Advancing Space Biology and Dragon Capabilities as ISS Celebrates 25 Years in Orbit

Image taken from the SpaceX Crew Dragon mission as it flies around the orbiting laboratory following the November 8, 2021 liftoff from the Harmony module’s space-facing port to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Space biology and dragon work were the main tasks for the Expedition 70 crew earlier in the week. The International Space Station (ISS) turns 25 years old today with its first module orbiting the Earth since 1998.

Biomedical research and eye examinations

Eye scans were on the biomedical research schedule for the four astronauts Monday afternoon. Commander Andreas Mogensen initiated tests to activate the Ultrasound 2 device, then set up communications equipment, allowing medics on the ground to monitor operations remotely. Mogensen from ESA (European Space Agency) participated in regularly scheduled eye experiments with flight engineers Laurel O’Hara, Jasmine Mokbeli, and Satoshi Furukawa at the Columbus Observatory module.

Astronaut Andreas Mogensen poses wearing a Santa Claus hat

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and Expedition 70 commander Andreas Mogensen gets ready for the Christmas season and poses for a fun portrait wearing a Santa Claus hat. Credit: NASA

Dragon Endurance Training and Care

Later in the day Mogensen partnered with Mokbeli from NASA and practiced the SpaceX Dragon Endurance undocking and landing procedures on the crew spacecraft’s computers. Mogensen had previously undocked the medical supply kits from the Endurance and placed them inside the orbital outpost. From O’Hara NASA and Furukawa worked inside the JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Endurance, as well as installing the orbital plumbing gear on the vehicle that has been docked with the station since August 27.

Space botany and cell attraction studies

O’Hara later worked on a space botany study to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education among tribal members. Five categories seeds Provided by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the microgravity is exposed for several months, then returned to Earth and planted next to the same seeds left in the Earth for comparison. Furukawa Kibo turned off the microscope in the lab block and removed the specimens for examination. How cells sense gravity Or lack of attraction. He then stayed at Gibo to set up research hardware and attach an incubator for an upcoming experiment to monitor stem cell growth. Regenerative Medical Technology.

Expedition 70 flight engineers Laurel O'Hara and Jasmine Mokbeli

Expedition 70 flight engineers (from left) Laurel O’Hara and Jasmine Mokbeli, both NASA astronauts, configure spacewalk instruments inside the International Space Station’s Quest airlock. Credit: NASA

Activities of Russian cosmonauts

In Roscosmos On the wing of the space station, senior cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko spent the day inside the Nauga science module checking its wind, ventilation and docking systems. Flight engineer Nikolai Chub monitored his heart rate and cleaned the air ducts inside the Nauga and Boysk modules. Flight engineer Konstantin Borisov wore a sensor-packed hat that recorded his responses while practicing future planetary and robotic piloting techniques on a computer.

ISS anniversary

On November 20, 25 years have passed since the first module of the International Space Station was launched into orbit. The Zarya module lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in November 1998, and would soon dock with the Unity module within a month. Through this global initiative, 273 people from 21 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory, conducting more than 3,000 research and educational studies from people in 108 countries and regions.

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