Space Stations

Axiom Space – Ax-1 Mission Flight Day 8 Update – Busy Day of Science and Outreach

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 16, 2022
Filed under , , , ,
Axiom Space – Ax-1 Mission Flight Day 8 Update – Busy Day of Science and Outreach
Axiom Space - Ax-1 Mission Flight Day 8 Update - Busy Day of Science and Outreach.
Axiom Space

Time is flying by as the crew works minute-by-minute conducting experiments and research while continuing their commitment to outreach events engaging with students, the media, and organizations from around the world.
The crew remains focused on their remaining days on the International Space Station (ISS). They continue to see progress made in real-time as they complete the numerous experiments brought aboard with them on the ISS.

Today the astronauts continued to gather data and complete daily sessions for ongoing projects to enhance human research, physical sciences, cardioprotection, and high bandwidth communications. These efforts will expand the breakthrough potential of work in microgravity to new sectors to lay the groundwork for a full realization of possibilities within low-Earth orbit. All crewmembers collected personal information and data for stress monitoring research by wearing a combination of sensors that detect central nervous system functions. Through sensors, a self-report questionnaire, and a functional testing mobile application allow for accurate monitoring of stress levels among crewmembers throughout their journey in space.

As part of a multi-year research program exploring self-assembly methods for in-space construction, Ax-1 Commander Michael López-Alegría completed the setup for the TESSERAE tiles. The tiles pack flat for launch, and once activated, they form a robotic swarm of autonomous and self-assembling units that will be tested in a series of configurations during the mission. Eytan Stibbe completed the CRISPR experiment’s second and final round of activities. The recently developed CRISPR-based technology for gene identification and editing allows for simple and reliable detection of DNA sequences that support the identification of pathogens and contaminants. This technology was being tested in space for the first time.

Stibbe also completed familiarization and range of motion activities while wearing the AstroRad Vest. The vest is radiation personal protective equipment (PPE) for astronauts that utilizes selective shielding to maximize effectivity and minimize impacts on ergonomics. The AstroRad Vest was co-developed by StemRad and Lockheed Martin, with the primary goal of mitigating solar particle events (SPE). During the Ax-1 mission, a comprehensive examination will be conducted with the crew to assess ergonomic data.

Mark Pathy completed the Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) session of the Ocular Rigidity Investigation (SANSORI) project. This experiment aims to test a new hypothesis related to the causes of Space Flight-Associated Neuro-Ocular Syndrome (SANS), a known condition of long-duration spaceflight that can cause vision changes in astronauts.

Pathy continued his work of Earth observations from the Cupola. The campaign includes specific observation targets for the scientific study of changing planetary biology and human urbanization. Along with the daily experiments and research, Stibbe had a schedule full of outreach activities. Stibbe answered questions from SpaceTech, a leading strategic and analytics agency focused on space technology industries and shared how there are amazing activities taking place all over Israel inspired by the Rakia Mission on the Ax-1 mission, which combines a variety of experiments in many areas that will advance the Israeli space industry and even influence applications here on Earth. He also reflected on how the mission changed his view of life when it comes to unity, peace, and making the world a better place for his grandchildren.

Stibbe also conducted a climate change lesson where he explained the water purification system on the ISS, how oxygen levels are maintained, and how energy is generated. Through a citizenship lesson, he shed light on how each area on the space station is governed by the country it is associated with, yet the rules and boundaries are blurred by the desire to explore and help humanity – space is the key to world peace.

Stibbe’s busy day of outreach continued with a microgravity challenge put forward by students who suggested different tasks to try in space. He sent a message in sign language and conducted work to show how physical limitations on Earth should not hinder your abilities in space, proving that space is a place for everyone. Lastly, he sent an important message by calling on the children of Israel to place friendship as a supreme value.

Larry Connor did a live Q&A with Dayton Daily News and talked about his duties during launch and the flight to the ISS as pilot of Ax-1. Through the Ax-1 mission, Connor explained his desire to help pioneer space exploration that results in real and sustainable scientific research and technology advancements that ultimately benefit all people.

In addition, Connor connected with Brady Kress, the Dayton History Museum President, and CEO. He compared the difference between being almost four miles under the ocean to 250 miles above the Earth and what it is like orbiting the Earth over 17,000 mph. Connor shared how it is an honor to connect Dayton’s rich aviation history with the next frontier in space with the symbolic piece of fabric that originally covered the Wright Brothers’ 1903 Kitty Hawk Flyer.

Through the Ax-1 mission, the crew is paving the way for more affordable and accessible space exploration long-term. The lessons learned during this mission are essential to Axiom Space’s effort to build the world’s first commercial space station.

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.