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Vehicle Preps While Station Crew Conducts a Variety of Science Work

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Oct 6, 2011 9:31 am via: NASA
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The three-member Expedition 29 crew continues preparing the ISS Progress 42 resupply craft for undocking from the Pirs docking compartment on Oct. 29. A replacement cargo vehicle, the ISS Progress 45, is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station on Nov. 2.

Expedition 29 is scheduled to expand to six crew members on Nov. 16 with the arrival of Flight Engineers Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin. The new trio is planned to launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, aboard their Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft Nov. 14.

Meanwhile, current station residents Commander Mike Fossum and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov spent their day on science and maintenance.

Fossum and Furukawa conducted an eye ultrasound exam which observes how microgravity affects sight. The ultrasound equipment is part of the station’s Health Maintenance System.

Fossum took measurements of air pressure and velocity inside the U.S. segment of the space station. A sensitive air testing device, the Velocicalc, was used to determine if the Temperature and Humidity Control ventilation needed cleaning. The commander also set time aside to congratulate the University of Kentucky for dedicating the new offices of the Kentucky Space Grant Consortium.

Furukawa collected and stored urine and blood samples in a science freezer for the Nutrition experiment. The nutritional status assessment uses the Human Research Facility to study changes in a crew member’s physiology during long-duration space flight. The Japanese astronaut also measured his body mass using the Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device, or SLAMMD. A device pushes against a crew member and the resistance against that acceleration is used to measure body mass.

Volkov watered wheat plants again as part of the ongoing Russian Plants-2 experiment. He also worked inside the Poisk module conducting the Coulomb Crystal experiment. The Russian investigation observes how a magnetic field can control materials that do not mix or react. Results may have applications for advanced solar batteries, cleaning dust from microchips and designing nano-crystals.

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