Two cosmonauts are finalizing preparations for a spacewalk to configure the European robotic arm (ERA) for payload operations on the outside of the International Space Station. The rest of the Expedition 67 crew is continuing to research how to heal wounds in the microgravity environment.
Roscosmos Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Denis Matveev have been given the go to exit the space station’s Poisk airlock on Friday at 9:20 a.m. EDT beginning a spacewalk to continue outfitting Europe’s robotic arm. The duo was joined today by Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov for a final procedures review and last minute Orlan spacesuit checks ahead of the planned six-hour spacewalk.
The spacewalkers will complete the tasks left unfinished during the previous spacewalk that took place on Aug. 17. The tasks Artemyev and Matveev are scheduled to complete include relocating the ERA’s external control panel and testing the arm’s ability to grasp payloads. Korsakov will help the two cosmonauts in and out of their spacesuits, monitor the spacewalking activities, and maneuver the ERA on Friday.
The orbiting lab’s four other astronauts spent the entire day in the Kibo laboratory module learning how to heal wounds in weightlessness. A key characteristic of living and working in space is the accelerated aging of skin that astronauts experience. Researchers are studying those molecular processes and how they affect the healing process potentially advancing wound treatments both in space and on Earth.
Using Kibo’s Life Science Glovebox, NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, and Jessica Watkins, along with Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) practiced surgical techniques including biopsies, suture splints, and wound dressing. The quartet will continue the biomedical research on Friday helping NASA and its international partners keep astronauts safe and healthy on long-term space missions while improving health conditions on Earth.
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