End of Week Sees Crew Explore How Space Affects Eyes, Brain and Heart

Astronauts (from left) Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines are pictured monitoring the approach of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft on May 20, 2022.
Astronauts (from left) Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines are pictured monitoring the approach of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft on May 20, 2022.

The Expedition 67 crew continued its ongoing human research today with ultrasound eye exams and blood flow measurements in the brain. The orbital residents also explored robotics and space navigation techniques.

The four astronauts aboard the International Space Station took turns Friday morning scanning each other’s eyes using the Ultrasound 2 device. Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Samantha Cristoforetti, and Jessica Watkins gathered in the Columbus laboratory module for the eye scans with real time support from personnel on the ground. Results will help doctors understand how living in weightlessness impacts the eye, the retina, and vision.

Earlier, Hines completed a session that required him to wear electrodes and sensors that measured blood flow in his head and chest. The Cerebral Autoregulation investigation is exploring how the human brain regulates its blood flow in microgravity. Results may benefit astronauts who experience lightheadedness and a change in blood pressure after returning to Earth’s gravity.

Watkins turned on an Astrobee robotic free-flyer inside the Kibo laboratory module testing its autonomous maneuvers ahead of the Kibo Robot Programming Challenge 3 for students. Lindgren worked in the cupola setting up a camera to photograph Moon imagery for a study that may help future Artemis astronauts navigate their way to the lunar surface.

Cristoforetti transferred the AstroPi computer from the Harmony module to the Columbus module during the morning. She then spent the afternoon checking out a robotics control system before terminating lithium-ion battery charging operations on pistol grip tools.

Commander Oleg Artemyev joined Flight Engineer Denis Matveev and spent Friday replacing components on the Zvezda service module’s treadmill vibration isolation system. Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov worked on two different Russian experiments on Friday, one exploring the cardiovascular system’s adaptation to microgravity and the other researching advanced Earth photography techniques.

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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