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Space Station Crew Kicks Off 2022 With Biology, Botany and Spacewalk Preps

Clockwise from bottom, astronauts Raja Chari, Kayla Barron, Thomas Marshburn and Matthias Maurer are pictured during a playful portrait aboard the station. Credit: NASA

The five astronauts and two cosmonauts of Expedition 66 started the first work week of 2022 researching microgravity science, reviewing Crew Dragon emergency procedures, and ramping up for a spacewalk.

Biology and botany are critical research subjects on the orbiting lab as NASAEstablished in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. It’s vision is “To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity.””>NASA and its international partners plan human missions to the Moon, MarsMars is the second smallest planet in our solar system and the fourth planet from the sun. Iron oxide is prevalent in Mars’ surface resulting in its reddish color and its nickname “The Red Planet.” Mars’ name comes from the Roman god of war.”>Mars and beyond. Robotics is also important as scientists and engineers explore a variety of ways to assist space crews.

NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari swabbed bacteria samples today and began sequencing their DNADNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is a molecule composed of two long strands of nucleotides that coil around each other to form a double helix. It is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms that carries genetic instructions for development, functioning, growth, and reproduction. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is called nuclear DNA), but a small amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria (where it is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA).”>DNA with the BioMole Facility to understand the microbial environment on the station. Thomas Marshburn of NASA photographed operations for the Plant Habitat-05 experiment that is studying cotton genetics. Finally, NASA astronaut Kayla Barron set up an AstroBee robotic free flyer with an experimental audio sensor that may possibly identify early indications of space hardware failure.

The three NASA astronauts also joined ESA (European Space Agency) Matthias Maurer and reviewed their procedures for a variety of emergency scenarios aboard the SpaceXCommonly known as SpaceX, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company that was founded by Elon Musk in 2002. Headquartered in Hawthorne, California, the company designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft.”>SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle. The quartet trained on a computer for unlikely events such as a fire, a depressurization, and an emergency undocking in the Crew Dragon spacecraft.

The station’s other NASA astronaut, Mark Vande Hei, had Monday morning off before going into the afternoon working on experimental gear that may maintain safe temperatures in U.S. spacesuits. Vande Hei, along with cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov, are due to depart the station in the spring after nearly a year in space.

The next spacewalk at the International Space Station is targeted for January 19 to outfit the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Cosmonauts Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov started Monday morning inspecting the spacewalking tools they will use to configure and finish connecting Nauka to the station’s Russian segment.

Source: SciTechDaily