Ultra-Cold Space Physics and Immunity Research Take Center Stage on the International Space Station

The Expedition 70 crew conducts groundbreaking research while maintaining lab systems and stepping up cargo operations.

On Monday, the International Space Station (ISS) witnessed a flurry of scientific activity as the Expedition 70 crew focused on ultra-cold space physics and immunity research. The crew, consisting of seven members, also dedicated time to cargo operations and the maintenance of essential systems. From chilling atoms to near absolute zero to studying cellular immunity in space, the ISS continues to be a hub for groundbreaking research that pushes the boundaries of human knowledge.

Cold Atom Lab: The Coldest Place in the Universe

NASA Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli spearheaded the configuration and installation of hardware for a controller test at the Cold Atom Lab. This quantum research device has the ability to chill atoms to temperatures lower than the average temperature of space, approaching absolute zero. The Cold Atom Lab provides unique observations of atomic wave functions at extremely low temperatures, offering insights that are impossible to obtain on Earth.

Exploring Immunity in Space

Commander Andreas Mogensen, from the European Space Agency (ESA), participated in the Immunity Assay biology study. He collected and processed blood and saliva samples to investigate cellular immunity in microgravity. Afterward, he carefully stored the samples for later analysis, ensuring that valuable data on the effects of space on the immune system could be obtained.

Maintenance and Gear Servicing

Astronauts Loral O’Hara and Satoshi Furukawa dedicated their time to maintenance tasks. O’Hara inspected and maintained the COLBERT treadmill in the Tranquility module, meticulously checking components, aligning pins, and greasing axles. Furukawa, from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), worked in the Kibo laboratory module, ensuring that gear responsible for cooling and heat rejection operated flawlessly, maintaining a safe environment on the ISS.

Cargo Operations and Dragon Spacecraft

Furukawa, Mogensen, and Moghbeli joined forces to load cargo into the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, which docked with the Harmony module’s forward port. The Dragon, which arrived on November 11, brought approximately 6,500 pounds of advanced science hardware to study laser communications and atmospheric gravity waves. Scheduled to return to Earth in mid-December, the Dragon will carry hardware and completed science experiments for retrieval and analysis.

Progress Resupply Mission and Future Launch

The Roscosmos Progress 84 resupply ship is set to depart on Wednesday after six months docked to the Poisk module. Flight Engineer Nikolai Chub packed trash and discarded gear into the departing Progress, which will reenter the atmosphere above the south Pacific Ocean for safe disposal. It will be replaced by the Progress 86, carrying nearly 5,600 pounds of cargo, which is scheduled to launch on Friday and dock to Poisk on Sunday.

Atmospheric and Climatic Data Collection

Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko turned his attention to capturing atmospheric and climatic data using a specialized camera pointed towards Earth. Additionally, he delved into the study of how fluid systems are affected by spaceflight conditions, such as electrical and magnetic fields. First-time space flyer Konstantin Borisov contributed to the mission by servicing life support and communications gear, while also collecting air samples for chemical analysis.


The International Space Station continues to serve as a platform for pioneering research, with Expedition 70 crew members focusing on ultra-cold space physics and immunity research. From the Cold Atom Lab, which offers unique insights into atomic wave functions, to the exploration of cellular immunity in microgravity, the crew’s efforts push the boundaries of scientific understanding. As cargo operations and maintenance tasks progress, the ISS remains at the forefront of scientific discovery, providing valuable data that will shape our understanding of space and its impact on human health and technology.






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