December 29, 2017 5:13:04 pm
Six astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will experience New Year’s Eve 16 times as they orbit the Earth once every 90 minutes, NASA said. That is 16 sunrise and sunsets 402 kilometres above Earth, the US space agency said in a blog post.
Three US astronauts, two Russian cosmonauts and a Japanese astronaut will go into the last weekend of 2017 with
light duty and family conferences before taking New Year’s Day off. Ahead of the New Year, the astronauts are researching life science studies to help mission doctors keep astronauts healthier and stronger while living in outer space.
Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai took his turn on the exercise bike for a study researching physical exertion in
space, it said. Doctors measure the astronauts breathing and other parameters during exercise to ensure they have the strength to perform strenuous activities such as spacewalks and even emergency procedures.
Scientists are exploring how plants respond to microgravity and observe molecular and genetic changes. The US space agency is planning longer human missions beyond low-Earth orbit and learning how to keep crews self-sustainable.
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