The seven Expedition 68 crew members wrapped up the work week cleaning up after a spacewalk and performing a variety of research operations. The space residents will spend a quiet weekend observing the Christmas holiday orbiting Earth aboard the International Space Station.
NASA Flight Engineers Frank Rubio and Josh Cassada worked throughout Friday cleaning up after conducting a seven-hour and eight minute spacewalk on Thursday. The duo started the day with standard post-spacewalk health checkups and measured each other’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate. Afterward, Rubio and Cassada stowed tools inside the Quest airlock and refilled water tanks inside their Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), also known as spacesuits.
The spacewalking pair successfully installed and deployed a roll-out solar array on the International Space Station’s Port-4 truss segment during the Dec. 22 spacewalk. During a previous spacewalk on Dec. 3, the two NASA astronauts spent seven hours and 28 minutes installing another roll-out solar array on the Starboard-4 truss segment on the opposite side of the station.
Science operations continued aboard the orbiting lab on Friday with NASA Flight Engineer Nicole Mann attaching sensors to herself and pedaling on an exercise bike. She was working out for the Cardiobreath investigation that observes how an astronaut’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems affect blood pressure in weightlessness. Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) worked all day in the Kibo laboratory module servicing a variety of research hardware and electronics components.
Roscosmos Commander Sergey Prokopyev worked on two different science experiments beginning Friday with cardiac research then spending the afternoon exploring ways to pilot futuristic spacecraft and robots. Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin began the day on a space physics study before researching ways international crews and mission controllers can improve communications. Flight Engineer Anna Kikina assisted Prokopyev in the morning with the heart study then wrapped up her day setting up Earth observation gear.
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