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Spacewalk Preparations, Science for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:05 am via: NASA
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Aboard their orbiting home, the members of the International Space Station’s Expedition 24 crew made preparations for an upcoming spacewalk and conducted a variety of science experiments Thursday.

Flight Engineers Mikhail Kornienko and Fyodor Yurchikhin replaced batteries and environmental systems components in their Russian Orlan spacesuits and inspected the Pirs Docking Compartment airlock in preparation for a six-hour spacewalk. The excursion – Yurchikhin’s third and the first for Kornienko – is scheduled to begin the evening of July 26 and will focus on preparation of the Rassvet module’s Kurs automated rendezvous capability.

Expedition 24 Flight Engineer Doug Wheelock exercises on the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill in the International Space Station’s Tranquility node. Credit: NASA

Expedition 24 Flight Engineer Doug Wheelock exercises on the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill in the International Space Station’s Tranquility node. Credit: NASA

Commander Alexander Skvortsov worked with the Russian SONOCARD experiment. SONOCARD collects physiological data during sleep to study the feasibility of obtaining real-time health data that could serve as a basis for evaluating and predicting the human body’s ability to adapt during long-duration spaceflight.

Flight Engineer Tracy Caldwell Dyson continued her work with the Capillary Flow Experiment, which investigates the tendency of a liquid to rise in narrow tubes or be drawn into small openings in the absence of gravity. The findings will improve computer models used by designers of low-gravity fluid systems and may improve fluid transfer systems on future spacecraft.

Flight Engineer Doug Wheelock recorded data for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) experiment BIORHYTHM. The biomedical experiment involves wearing an electrocardiograph for 24 hours while it takes readings to measure shifts in the human biological clock.

As part of the JAXA’s Education Payload Observation, Flight Engineer Shannon Walker aided Wheelock with the Taste in Space demonstration, which demonstrates the way in which the sense of taste is affected in microgravity.

The thrusters on the ISS Progress 38 cargo ship will be fired early Friday morning to increase the station’s altitude. The reboost is in preparation for the launch of the ISS Progress 39 resupply vehicle and the landing of the Expedition 24 crew in September, as well as the October launch of the Expedition 25 crew.

Thursday also marked the 35th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft involved in the historic Apollo-Soyuz linkup in space on July 17, 1975, forging the path to cooperation now present on the International Space Station.

Researchers can learn more about opportunities to develop and fly science experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) at the NASA ISS Research Academy Aug. 3-5 in League City, Texas.

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