Astronaut (from left) Nicole Mann, Koichi Wakata, and Josh Cassada are pictured aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship during a flight to the space station on Oct. 2, 2022.

Brain Science, BEAM Works As Station Orbits Higher For Cargo Mission – Space Station

Astronaut (left to right) Nicole Mann, Koichi Wakata and Josh Cassada are pictured aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship during a flight to the space station on October 2, 2022.

The seven-member Expedition 68 crew was busy aboard the International Space Station earlier this week studying how the central nervous system adapts to microgravity and stowing gear inside the BEAM module. . Orbital residents also practiced operating Europe’s new robotic arm and packed a Russian freighter ahead of its next departure.

Two astronauts from the United States and Japan joined together on Monday to learn how the brain adapts to the lack of a traditional top-down reference in space. NASA flight engineer Josh Cassada kicked off the human research study in the morning while seated inside the Columbus lab module and wearing a virtual reality headset. Flight engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) took over in the afternoon for the floating part of the study exploring the impact of weightlessness on the span function to grasp from an astronaut.

NASA flight engineers Frank Rubio and Nicole Mann team up inside the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module for cargo and maintenance activities. Rubio opened up BEAM and walked in with Mann to organize the hardware to be returned on the next SpaceX Dragon mission scheduled for later this year. Mann also collected air and surface samples inside BEAM for microbial analysis.

Roscosmos’ first space thief Anna Kikina practiced on a computer to learn how to operate the European robotic arm, the station’s third and newest manipulator, attached to the Nauka general-purpose laboratory module. New cosmonaut Dmitri Petelin started his day with water transfer activities before studying advanced Earth photography techniques. Finally, Commander Sergey Prokopyev, on his second mission to the station, updated the space lab’s inventory system and packed trash inside the ISS Progress 80 supply ship docked to the mini research pod Fish. The Progress 80 is due to leave the station next week, loaded with junk and obsolete equipment for a fiery but safe disposal over the South Pacific Ocean.

In the meantime, the station is orbiting higher on Monday to prepare for the arrival of a new cargo mission from Roscosmos. The ISS Progress 81 cargo craft docked at the Zvezda service module fired its engines for 10 minutes and 30 seconds today, boosting the station’s orbit. The reboost puts the orbital lab at the right altitude to receive the Progress 82 supply ship after it launches from Kazakhstan to replace the Progress 80 vehicle.

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