Front Page: Virtual Reality, Spacesuits, Departure Preps Keeping Crew Busy

dWeb.News Article from Daniel Webster dWeb.News

dWeb.News Article from Daniel Webster dWeb.News

NASA astronaut Megan McArthur poses with an AstroBee robotic free-flying assistant inside the space station’s Kibo laboratory module.

Exercising wearing virtual reality goggles, replacing spacesuit components, and getting ready for this weekend’s crew departure were the main objectives for the Expedition 65 crew today. The residents aboard the International Space Station also juggled ongoing research and maintenance tasks amidst Russian filmmaking activities.

Daily exercise in microgravity is essential to maintain bone and muscular health in the weightless environment at the orbiting laboratory. Scientists are investigating whether virtual reality could bring crew members more pleasure and satisfaction during space exercise sessions. Commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) put on a virtual reality headset and strapped himself on to an exercise bike Wednesday morning for the Immersive Exercise study. To enhance the immersive experience, the virtual reality sequence includes audio and is synchronized to the pedaling speed.

Pesquet then spent the afternoon with NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough working on a U.S. spacesuit. They swapped parts to resize and checked out the suit’s communications gear.

Kimbrough earlier swapped out fuel bottles inside the Combustion Integrated Rack before cleaning up the seven-windowed cupola. NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur spent her day deploying camcorders inside the Harmony module where the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Cargo Dragon vehicles are docked.

In the Unity module, NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei set up networking hardware and software then moved on to cargo work inside Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter. Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) cleaned smoke alarms in the Kibo laboratory module then worked on botany and life science activities.

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy is preparing for his return to Earth this weekend inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship. Russian spaceflight participants Yulia Pesild and Klim Shipenko joined him at the Soyuz descent training session. Novitskiy will lead the duo aboard the Soyuz to a parachuted landing in Kazakhstan on Sunday at 12: 36 a.m. EDT (10: 36 a.m. Kazakh time).

Veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov spent Wednesday morning studying future spacecraft piloting and robotic techniques. First time space-flyer Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos photographed Shkaplerov during the session. Novitskiy and the duo spent the afternoon filming activities with their Russian space station guests.

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