Crew Talk Space With Students, Investigate Fire Control, and Continue Heart Health and Cargo Return Activities

The big island of Hawaii and its two snow-capped volcanos, (from left) the active Mauna Loa and the dormant Mauna Kea, are pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 260 miles above the Pacific Ocean on March 6, 2023.
The big island of Hawaii and its two snow-capped volcanos, (from left) the active Mauna Loa and the dormant Mauna Kea, are pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 260 miles above the Pacific Ocean on March 6, 2023.

Since the earliest days of the International Space Station expeditions, student groups in schools, camps, museums, and planetariums have had the opportunity to talk with astronauts aboard the orbital laboratory about career choices and science activities. On Thursday, NASA Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg conducted an ISS Ham Radio (ARISS) session with Lana’i High and Elementary School, in Lana’i City, Hawaii.  Hoburg also bioprinted cells for the BFF-Meniscus-2, an investigation to print and culture a meniscus using the BioFabrication facility aboard the space station.

NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio replaced experiment samples in the Combustion Integrated Rack located in the U.S. Destiny module for the Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction – Growth and Extinction Limit (SOFi) investigation. SOFi measures the amount of heating in a fuel sample to determine how fuel temperature affects material flammability in microgravity. Results could improve understanding of early fire growth behavior in space and help determine optimal fire suppression techniques.

Rubio also checked the Veg-05 plants and collected detached tomatoes to weigh. The plant botany study is the next step in addressing the need for a food production system in space. The Vegetable Production System supplies crew members with a continuous source of fresh food and a tool for relaxation and recreation.

NASA Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen spent his day wearing the Bio-Monitor garment and headband as part of a 48-hour session. The instrument is equipped with sensors to measure physiological parameters to assess the effect of space travel on heart health.

Flight Engineer Sultan Alneyadi from UAE (United Arab Emirates) injected the Cardinal Heart 2.0 with a preservative inside the Life Sciences Glovebox, a sealed work area in the space station where crew members perform developmental biology experiments. The investigation uses heart organoids to study the effects of clinical drugs on improving the function of heart cells exposed to microgravity.

Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev of Roscosmos continued to replace the condensate evacuation lines that carry away excess moisture from the cabin atmosphere. Meanwhile, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin prepared cargo to return in the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft, slated to undock from the station’s Rassvet module on March 28.

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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Routine Maintenance on Station While Ground Crew Relaxes

Wilmore works on CIR
Barry Wilmore opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack and pulled out gear to replace hardware on the fiery experiment device. Credit: NASA TV

Commander Barry Wilmore worked throughout the day Tuesday in the Destiny laboratory’s Combustion Integrated Rack replacing hardware that fuels experiments. Afterward, he drained a waste water tank in the Tranquility node then moved on to a Health Maintenance System test.

› Read more about the Combustion Integrated Rack

Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev replaced a battery module in the Zvezda service module then repaired and photographed an air duct. His fellow cosmonaut, Elena Serova, checked Russian sensors that monitor air pressure then proceeded with disinfectant work to prevent microbial growth in the Zarya module.

A new trio of Expedition 42 crew members is relaxing at the Cosmonaut Hotel crew quarters in Kazakhstan. Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineers Terry Virts and Samantha Cristoforetti played games, had medical checks and planted trees during a traditional ceremony Tuesday.

Their Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft is being readied for its roll out to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Friday. The new crew will launch aboard the Soyuz on Sunday for a near six-hour ride to the International Space Station’s Rassvet module.

› Read about live NASA TV coverage of the Expedition 42 launch