100 days in space has been logged by three crew members aboard the International Space Station. Here is the story:
Three Expedition 50 crew members recently surpassed 100 days in space and will come home in June. Also, SpaceX Dragon external experiments are being unloaded for installation on the International Space Station.
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has been living in space with her Expedition 50 crewmates for over 100 days now. She and Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency and Oleg Novitskiy from Roscosmos will return to Earth June 2 after 197 days in space. The trio launched Nov. 17 beginning a two-day trip to the station.
Whitson has reached out to her supporters on the ground and mentioned them with her NASA Village campaign from space. She launched to the station with posters signed by hundreds of support personnel and recently showed them off on orbit.
A pair of Earth observation experiments delivered last week on the SpaceX Dragon have been robotically removed from the resupply ship. Both experiments will be installed on specialized pallets on the outside of the orbital laboratory and activated for years of research.
The first experiment, SAGE-III, will observe how tiny particles interact with Earth’s sunscreen, or ozone, possibly affecting the climate. The second, Lightning Image Sensor, will monitor lightning around the globe to improve weather forecasting, enhance climate models and increase aviation safety.
The International Space Station fired its engines Wednesday night slightly raising its orbit to accommodate a crew exchange in April. In the meantime, the six-person Expedition 50 crew continued learning how living in space affects the human body.
The station’s third module, the Zvezda service module which launched in 2000, fired its main engines for 43 seconds overnight. The orbital reboost places the station at the correct altitude for the departure of three Expedition 50 crew members April 10. Just ten days later, two new space residents will arrive completing the Expedition 51 crew.
Scientists are exploring the best nutrition requirements to keep astronauts healthy and productive during long-term space missions. Astronaut Thomas Pesquet is contributing to that research today beginning a prescribed diet for the next 11 days. During that period he will collect urine samples and measure his breathing for the Energy study. Results will help researchers plan meals to ensure successful missions farther out into space.
Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson, who will become station commander April 9, peered at stem cells through a specialized microscope on today. She is helping scientists understand how microgravity increases stem cell replication possibly improving disease treatments on Earth.
Written By: Mark Garcia NASA
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