SpaceX Dragon and Spacewalk Prepare Amid Botanical and Space Biology Research on Space Station


The station is pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavor during a flyby on November 8, 2021. Credit: NASA

The International Space Station is preparing for the departure of a US supply ship and a Russian spacewalk next week. Meanwhile, the crew of Expedition 66 maintains their pace of research to explore how microgravity affects a variety of biological phenomena.

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon has been docked at the Harmony Module’s space-oriented docking port since December 22, when it delivered more than 6,500 books of new science experiments, crew supplies, and military equipment. station. He is now ready for his departure on January 21 and return to Earth a day later, laden with completed space research and old laboratory equipment for analysis and inspection.

">Nasa Flight engineers Kayla Barron and Raja Chari took turns on Tuesday morning to organize and pack the equipment inside the Cargo Dragon. Chari then spent the afternoon swapping components of science freezers inside Dragon which will soon house research samples for examination by scientists on Earth.

Barron then collected samples of roots and shoots from Arabidopsis plants grown on Petri plates preparing them for storage and ground analysis. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei worked on another space botany investigation as he photographed and harvested cotton crops grown on the station to understand how weightlessness affects plant genetics.

NASA flight engineer Thomas Marshburn devoted Tuesday to several tasks in human research and space biology. He completed blood pressure measurements for the Vascular aging study, set up the Glove box for life sciences for an upcoming experiment, then took a robotics test for a behavioral survey. ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer has also worked on life sciences by collecting microbe samples for analysis, samples of particles exchanged inside the Mochii scanning electron microscope, then passed a cognition test.

Two cosmonauts, station commander Anton Shkaplerov and flight engineer Piotr Dubrovnik, continue to prepare for a spacewalk on January 19. Today, they’ve configured a pair of Russian Orlan space suits that will be worn in the void of space when configuring the station’s last two modules, Nauka and Prichal.


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