New science and computer software has been installed on ISS. In anticipation of more cargo shipments in the next few weeks, the space station is a beehive of activity.
The International Space Station is continuing to receive software updates to improve its spacecraft communications and navigation systems. Meanwhile, the astronauts today are setting up new life science gear and testing the docking ability of tiny internal satellites.
New software is being uplinked and installed on the station this week to increase the communications and control of approaching spacecraft. The crew will also replace portable computer hard drives with new ones after the software transition.
SpaceX is looking to launch its Dragon cargo craft no earlier than Feb. 18 on a two-day trip to deliver crew supplies and new science experiments to the Expedition 50 crew. One study being shipped on Dragon will explore healing and tissue regeneration to fight bone and tissue loss in space. Habitats with telemetry and video were installed for the study and will house rodents being launched aboard Dragon.
A pair of bowling ball-sized satellites, known as SPHERES, were deployed inside the Kibo lab module to test new algorithms and docking techniques. The SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) are used for numerous experiments including today’s study to demonstrate the ability for future spacecraft to autonomously dock and undock.
Earlier in the week, research and science continues with more tasks on the way:
The Expedition 50 crew is getting the International Space Station ready for new experiments that will be delivered on the next SpaceX Dragon resupply mission. The station is also receiving a software update for its navigation and control systems.
Dragon is set to deliver new research gear for a variety of experiments exploring the benefits and risks of living in space. The crew began setting up the station today for a pair of those studies that will explore life science.
Cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko began installing habitats to house rodents for an exploration into bone and tissue loss caused by microgravity. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson set up new gear in the Microgravity Science Glovebox to cultivate human stem cells for evaluating their use in treating disease.
New software has been uplinked to the station to update its Guidance, Navigation and Control systems and its Command and Control systems. The updates will improve communications with spacecraft approaching the station and add new computer connectivity with docked vehicles.
Written By: Mark Garcia NASA
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