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Station Crew Prepares For Progress Departure and New Arrivals

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:11 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 29 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station made preparations for the departure and arrivals of a series of visiting Russian spacecraft and continued their work with a variety of science experiments Thursday.

The hatches between the Pirs docking compartment and the ISS Progress 42 cargo craft were closed to prepare for its upcoming departure. Loaded with trash and gear set for disposal, Progress 42 is scheduled to undock from the station on Saturday at 5:04 a.m. EDT for a destructive re-entry in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The departure clears the way for the arrival of the ISS Progress 45 cargo craft, which is set to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sunday at 6:11 a.m. Progress 45 is scheduled to dock to the station’s Pirs docking compartment on Nov. 2, delivering 2.8 tons of food, fuel and supplies to the station crew members.

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft carrying three new station crew members is set to arrive in mid-November. Flight Engineers Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin will join Commander Mike Fossum and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov on Nov. 16.

Fossum participated in the VO2 Max experiment Thursday. VO2 Max 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.

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 nano-crystals.

The crew members also collected biological samples, placing them in the Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS in the Destiny laboratory. These samples are collected to help doctors and scientists determine the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the crew’s health.

Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov are due to end their stay at the station on Nov. 21. They will undock — at which time Expedition 30 will officially begin — and return home in the Soyuz TMA-02M spaceship for a landing in Kazakhstan.

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