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Sunday, December 6, 2020

Space Agriculture and Spacesuit Studies During Spacewalk Preps

The Earth's limb, or horizon, is pictured as the space station orbited above the north Pacific near Alaska's Aleutian Islands.
The Earth’s limb, or horizon, is pictured as the space station orbited above the north Pacific near Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

Space botany and spacesuit studies were back on the research schedule aboard the International Space Station today. Meanwhile, the Expedition 64 crew is staying focused on an upcoming spacewalk while the SpaceX commercial crew begins its quarantine period.

NASA astronaut and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins started her day on a space agriculture study that explores how microbes and fungi can improve soil health and crop production. She serviced samples for the experiment that seeks to improve food production in space and increase crop yields on Earth.

In the afternoon, Rubins moved on to a spacesuit study installing research components in an EXPRESS science rack. The experiment looks at water evaporation as means to cool spacesuits and prevent contamination and corrosion of parts inside the suits.

Two cosmonauts continue gearing up for their mission’s first spacewalk. Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov were gathering and organizing a variety of spacewalk gear today for staging inside the orbiting lab’s Poisk module. They are due to exit Poisk in their Orlan spacesuits on Nov. 18 and spend about six hours during the spacewalk working on maintenance and science tasks.

Following the spacewalk preps, Ryzhikov worked on a Russian oxygen generator then wrapped up the day with a hearing test. Kud-Sverchkov configured communications gear and cleaned smoke detectors.

Commander Michael Hopkins with Pilot Victor Glover and Mission Specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi are in Florida for final training before they launch on Nov. 14 aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon to the station. The four commercial crew astronauts began their official quarantine period on Saturday which is a routine “flight crew health stabilization” before missions to the orbiting lab.

This post courtesy of NASA-climate

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This post courtesy of NASA-climate