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Station Crew Prepares for Return Home

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Nov 8, 2011 11:26 am via: NASA
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Aboard the orbiting International Space Station Monday, Commander Mike Fossum and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov spent some time preparing for their imminent return to Earth. Furukawa and Volkov reviewed procedures for the descent portion of their flight aboard the Soyuz TMA-02M.

Along with Fossum they also strapped themselves into their custom Kazbek couches inside the Soyuz, to test out the fit and make sure everything is set for the flight home.

The trio is scheduled to undock from the station in their Soyuz spacecraft on Nov. 21.

Remaining aboard the orbital complex will be the Expedition 30 crew of Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, who are currently scheduled to launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-22 on Nov.13, beginning their stay on the station Nov. 16.

Furukawa worked with the Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument – Aggregation of Colloidal Suspensions (SODI-Colloid) experiment in the Microgravity Science Glovebox in the station’s Destiny laboratory. Colloids are substances with uniformly suspended microscopic particles, such as milk or paint. SODI-Colloid seeks to study the properties of a peculiar, solvent mediated aggregation of colloidal particles. The experiment will contribute to the creation of new materials and products in space, and on Earth it will improve such colloids as paints, food products, drug delivery systems and ceramics by providing a better understanding of colloidal behavior.

Fossum completed some routine maintenance work on the Water Recovery System (WRS), topping off the system’s Waste Storage Tank Assembly. The WRS recycles urine, producing potable water.

Meanwhile, Volkov participated in a Russian medical test called SPRUT-2, which investigates the distribution and behavior of human body fluids in zero gravity.

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