Crew Wraps Up Week With Space Biology and Physics Research

Crew Wraps Up Week With Space Biology and Physics Research

The Expedition 62 mission patch floats inside the seven-window cupola
The Expedition 62 mission patch floats inside the seven-window cupola, the International Space Station’s “window to the world.” The orbiting complex was flying 265 miles above Russia near the Caspian Sea at the time this photograph was taken.

The Expedition 62 crew wrapped up the workweek with more bone studies and human research activities. Meanwhile, a U.S. cargo craft is one week away from launching to resupply the International Space Station.

NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan split their day between a pair of investigations exploring how the human physiology is impacted by long-term weightlessness.

The pair started Friday with ultrasound scans of the upper chest area followed by eye and head pressure checks. The biomedical exams are part of the Fluid Shifts study that seeks to understand and control the upward flow of body fluids in microgravity that affects astronauts. Results could inform preventative measures that keep crews healthy on future missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Morgan then set up a 3D video camera in the afternoon to film Meir as she serviced bone cell samples for the OsteoOmics-02 experiment. The study is observing these cells for accelerated bone loss caused by microgravity. Doctors are pursuing the new knowledge to gain therapeutic insights into ground-based ailments such as osteoporosis. The virtual reality film is being recorded to provide cinematic, immersive experiences for audiences back on Earth.

Space physics continued in the Russian segment of the space station as Commander Oleg Skripochka studied the formation of plasma crystals. The experiment provides fundamental knowledge about the physics of microgravity potentially influencing advanced research activities and future spacecraft designs.

Meanwhile, processing continues at the Kennedy Space Center as SpaceX readies its Dragon resupply ship to launch atop the Falcon 9 rocket on March 6 at 11:49 p.m. EST. Dragon will arrive March 9 at the station packed with new science gear to study a wide variety of space phenomena. The experiments will be looking at how to grow food in space, develop nano-materials and increase fuel efficiency.

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Mark Garcia

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NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for the Psyche Mission

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for the Psyche Mission

NASA has selected SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for the agency’s Psyche mission. The Psyche mission currently is targeted to launch in July 2022 on a Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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