BEAM Work, Space Gardening, Free-Flying Robots End Crew Week

The Milky Way is pictured above Earth's atmospheric glow as the station orbited above the island nation of Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean.
The Milky Way is pictured above Earth’s atmospheric glow as the station orbited above the island nation of Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean.

The Expedition 67 crew opened up BEAM, the International Space Station’s expandable module, today and conducted sensor checks and organized hardware. The orbital residents also continued their space botany and automated robotics research as well as ongoing cargo operations.

NASA Flight Engineers Jessica Watkins and Bob Hines partnered together inside the BEAM module today for systems checks after six years attached to the station’s Tranquility module. Watkins opened up BEAM on Friday morning then replaced batteries inside sensors that can detect impacts on the module. Hines retrieved cargo and cleaned vents inside BEAM.

Watkins started her day servicing laptop computers and replacing ethernet cables throughout the station’s U.S. and Russian modules. Hines worked in the Columbus laboratory module recirculating fluids and nourishing radishes and mizuna greens growing for the XROOTS botany study. The advanced space gardening experiment explores hydroponics and aeroponics growing techniques in microgravity.

NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren swapped experiment samples inside the Mochii electron microscope that is used to rapidly identify potentially harmful particles that could impact vehicles on space station as part of a study related to spacecraft engineering and safety. Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) activated the Astrobee robotic free-flyers for a test of their ability to conduct automated science maneuvers using the smartphone video guidance sensor.

Cosmonauts Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov partnered together at the end of the week offloading new cargo delivered inside the Progress 81 resupply ship docked to the rear port of the Zvezda service module. Matveev earlier installed a camera that monitors the effects of natural and man-made Earth disasters while Korsakov replaced station fire extinguishers. Commander Oleg Artemyev inspected Russian Orlan spacesuit helmets then wrapped up his day working on computer and life support systems.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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