Chores and science wrapped up the week for the Expedition 68 crew aboard the International Space Station. The orbital residents will also see a resupply ship leave the orbital lab on Sunday.
NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio spent Friday afternoon rearranging cargo inside the Zarya module to maximize stowage space in the 24-year-old module. Hardware and other station cargo are constantly being moved around the station modules to support science experiments and maintenance activities. With cargo missions going back and forth at the station, it is necessary for the astronauts to keep track of where everything is and keep the gear neatly arranged for easy access.
NASA astronaut Nicole Mann spent her day on orbital plumbing tasks, analyzing water samples for microbes, and inspecting ammonia cartridges. Mann also spent some time on human research activities collecting her blood samples, participating in hearing and cognition tests, and configuring wrist-worn devices that monitor a crew member’s sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm.
NASA Flight Engineer Josh Cassada worked throughout Friday on life support maintenance inside the Harmony and Tranquility modules. Cassada checked thermal control system components in both modules and collected fluid samples from the life support devices for analysis back on Earth. The first-time space flyer also participated in a standard hearing test.
Working in the Columbus laboratory module, Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) recirculated fluids and nourished vegetables growing for the XROOTS space botany study. The agricultural investigation explores hydroponic and aeroponic methods, soilless techniques, to grow crops in space to sustain crews farther away from Earth.
Two cosmonauts, Flight Engineers Anna Kikina and Dmitri Petelin, kicked off Friday morning with heart research. The duo attached electrodes to themselves to monitor their cardiac bioelectric activity and understand how microgravity affects their heart function. Kikina then spent the rest of the day on lab maintenance work. Petelin joined Commander Sergey Prokopyev and closed the hatch to the ISS Progress 80 cargo craft before its departure on Sunday ending an eight-month mission docked to the Poisk 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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