Spacesuit Work and Emergency Training Aboard Station Today

The Moon is pictured above Earth's horizon from the space station. The Orion vehicle on the Artemis I mission was almost 24,000 miles away from the Moon and approximately 222,200 miles from Earth at the time of this photograph.
The Moon is pictured above Earth’s horizon from the space station. The Orion vehicle on the Artemis I mission was almost 24,000 miles away from the Moon and approximately 222,200 miles from Earth at the time of this photograph.

The Expedition 68 crew took a break from its intense space research activities and focused on spacesuits, biomedical tests, and lab maintenance on Wednesday. Four International Space Station flight engineers also reviewed the procedures necessary to depart the orbiting lab in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Flight Engineers Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann spent some time during the afternoon studying instructions to replace life support components inside Extravehicular Mobility Units, or the spacesuits that astronauts wear during spacewalks. Cassada gathered tools at the beginning of the day to support the spacesuit maintenance work. Mann then took a few minutes shaking research bags containing particle-filled fluids for a study to understand the formation of asteroids and planets and possibly inform advanced manufacturing techniques on Earth.

Cassada also had time after lunch to join Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for vein scans using the Ultrasound 2 device. Cassada performed the medical duties scanning Wakata’s leg, neck, and shoulder veins with remote guidance from a flight surgeon on the ground. Earlier, Wakata took a robotics test for a behavioral study that measures crew performance. At the end of the day, he photographed sutured biological samples to investigate wound healing in space.

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio spent the day working in the Combustion Integrated Rack relieving pressure, replacing components, and checking cable connections inside the device that enables safe research into flames, fuel, and soot in microgravity.

Mann, Cassada, Wakata, and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Anna Kikina, who rode aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship to the station on Oct. 6, gathered together for an emergency procedures review on Wednesday afternoon. The quartet studied together on a computer the steps necessary to board Endurance and quickly evacuate the station during an unlikely emergency event such as a depressurization or a fire.

Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin spent all day Wednesday continuing work on Orlan spacesuit maintenance. The duo serviced and replaced life support components inside the suits they will wear on an upcoming spacewalk to relocate a radiator from the Rassvet module to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Kikina started her day working on electronics and computer hardware before wrapping up her shift studying how to pilot robots or spacecraft on future planetary missions.


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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