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Space station astronauts science their way into record book

Talk about a busy work week. A recent ISS crew set a new record for devotion to science in space.

The crew of Expedition 50 strikes a superhero pose.


How much science can a crew of astronauts undertake in a single week? The answer is 99 hours. The European Space Agency congratulated members of the International Space Station's Expedition 50 for setting a new record for the most time spent on scientific research.

The ESA announced the new record on Monday, though it was set earlier this year during the week of March 6. The ESA didn't specify the previous record for time spent science-ing on the ISS.

What makes the record more impressive is how much time astronauts are required to devote to other activities, including maintaining the station and gutting through 2.5 hours of exercise every day. "This new record for science shows the crew is spending more time using the Station for its intended purpose as a weightless space laboratory," the ESA says.

Expedition 50 consisted of ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson, and cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky, Andrei Borisenko and Sergei Ryzhikov. The crew's massive docket of experiments included investigating the effects of weightlessness on astronauts' vision and research into crystal growth in microgravity.