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Newest Station Crew Members Learning to Live in Space

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:34 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 28 crew, now expanded to its full complement of six aboard the orbiting International Space Station, focused Tuesday on science experiments, orientation for its three newest crew members and departure preparations for a European cargo craft.

After the crew’s daily planning conference with flight teams around the world, Flight Engineer Sergei Volkov began his workday by participating in the Typology experiment, which studies a crew member’s psychophysical state and ability to perform and communicate under stress. Donning a cap fitted with electrodes, Volkov performed a session with the experiment to measure operator activities.

Volkov later teamed up with Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev to check out TORU, the telerobotic rendezvous control system for Russian spacecraft. One of those spacecraft, the Soyuz TMA-02M, delivered Volkov and Flight Engineers Mike Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa to the station Thursday.

As the newest crew members, Fossum, Volkov and Furukawa each have an hour set aside daily during their first two weeks aboard the station to become accustomed to living and working within the 13,696 cubic feet of habitable volume of the orbital complex.

The three new flight engineers also met with the rest of the Expedition 28 crew, including Commander Andrey Borisenko, to review roles and responsibilities during an in-flight emergency such as an ammonia leak, a toxic spill, fire or rapid depressurization.

As the “Johannes Kepler” Automated Transfer Vehicle-2 nears the end of its mission to the space station, Fossum, Furukawa and Flight Engineer Ron Garan spent part of their day loading it with trash and other unneeded items for disposal. The European Space Agency supply ship, which delivered seven tons of cargo when it docked to the aft port of the Zvezda service module on Feb. 24, is scheduled to undock from the station Monday for a destructive re-entry in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Furukawa also worked with the 2D Nano Template 2 Experiment, which fabricates large and highly oriented nano-scale two-dimensional arranged peptide arrays by suppressing convection, sedimentation, and buoyancy.

The station’s residents had several opportunities to observe and photograph the Earth below as they orbit the Earth every 90 minutes at an altitude of 220 miles. Targets for Tuesday focused on attempts to acquire images of polar mesospheric clouds, also known as noctilucent clouds when observed from the ground.

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