Science

Expedition 67 Crew Conducts Experiments Aboard ISS That Could Benefit Astronauts, Humans on Earth

The International Space Station’s Expedition 67 mission began in March this year and is aimed at conducting research and investigations that will facilitate human spaceflight beyond the low-Earth orbit to Mars and the Moon. Recently, seven crew members have been working on experiments that could benefit both astronauts in space, and human life on Earth. The team is conducting a biology study to explore how skin heals in space. The space agency hopes that the findings could provide insights into healing and could help improve therapies for astronauts as well as people on Earth.

Astronaut Bob Hines (NASA) and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on Monday together cleaned up the hardware and supporting samples for the biology study, the US space agency revealed in a blog post. Following this, Hines looked after the XROOTS (eXposed Root On-Orbit Test System) experiment.

The XROOTS space agriculture investigation utilises hydroponic and aeroponic techniques to grow plants in space obviating the need to use soil or other growth media. The observations of the experiment could help identify suitable method to grow crops on a larger scale for future space missions.

Hines worked on Monday afternoon and installed seed cartridges and root modules for the XROOTS experiment. This was done to begin with a 30-day growth period of radishes and mizuna greens.

NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren opened up the airlock of the Kibo laboratory module and sourced an external science platform. A small satellite deployer was also installed on the research gear by him. The deployer will be placed in the vacuum outside the lab so that it deploys a set of CubeSats into low-Earth orbit for a range of research and education programs.

Another NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins worked on a cable connection inside the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) which is used to safely study the behaviour of flames, soot, and fuels in weightlessness.


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