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Immunology Research for Crew Health and Computer Spacewalk Training Today

NASA astronaut Nick Hague conducts research operations
NASA astronaut Nick Hague conducts research operations in the Microgravity Sciences Glovebox exploring why pathogens become more virulent in outer space.

Critical life science continues apace aboard the International Space Station today helping NASA support human missions to the Moon and beyond. The Expedition 59 crew is also gearing up for another maintenance spacewalk at the end of May.

Two NASA astronauts and one Canadian Space Agency astronaut kept up their busy science schedule today with more immunology research in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module. The three flight engineers, Christina Koch, Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques, have been observing how the rodent immune system, which are similar to that in humans, respond to microgravity. Doctors plan to use the results to help keep astronauts healthier in space and treat people on the ground with Earth-bound ailments.

Flight Engineer Nick Hague continued his weeklong research to understand why pathogens become more virulent in the weightless environment of outer space. Doctors want to boost an astronaut’s space-exposed immune system to prevent further impacts by opportunistic pathogens. Hague also swapped protein crystal samples in a specialized microscope for a biophysics experiment exploring cancer treatment and radiation protection.

Two cosmonauts are preparing for the next spacewalk at the orbital lab scheduled for May 29. Commander Oleg Kononenko joined Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin for a computer training session today reviewing their spacewalk activities and worksites on the Russian side of the orbital lab. The duo will spend about six hours removing experiments, sampling station surfaces and jettisoning obsolete hardware.

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