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Station Crew Enjoys Off-Duty Day

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:32 am via: NASA
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After beginning to unload cargo from the newly arrived ISS Progress 46 cargo craft over the weekend, the Expedition 30 crew aboard the International Space Station enjoyed an off-duty day Monday with a few science and maintenance activities scheduled.

Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineer Don Pettit worked with the Integrated Cardiovascular (ICV) experiment. ICV researches the extent and causes of weakening of the heart during long-duration spaceflight.

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers worked with the Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students, or EarthKAM, experiment. EarthKAM, an education activity, allows middle school students to program a digital camera aboard the station to photograph a variety of geographical targets for study in the classroom. Photos are made available online for viewing and study by participating schools around the world. Educators use the images for projects involving Earth Science, geography, physics and social science.

Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov spent time on an experiment known as Immuno, which researches changes in stress and immune responses during and after a stay on the station. It includes the sampling of saliva, blood and urine to check for hormones associated with stress response and for carrying out white blood cell analysis.

Anatoly Ivanishin, also a flight engineer, updated antivirus software on some of the orbital complex’s laptop computers, while Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko performed some regular coolant maintenance.

Progress 46 docked to the Pirs docking compartment of the International Space Station Friday at 7:09 p.m. EST. It began its two-day journey to the orbiting laboratory after a successful launch Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Zvezda service module fired its thrusters Saturday in a reboost of the station designed to place the complex at the correct altitude and trajectory for future visiting vehicle activities and to avoid a repetitive coincidence of possible conjunctions with a piece of Chinese Fengyun 1C satellite debris. The reboost, which raised the station’s altitude at apogee by 0.8 mile and 1.6 miles at perigee, left the complex in an orbit of 251.4 by 235.1 statute miles and eliminated the need for a previously scheduled reboost originally planned for Wednesday.

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