Four New Members Get up to Speed With Station Life

The four crew members from the SpaceX Crew-5 mission join the Expedition 68 crew during welcoming remarks inside the space station's Harmony module. Credit: NASA TV
The four crew members from the SpaceX Crew-5 mission join the Expedition 68 crew during welcoming remarks inside the space station’s Harmony module. Credit: NASA TV

The 11 crew members now living aboard the International Space Station had a short day on Friday following Thursday’s arrival of the SpaceX Crew-5 mission. The eight astronauts and three cosmonauts had a long night following the docking of the SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship.

The four Crew-5 members are now officially Expedition 68 flight engineers and will spend the next few days getting used to life on orbit and familiarizing themselves with space station systems. NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, along with Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Anna Kikina of Roscosmos, have a long list of space experiments they will conduct during their stay on the orbital lab. The commercial crew quartet will study microgravity’s affects on the cardiorespiratory system, modeling heart tissue to improve therapies for spaceflight-caused health issues, and the 3D bioprinting of human organs and tissues for implantation, among multiple other types of research.

As the new crew gets up to speed with their new home in space, the other seven station crewmates continued their normal station science and lab maintenance activities for half-a-day on Friday.

NASA Flight Engineers Jessica Watkins and Frank Rubio worked on a pair of different studies during the afternoon exploring how to grow crops and manufacture products in space. Watkins checked on vegetables growing for the XROOTS space agriculture study that uses hydroponic and aeroponic nourishing techniques. Rubio investigated taking advantage of weightlessness to improve the production and quality of fiber optic cables.

Commander Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) joined NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren collecting and processing their blood samples. Afterward, Lindgren partnered with Mann and transferred emergency hardware from the station into the newly-arrived Endurance crew ship.

Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin spent their afternoon on their contingent of space research and life support maintenance in their segment of the space station.

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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