Critical Research Under Way Benefiting Humans on and off Earth

Spacewalker Samantha Cristoforetti works outside the space station to outfit the European robotic arm on July 21, 2022.
Spacewalker Samantha Cristoforetti works outside the space station to outfit the European robotic arm on July 21, 2022.

The seven Expedition 67 residents kicked off a busy week of critical research benefitting humans living on and off the Earth. The orbital residents also continued supporting the International Space Station’s vast array of flight, research, and life support systems.

Astronauts Bob Hines of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) took turns on Monday cleaning hardware and supporting samples for a biology study that is exploring skin healing in space. Observations may provide insights improving wound healing therapies for astronauts and Earthlings. Hines then spent the afternoon installing seed cartridges and root modules for the XROOTS space agriculture investigation to begin a 30-day growth period of radishes and mizuna greens. The research uses hydroponics and aeroponics techniques to learn how to produce crops on a larger scale on future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren opened up the Kibo laboratory module’s airlock and retrieved an external science platform and installed a small satellite deployer on the research gear. The deployer will be placed outside Kibo in the vacuum of space before deploying a set of CubeSats into low-Earth orbit for a variety of research and education programs.

NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins started her morning with cable connections inside the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR), a refrigerator-sized research rack. The CIR is located in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module and enables safe investigations into the behavior of fuels, flames, and soot, in weightlessness. Watkins then assisted Lindgren in the afternoon as he installed a barrier on the Quest airlock’s vent relief and isolation valve to prevent inadvertent contact with the life support device.

Two cosmonauts, station Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Denis Matveev, spent Monday servicing a pair of Russian Orlan spacesuits. The duo inspected the suits’ communications and life support systems. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov began his day exploring future spacecraft piloting and robotic control techniques then moved on to inspections in the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module and ventilation maintenance inside the Zvezda service module.

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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