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Experiments and Progress Departure Preps for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Oct 7, 2011 7:42 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 29 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station worked with a variety of science experiments Thursday as preparations continued for the departure of the ISS Progress 42 resupply craft.

Flight Engineer Sergei Volkov 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 nanocrystals.

Volkov also watered and took photos of wheat plants as part of the ongoing Russian Plants-2 experiment, which researches the growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in a special greenhouse facility.

Commander Mike Fossum performed a battery change out and test run of the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test experiment, or BCAT-5, which provides data on the performance of polymer and colloidal particles as they change from liquids to gases. The results will help scientists develop fundamental physics concepts previously cloaked by the effects of gravity.

Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa gathered trash in the U.S. segment of the station for disposal inside the ISS Progress 42 cargo craft docked to the aft end of the Pirs docking compartment. The Russian cargo ship is scheduled to undock from the station on Oct. 29, clearing the way for the ISS Progress 45 cargo craft scheduled for launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Oct. 30.

As part of an ongoing study to determine the effects of long-duration spaceflight on vision, Fossum and Furukawa took retina measurements of their eyes. Exams performed earlier this week included eye ultrasounds and tonometry tests to measure intraocular pressure.

Fossum and Furukawa also had some time set aside to speak with reporters from CBS News during an in-flight interview which aired on NASA TV.

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