Science Speeds Up on Station, Next Crew Trains for Launch

Astronauts Shannon Walker of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) are pictured in the International Space Station's Unity module as Walker displays plants grown for the Asian Herbs in Space space agriculture study.
Expedition 64 Flight Engineers Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi are pictured as Walker displays plants grown for the Asian Herbs in Space agriculture study.

The residents living aboard the International Space Station resumed their advanced space research activities today following a well-deserved break on Monday. The Expedition 64 septet conducted vision tests, explored genetic expression, and set up a cinematic virtual reality camera inside the orbital lab.

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker joined JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Soichi Noguchi testing their visual acuity, visual field, and contrast sensitivity. The quartet tested each other’s vision using an eye chart during the afternoon inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module.

Noguchi started his day servicing samples for the Ribosome Profiling study observing how mammalian cells regulate themselves in microgravity. Hopkins and Glover also worked on ethernet cable routing and station plumbing tasks.

NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins restocked the Human Research Facility-1 with supplies including blood and urine tube kits, ultrasound echo gel, and electrodes. During the afternoon, Walker purged moisture and replaced components inside the Tranquility module’s oxygen generation system.

In the Russian segment of the station, Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov installed gear for the ongoing effort to film life and work on the orbital lab in immersive virtual reality. Commander Sergey Ryzhikov explored plasma physics before filling lab tanks with water from the Progress 77 resupply ship.

Back on Earth in Moscow, three new Expedition 65 crew members have completed their qualification exams for their launch aboard the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship on April 9. Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei of NASA and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos will flank Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy during their three-and-a-half-hour ride to their new home in space for the next six months.