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Science and Maintenance for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Jun 4, 2011 5:45 am via: NASA
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The three residents of the International Space Station were busy with science experiments and maintenance activities Friday as they await the arrival of three additional crew members.

Joining Expedition 28 Commander Andrey Borisenko and Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Ron Garan aboard the station next week will be Flight Engineers Mike Fossum, Sergei Volkov and Satoshi Furukawa. They are scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Tuesday aboard the Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft and arrive at the station Thursday.

Aboard the station, Borisenko worked on the Rastenia-2 experiment greenhouse equipment. Observations will enable scientists to understand microgravity’s effects on botanical life and the potential to cultivate plants for advanced life support systems on future space missions.

Borisenko also worked with the Izgib-Dakon experiment, which studies how vibrations aboard the station affect scientific hardware.

Samokutyaev continued the inspection of windows in the Russian segment of the station and photographed them for documentation purposes.

Garan completed a session with VO2max, an experiment that studies changes in the astronauts’ aerobic capacity during long-duration spaceflight. Researchers are interested in tracking these changes because a reduction in maximum oxygen uptake directly impacts a crew member’s ability to perform strenuous activities such as spacewalks or emergency operations.

Garan also performed some routine maintenance on sample containers from MELFI, or Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS. MELFI is part of the Human Research Facility inside the Destiny laboratory.

The station’s residents had several opportunities to observe and photograph our home planet as they orbit the Earth every 90 minutes. Friday’s crew earth observations included Libya, Barbuda and Mexico.

Over the weekend, the crew members will continue their daily physical exercise routines to counteract the effects of long-term exposure to weightlessness in space. They also will enjoy some off-duty time, continue regular maintenance duties and have an opportunity to speak with family members.

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