Headlines > News > Station Crew Does Science, Prepares for Undocking

Station Crew Does Science, Prepares for Undocking

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:55 am via: NASA
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(NASA) – The Expedition 22 crew aboard the International Space Station conducted scientific research Tuesday while preparing for the departure of two of its members.

Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer worked on the Long Term Microgravity: A Model for Investigating Mechanisms of Heart Disease with New Portable Equipment (Card) experiment that studies blood pressure decreases when the human body is exposed to microgravity. In order to increase the blood pressure to the level it was on Earth, salt is added to the crew members’ diet. To monitor this, blood pressure readings are performed at different intervals during the mission.

Sir Bani Yas Island is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 22 crew member aboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Sir Bani Yas Island is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 22 crew member aboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi performed routine maintenance on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) which he later used to exercise. The ARED uses vacuum cylinders to mimic weightlifting exercises in the microgravity environment of space.

Meanwhile, Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev continued preparations for their departure Thursday. After undocking from the station aboard the Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft, they will take a three-and-a-half-hour ride that will culminate in a parachute-assisted landing in Kazakhstan early that morning.

Noguchi, Creamer and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov will continue their stay on the station, becoming the new Expedition 23 crew. Kotov will become the new station commander. A change of command ceremony is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

On April 4, Expedition 23 will expand to a six-member crew. Arriving in the Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft will be new station crew members Alexander Skvortsov, Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Mikhail Kornienko.

Robotics officers on the ground moved the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator (Dextre) into place on the exterior of the Destiny laboratory for work during the third spacewalk of the STS-131 mission. Dextre is a two-armed robot mounted outside the station designed to handle delicate assembly tasks.

Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to arrive at the station on April 7. STS-131 will deliver new science racks inside the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module and will feature three spacewalks.

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