Station Controllers Resume Normal Ops as Crew Keeps Up Research

The night lights of the southeastern U.S. are pictured as the International Space Station orbited over the Gulf of Mexico.
The night lights of the southeastern U.S. are pictured as the International Space Station orbited over the Gulf of Mexico.

Mission controllers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center are returning to normal operations today after setting backup control centers at remote locations. The International Space Station support team returned to Houston after setting up remote operations earlier this week when Hurricane Laura neared the Texas-Louisiana border.

The three Expedition 63 crew members continued their standard science and maintenance tasks this week after orbiting above Laura and sending down video and imagery of the storm. This comes after a four-night stay in the station’s Russian segment during a test to locate the source of a minor cabin air pressure leak.

Today, Commander Chris Cassidy worked on swapping components on a U.S. oxygen generator. He replaced a hydrogen sensor then cleaned the critical life support device. Afterward, the NASA astronaut checked samples in the Materials Science Laboratory which processes experiments to discover new uses for a variety of materials such as metals, alloys, polymers, and more.

Veteran cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin worked Friday morning servicing communications gear inside the Soyuz MS-16 crew ship. During the afternoon, the three-time station resident handed Russian radiation detection gear to Cassidy for deployment in the orbiting lab’s U.S. segment.

First-time space flyer Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos spent his day focusing on a variety of space technology studies using advanced photography gear. He explored ways to improve orbital navigation and improve the detection of landmarks on Earth.

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