ISS - Expedition 50 Mission patch.
January 26, 2017
International Space Station (ISS). Image Credit: NASA
The Expedition 50 crew is getting ready for Friday morning’s release of Japan’s sixth cargo craft to visit the International Space Station. The station residents are also continuing to explore how their eyes adapt to living in space for months at a time.
The Kounotori HTV-6 resupply ship, from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, is being disconnected from station systems today as it prepares for its departure Friday at 10:30 a.m. EST. Overnight, ground controllers will operate the Canadarm2 and maneuver the HTV-6 away from the Harmony module where it is attached. NASA TV will broadcast the release and departure activities live beginning at 10 a.m.: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html
Image above: Astronauts Thomas Pesquet (left) and Shane Kimbrough pose for a portrait with Japan’s HTV-6 resupply ship orbiting a short distance away from the space station’s cupola on Dec. 13, 2016. Image Credit: NASA.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA will then command the 57.7-foot-long robotic arm to release Kounotori back into orbit. After the HTV supports science experiments for a week, Japanese flight controllers will command the craft to deorbit on Feb. 5 for a fiery reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.
More Fluid Shifts research took place today as astronauts study the possibility of using a special suit, the Lower Body Negative Pressure (LBNP) suit, to prevent the upward flow of fluids towards the head caused by microgravity. This headward flow may be causing pressure on the back of crew members’ eyes potentially causing damage and affecting vision.
Image above: The six-person Expedition 50 crew poses for a group portrait inside the Columbus lab module from the European Space Agency. (Top row from left) Flight Engineers Thomas Pesquet, Peggy Whitson and Oleg Novitskiy. (Bottom row from left) Flight Engineer Andrey Borisenko, Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryzhikov. Image Credit: NASA.
During the afternoon, the crew also participated in ultrasound eye scans. Doctors on the ground assisted the crew to ensure good views of the optic nerve, cornea and back of the eye.
Fluid Shifts: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1257.html
Lower Body Negative Pressure (LBNP) suit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/ISS_Science_Blog/2015/06/02/rubber-vacuum-pants-that-suck/
Ultrasound eye scans: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/749.html
Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html
International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia.
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