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Experiments Keep Station Crew Busy

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:09 am via: NASA
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Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum participated in an experiment aboard the International Space Station 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 spaceflight, 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.

Fossum also checked out a camera on the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5 science payload. In this experiment, also known as BCAT-5, station crew members photograph samples of polymer and colloidal particles as they change from liquids to gases, to model that phase change. The results will help scientists develop fundamental physics concepts previously cloaked by the effects of gravity.

Flight Engineer Sergei Volkov took photos and video for the Russian ocean observation program known as Seiner. The program tests the interaction procedure between the crews of the station’s Russian segment and State Fishery Committee ships during the search and development of fishing productive areas of the world’s oceans.

Additionally, Volkov worked with the Russian Plants-2 experiment, which researches the growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in a special greenhouse facility.

As part of his daily exercise to combat the effects of long-term exposure to microgravity, Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa worked out on the complex’s stationary bicycle. He also configured and performed a scrub of spacesuit cooling loops aboard the station.

Volkov performed preventive maintenance on the ventilation system in the Zvezda service module.

NASA and its international partners agreed to a tentative launch schedule with crew flights to the station resuming on Nov. 14. According to the current plan, the Soyuz TMA-22 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 Nov. 16.

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