Today aboard the International Space Station, foams, fires, and liquids in space were the main research topics to improve the quality of life for humans living on and off the Earth. In addition, the Expedition 67 crew checked out a new U.S. toilet while gearing up for crew departure activities at the end of the month.
A number of space physics research experiments took place in microgravity on Thursday as the crew explored how weightlessness affects a variety of phenomena that humans are familiar with on Earth. The lack of gravity impacts the characteristics and behavior of Earth-bound phenomena. This reveals new properties and insights that help scientists and engineers develop advanced products and applications benefitting both astronauts and Earthlings.
On Thursday, Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins of NASA focused her attention on the Foams and Emulsions experiment looking at samples in the KERMIT microscope with the purpose of improving the consumer products industry. NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren swapped samples in the Microgravity Science Glovebox for the Ring Sheared Drop fluid physics study to learn about high-concentration protein fluids and enable the production of next-generation medicines for treating cancers and other diseases. Finally, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti reconfigured components for the Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction investigation. It is an experiment that explores fire growth and fire safety techniques in space.
NASA Flight Engineer Bob Hines started his day with a cognition test for the Standard Measures study. It is a human research experiment that seeks to characterize the adaptive responses to and the risks of living in space. Hines then spent the afternoon configuring components and testing the performance of the new U.S. toilet system, which is located in the station’s Tranquility module.
Meanwhile, after living and working on the space station for six months, three cosmonauts are nearing their crew departure. Commander Oleg Artemyev staged cargo today for packing inside the Soyuz MS-21 crew ship that has been docked to the Prichal docking module since March 18. Roscosmos Flight Engineers Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov also kicked off preparations for their trip back to Earth at the end of September. In addition, Matveev spent Thursday investigating how to improve the space lab environment for biotechnology experiments. Korsakov worked on Russian electronics and computer maintenance throughout the day.