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New Crew Members Head for Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:00 pm via: NASA
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Expedition 29 crew members Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin and Dan Burbank are on their way to the International Space Station. The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft carrying the new trio launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 11:14 p.m. EST Sunday (10:14 a.m. Baikonur time Monday).

Meanwhile, aboard the orbiting outpost, Commander Mike Fossum worked with the Space Dynamically Responding Ultrasonic Matrix System (SpaceDRUMS), a suite of hardware that uses sound waves to allow experiment samples to be processed without ever touching a container wall. This allows materials to be produced in microgravity with an unparalleled quality of shape and composition. The goal is to develop advanced materials of a commercial quantity and quality, and help improve manufacturing processes on Earth.

Fossum also participated in the Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study, known as Sprint, which involves ultrasound imagery taken of his leg and a shorter, more intense workout on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device than station crew members normally perform. Sprint evaluates the use of high-intensity, low-volume exercise training to minimize loss of muscle, bone and cardiovascular function in station crew members during long-duration missions. Fossum is the first to participate in this new protocol.

Additionally, he worked with the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-6 science payload. In this experiment, also known as BCAT-6, 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 Satoshi Furukawa analyzed water samples from the station’s Water Recovery System, which recycles urine to produce potable water.

Flight Engineer Sergei Volkov worked with the radiation payload suite Matryoshka-R. The Russian payload is designed for sophisticated radiation studies and is named after the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.

The Soyuz TMA-22 will dock to the Poisk mini-research module at 12:33 a.m. Wednesday. Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov will welcome their new crewmates a little while later when they open the hatches about 2:55 a.m. Shkaplerov, Ivanishin and Burbank are scheduled to live and work aboard the orbiting laboratory until March.

Expedition 29 will end when Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov undock from the Rassvet mini-research module inside the Soyuz TMA-02M on Nov. 21. The outgoing trio will land in the steppe of Kazakhstan at 9:25 p.m. (8:25 a.m. on Nov. 22, Baikonur time).

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