Sun. Oct 1st, 2023
    Robotics, Lab Maintenance, and Microbiology: A Day on the International Space Station

    In a typical day aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the Expedition 69 crew members prioritize various tasks, including robotics, lab maintenance, and microbiology. On Wednesday, September 13, 2023, the crew members had the opportunity to engage in Earth science operations and biomedical duties.

    One of the highlights of the day was the activation of Astrobee, a free-flying robotic helper inside the Kibo laboratory module. This toaster-sized, cube-shaped robot was controlled using student-written algorithms that were uplinked to the ISS. The use of robotic assistants not only aids in tasks but also promotes problem-solving and space education. Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA monitored and provided feedback on the robotic activities.

    Meanwhile, inside the Columbus laboratory module, the crew members focused on lab maintenance and reorganization. NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio, assisted by ESA Flight Engineer Andreas Mogensen, finalized the reorganization of the research facility. This reorganization was necessary to accommodate new exercise gear that will ensure the astronauts’ health and fitness during long-term space missions.

    Additionally, Mogensen conducted a study on Earth’s reflective properties, also known as albedo, by photographing the Moon during specific lunar phases. The results of this study may provide valuable insights into Earth’s climate using satellite instruments. Moreover, NASA Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli participated in the Vascular Aging study by providing a blood sample for a glucose test, which aims to monitor accelerated aging-like symptoms in astronauts’ arteries.

    During this day, Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov focused on microbiology duties. He collected and stowed microbe samples from surfaces inside the Zvezda service and Nauka science modules. Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin, on the other hand, studied fermentation techniques to improve food preservation and preparation in space. Commander Sergey Prokopyev worked on readying hardware for the Soyuz MS-23 crew ship, which will transport him, Petelin, and Rubio back to Earth at the end of September.

    Overall, this day on the ISS showcased the diverse range of tasks and responsibilities that the crew members undertake to ensure the smooth operation of the space station and contribute to scientific research and exploration.

    – International Space Station (ISS): NASA
    – Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA): NASA
    – European Space Agency (ESA): NASA
    – NASA: NASA
    – Roscosmos: NASA