Dragon’s arrival sparks a robotics and science frenzy on the ISS

The thrusters on the SpaceX Dragon cargo shuttle will automatically fire when docked to the forward port of the Harmony module, adjusting the vehicle’s slow, methodical approach toward the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

On Tuesday, November 14, the Expedition 70 crew and robotics controllers were busy unloading an American freighter. International Space Station (ISS) residents are also implementing new science experiments to reveal how microgravity affects humans.

Opening and research activities

Together, astronauts and crews on the ground today deliver 6,500 pounds of science, supplies and hardware. SpaceX Saturday Dragon cargo shuttle. Commander Andreas Mogensen extracted some of the loaded crew bags that were tied inside the Dragon, a commercial resupply ship, on Tuesday. ESA (European Space Agency) astronauts carried small cargo items through the hatch and into the station to fill the crew. Mogensen also supported a pair of space botany experiments to help sustain crew traveling far from Earth.

The first rays of the sun and the city lights of America

The sun’s first rays begin to light up Earth’s atmosphere in this photo from the International Space Station, which orbits 260 miles above Central America. At left, the city lights of Chicago, Illinois are outlined by Lake Michigan. At right, the city lights of the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area shine through the clouds. Credit: NASA

Robotics and hardware installation

Mission controllers from the U.S. and Japan combined their robotics operations to retrieve and install some of the heavy science hardware provided in Dragon’s unpressurized fuselage. US engineers remotely controlled the Canadarm2 robotic arm to extract the new ILLUMA-T laser communications experiment aboard Dragon. The Jaxa (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Robotics controllers stand by as Canadarm2 hands off the Japanese robotic arm ILLUMA-T to the Kibo lab module.

Aging studies and cell research

NASA Aeronautical engineer Laurel O’Hara worked throughout Tuesday on a new investigation to gain a deeper understanding The aging process. He processed human cell samples for incubation and storage in a scientific freezer. Cell samples are grown in space and compared to samples on Earth to observe cell stress, metabolism, and other characteristics that may contribute to accelerated aging processes in humans on and off Earth.

NASA astronaut Laurel O'Hara replaces hardware

NASA astronaut and Expedition 70 flight engineer Laurel O’Hara adjusts hardware inside the Plant Habitat facility to prepare for future experiments investigating tomato genetic responses and immune system functions in microgravity. Credit: NASA

Joint ventures

Astronauts Jasmine Mokbeli and Satoshi Furukawa worked together to treat cell samples inside the Kibo lab. Cell Gravisensing-2 study The two retrieved samples from an incubator, observed them under a microscope, and then inserted them into a scientific freezer for analysis. The observations could help researchers learn how cells respond to the lack of gravity, which could promote space biology and improve treatments for diseases on Earth.

Technical and maintenance works

Mokbeli of NASA installed computer gear inside the Combustion Integrated Rack, which enables safe research of fuels and flames in weightlessness. Furukawa ran cables from JAXA and set up a laptop computer to support operations for the ILLUMA-T laser technology probe.

Soyuz MS-24 crew spacecraft above the Middle East night lights

The Soyuz MS-24 crew spacecraft is featured prominently in this photo from the International Space Station as it rose into orbit 259 miles above the Iran-Pakistan border at sunrise. The city lights below highlight the United Arab Emirates on the Persian Gulf and Oman on the Gulf of Oman. Credit: NASA

Research and maintenance of astronauts

The orbiting lab’s three astronauts focused on their research and maintenance work on Tuesday. Roscosmos. Cosmonaut and five-time station observer Oleg Kononenko inspected the Svesta service module with input from experts on the ground. Flight engineer Nikolai Chub photographed the interior of the station’s Roscosmos modules for analysis, then attached a sensor-filled cap to practice future flight techniques. Finally, flight engineer Constantin carried out plumbing work in orbit, improved computer tablet software, and photographed landmarks on Earth for inspection.

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