Front Page: Crew Kicks Off Week With Space Biology And Robotics

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Expedition 65 is kicking off the week with a host of space biology and robotics activities aboard the International Space Station today.

Five astronauts from the seven-member space station crew met today to discuss future research with rodents. The group reviewed roles and procedures in order to study how microgravity affects normal skin function and healing. Each astronaut will transfer the mice from their Mouse Habitat Unit to the Life Science Glovebox. This will allow them to observe.

Full-fledged operations for the Rodent Research-1 Demonstration will begin Tuesday and continue before the SpaceX Cargo Dragon returns to Earth with the rodents on Sept. 30. Megan McArthur (NASA Flight Engineer) and Shane Kimbrough (European Space Agency) will trade shifts with Commander Akihiko Hashide (JAXA), and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet (ESA). Later in the week, NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei also will participate in the experiment.

Kimbrough began Monday with the activation of the small-sized Astrobee robot fee-flyers. This was done in collaboration with engineers on ground. Hoshide started his day by extracting DNA from microbes for sequencing to understand how the station’s microbial environment works. McArthur changed fuel bottles in the Combustion Integrated Rack. Pesquet set up student-controlled Earth observation hardware then cleaned up debris to support the Plant Habitat-04 space crop experiment.

Cosmonauts Oleg Novatskiy and Pyotr Dubrov continue to install hardware inside the Nauka multipurpose laboratory unit. This new gear will allow the crew to operate the European Robotic Arm both inside and outside of the station. Monday saw the duo split for Russian communications and life support maintenance.

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