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Crew Members Kick-Start New Year with Ongoing Science and Maintenance

Four Expedition 70 crew members share new year’s remarks. From left, Commander Andreas Mogensen of ESA, Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA, Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA, and Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara of NASA. Credits: NASA

The seven-member Expedition 70 crew is back to work after Monday saw an off-duty day for the International Space Station residents. A variety of activities took place in orbit on Tuesday, while some members conducted cleaning activities and others picked back up on scientific research to kick-start the new year.

Flight Engineer Loral O’Hara of NASA spent part of her day unstowing materials in the Combustion Integrated Rack to prep for the SoFIE-GELinvestigation. As part of ongoing science, crew members study burning in microgravity to determine how material flammability is affected by fuel temperatures. To continue this research, O’Hara swapped out a used manifold gas bottle in the experiment with a new one. In the evening, she donned the Actiwatch to monitor sleep-wake patterns throughout the night.

Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA cleaned up in the Harmony module in the morning, then set out to replenish the water supply in the distribution and recovery reservoirs of Plant Habitat-06—an investigation that studies the physiological and genetic responses to defense activation in wild-type tomatoes. Afterward, Moghbeli began an experiment to test the efficiency of an antimicrobial coating in space.

Commander Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) began the day swapping out the heart rate monitor on CEVIS, the station’s bicycle. He then completed a robotics training session, practicing the capture of a cargo craft, reviewing how to control free-flying assistants, and operating the robotic arm. After lunch, Mogensen deployed the Life Sciences Glovebox that will be used for ongoing science activities this week, then analyzed water from the station’s water processor assembly.

Meanwhile, Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) hydrated and incubated production packs for the BioNutrients-1 investigation which uses technology for on-demand production of human nutrients over long-duration missions.

The three cosmonauts aboard the orbiting laboratory—Oleg Kononenko, Nikolai Chub, and Konstantin Borisov—split up maintenance duties on Tuesday. Kononenko ran the 3D printer in Zvezda and audited cargo in the Prichal module, while Chub conducted maintenance on the water management system and Borisov inventoried accessories of the Roscosmos docking system.

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