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Station Crew Back to Work after Holiday Weekend

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jan 4, 2011 9:45 am via: NASA
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After an off-duty weekend to celebrate the new year, the Expedition 26 crew resumed its usual scientific and maintenance work Monday.

Flight Engineer Catherine Coleman spent some time in the European Columbus laboratory working with the Scaling Body-Related Actions in the Absence of Gravity experiment. Also known as Passages, the experiment tests how astronauts interpret visual information in microgravity.

Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri worked with the Coulomb Crystal experiment, which studies dynamic and structural characteristics of the Coulomb systems formed by charged dispersed diamagnetic macroparticles in a magnetic trap. Coulomb systems are structures following Coulomb’s Law, a law of physics describing the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles. It was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism.

Oleg Skripochka and Dmitry Kondratyev, both flight engineers, performed periodic inspections of windows in the Russian segment of the orbital complex. The pair also checked out systems in the Pirs Docking Compartment airlock as they prepare for their spacewalk on Jan. 21, the first of two they will conduct together during Expedition 26.

Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli did some maintenance work on the U.S. spacesuits in the Quest airlock. The spacesuit maintenance is to protect for any contingency spacewalk activity that could be required if problems occur with the grapple or berthing of the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle, named Kounotori, or white stork, later this month.

Commander Scott Kelly gathered materials for upcoming maintenance on the station’s Waste and Hygiene Compartment. The maintenance task is scheduled to take place Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Russian crew members will be enjoying several off-duty days this week as they celebrate the Russian Orthodox Christmas holidays.

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