Crew Works Multitude of Research Before Fourth of July Weekend

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti replaces centrifuge components inside the Columbus laboratory module's BioLab.
Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti replaces centrifuge components inside the Columbus laboratory module’s BioLab.

The seven Expedition 67 crew members are going into the weekend with a host of microgravity research and housekeeping activities. The four astronauts and three cosmonauts will also relax on Monday observing the Fourth of July U.S. holiday aboard the International Space Station.

NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines participated in a robotics test on Friday. The duo practiced simulated robotics maneuvers on a computer for the Behavioral Core Measures space psychology study. The investigation may provide insights into behavioral health and performance issues crews may face separated from family and friends while on missions farther away from Earth.

NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins set up acoustic monitors in the Kibo laboratory module, the Tranquility module, and the Zvezda service module on Friday. Mission controllers want to ensure station noise levels remain acceptable.

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti started Friday checking samples for the Soft Matter Dynamics fluid physics study potentially impacting the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries among others. Cristoforetti also serviced combustion research hardware and installed new software to maintain operations and support ongoing science inside an EXPRESS rack.

In the Russian segment of the orbiting lab, Commander Oleg Artemyev had a hearing test then moved on and set up hardware to measure activity in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Flight Engineer Denis Matveev studied ways future crew members might pilot spacecraft and robots on planetary missions. Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov collected his blood and saliva samples for an experiment investigating how the immune system adapts to long-term spaceflight.

All seven space station crew members will spend Saturday on housekeeping activities such as disinfecting surfaces, vacuuming dust, and clearing vents for better airflow. Also on Saturday, the NanoRacks Bishop airlock will open up to the vacuum of space for the first time and jettison a trash container toward Earth’s atmosphere for a fiery, but safe disposal. The crew will then relax on Sunday and Monday enjoying a long Fourth of July weekend.

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