz will dock to the station’s Poisk module at 8:41 a.m. About two hours after docking, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open and the crew members will greet each other.

Once on station, the trio will join Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov and cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos, as well as NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, for approximately 12 days on the orbital laboratory.

On Sunday, Dec. 19, Misurkin, Maezawa, and Hirano will complete their mission, undocking the Soyuz from the Poisk module before heading for a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 10:18 p.m. EST (9:18 a.m. Monday, Dec. 20, Kazakhstan time).

Full mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):

Wednesday, Dec. 8

2 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for 2:38 a.m. launch.

8 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for 8:41 a.m. docking.

10:15 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for hatch opening and welcome remarks.

Sunday, Dec. 19

3 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for hatch closing at 3:32 p.m.

6:30 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for undocking at 6:54 p.m.

9 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for deorbit and landing. Landing is targeted for 10:18 p.m.

This will be Misurkin’s third flight into space and the first flight for Maezawa and Mirano, who are making their trek into space under a contract between Space Adventures and Roscosmos.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Crew Keeps Up Research as Station Visitors Prep for Wednesday Launch

This view from NASA spacewalker Thomas Marshburn's camera points downward toward the space station with the Earth 265 miles below.
This view from NASA spacewalker Thomas Marshburn’s camera points downward toward the space station with the Earth 265 miles below.

A Soyuz crew ship is counting down to its launch early Wednesday carrying three individuals to the International Space Station for an eleven-day visit. Back in space, the seven-member Expedition 66 crew moved along Tuesday studying space physics and biomedical science.

Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin will lead Japanese spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano aboard the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship when it lifts off from Kazakhstan at 2:38 a.m. EST (12:38 p.m. Kazakh time) on Wednesday. The trio will dock to the Poisk module at 8:41 a.m. and enter the station to greet the Expedition 66 crew about an hour-and-a-half later. Live NASA TV begins its live launch coverage on Wednesday at 2 a.m. on the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

Onboard the orbital lab today, the station residents stayed focused on microgravity science observing a variety of space phenomena. Results from the multitude of ongoing space investigations provide new insights and benefits difficult to achieve in Earth’s gravity.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei configured a space physics study that seeks to improve thermal systems and boiler operations for Earth and space applications. NASA Flight Engineer Thomas Marshburn ran an experiment studying ways to harness nanoparticles before setting up and wearing the Bio-Monitor that keeps track of crew physiology. ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer scanned his right leg’s femoral artery with an ultrasound device for the Vascular Aging study.

NASA crewmates Raja Chari and Kayla Barron partnered up inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance inspecting components inside the vehicle. Chari started his day spinning his blood samples in a centrifuge and stowing them in a science freezer. Barron took a cognition test in the morning then collected sound level readings throughout the space station.

The station’s five astronauts also joined cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov and practiced an emergency drill during Tuesday afternoon. The septet reviewed roles and responsibilities, coordinated communications with controllers on Earth, and mimicked the actions necessary for different emergency scenarios.

Station Visitors Near Launch as Crew Stays Busy with Research

The Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft stands at the launch pad on a foggy day at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Roscosmos
The Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft stands at the launch pad on a foggy day at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Roscosmos

The Expedition 66 crew is getting ready to welcome three new visitors to the International Space Station on Wednesday. In the meantime, the seven orbital residents have started the work week on human research, space physics, and artificial intelligence.

In Kazakhstan, the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship has rolled out from its processing facility and is now standing vertical at its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It will blast off on Wednesday at 2:38 a.m. EST (12:38 pm Kazakh time) carrying Soyuz Commander Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano to the orbiting lab. Just over six hours later, the veteran Roscosmos cosmonaut and the two Japanese space visitors will dock to the Poisk module beginning an 11-day stay at the space station. Live NASA TV coverage of the launch begins Wednesday at 2 a.m. on the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

Back in space, artery scans, eye checks and a hearing test filled a portion of the crew day. The astronauts are also continuing to clean up following last week’s spacewalk.

NASA Flight Engineer Thomas Marshburn spent Monday morning attaching electrodes to his right leg and scanning his femoral artery using an ultrasound scan device. Ground doctors monitored the activities in real-time to understand the accelerated aging characteristics that appear in an astronaut’s arteries.

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer checked the eyes of NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari using medical imaging gear. NASA astronaut Kayla Barron had a hearing assessment before joining Chari collecting and stowing blood and saliva samples for later analysis.

Barron also partnered with Marshburn stowing the tools they used to replace a failed antenna system during a six-hour and 32-minute spacewalk last week. Chari also helped out cleaning the spacesuit’s cooling loops that keep spacewalkers comfortable in the extreme environment of microgravity.

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei spent the day swapping samples inside the Materials Science Laboratory to explore ways microgravity can improve the development of new and existing materials. Maurer set up the CIMON hardware to study how artificial intelligence could provide future support to astronauts.

Station cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov readied the Poisk module for Wednesday’s docking of the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship. The station duo also familiarized themselves with the visiting crew’s timeline and prepared the Russian segment for the new guests.