Wednesday’s schedule on the International Space Station encompassed practicing complicated medical procedures in microgravity to preparing to take out the trash 260 miles above the Earth. The Expedition 67 crew members also continued investigating a wide variety of space phenomena to improve life for humans on Earth and in space.
Future astronauts will need to work independently of mission controllers as they travel beyond low-Earth orbit to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. As a result, NASA Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines trained to diagnose and treat acute medical conditions without ground support today. Hines practiced ultrasound exams on Lindgren’s bladder and kidneys for the Autonomous Medical Officer Support demonstration, or AMOS. The study aims to help crews become more self-reliant and reduce mission risks as communication delays increase the farther a spacecraft ventures from Earth.
The orbiting lab’s four astronauts are also preparing to take out the trash this weekend requiring procedures more complicated than packing garbage on Earth. Astronauts Jessica Watkins of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) finished loading trash containers in the NanoRacks Bishop airlock today. They were assisted by Lindgren and Hines as they closed the hatch to Bishop and depressurized the airlock. The trash container will be jettisoned towards Earth’s atmosphere for a fiery, but safe disposal on Saturday.
Station Commander Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos studied ways future crew members might pilot spacecraft or control robots on planetary missions for a long-running Russian investigation. Flight Engineer Denis Matveev continued configuring nanosatellites for a future deployment and worked inside the ISS Progress 80 resupply ship on cargo operations. Cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov spent his day on electronics and computer maintenance before studying international crew dynamics and collecting radiation readings.