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Expedition 29 Begins First Full Week

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:12 am via: NASA
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The first full week of the Expedition 29 crew’s mission aboard the orbiting International Space Station began Monday with science and maintenance activities.

Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum participated in an experiment Monday known as VO2 Max, which observes the aerobic capacity of an individual on a long-duration space mission. The experiment involves a graded exercise test using either a treadmill or exercise bike. By understanding the changes in aerobic capacity that occur within space flight, necessary adjustments can be made to spacewalk exercise countermeasures. Fossum will participate in a VO2 Max observation at least once every 30 days while he is on the station.

Sergei Volkov, also a flight engineer, spent some time with the Russian Plants-2 experiment, watering the plants and taking some photos. Plants-2 researches the growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in a special greenhouse facility.

Additionally, Volkov performed several maintenance tasks, including routine servicing of the Sozh environmental control and life support system in the Zvezda service module.

Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa relocated cables at one of the Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS) locations aboard the complex. SAMS is designed to record accelerations for the lifetime of the space station.

Furukawa joined Fossum in the Japanese Kibo laboratory for a conversation with famed scientist and primate researcher Dr. Jane Goodall.

Expedition 29 began Thursday with the departure of Expedition 28 crew members Andrey Borisenko, Alexander Samokutyaev and Ron Garan. The trio of spacefarers landed their Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft in Kazakhstan a few seconds before midnight EDT Friday. Russian recovery teams were on hand to help the crew exit the Soyuz vehicle and adjust to gravity after 164 days in space.

NASA and its international partners have agreed to a tentative launch schedule with crew flights to the International Space Station resuming on Nov. 14. The Space Station Control Board, with representation from all partner agencies, set the schedule after hearing the Russian Federal Space Agency’s findings on the Aug. 24 loss of the Progress 44 cargo craft. The dates may be adjusted to reflect minor changes in vehicle processing timelines.

According to the current plan, the Soyuz 28 spacecraft, carrying NASA’s Dan Burbank and Russia’s Anatoly Ivanishin and Anton Shkaplerov, will launch Nov. 14 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and arrive at the station on Nov. 16.

Monday marked the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, located in Houston, Texas.

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