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Station Crew Conducts Biomedical Research

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:36 am via: NASA
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The six members of the Expedition 30 crew worked with a variety of science experiments Tuesday, as well as attending to the upkeep and maintenance of their orbital home, the International Space Station.

Commander Dan Burbank began his workday sorting out items in the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module. Afterward, Burbank assisted Flight Engineer Don Pettit with the Sprint experiment, collecting ultrasound readings of Pettit’s leg muscles for a study of how well high-intensity exercise can minimize loss of muscle mass and bone density during long-duration spaceflight.

Burbank later set up an experiment inside the Combustion Integrated Rack to be remotely controlled by the Payload Operations and Integration Center at Marshall Space Flight Center in Hunstville, Ala.

In addition to the Sprint experiment, Pettit spent time installing and setting tiny atomic clocks inside the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, and Reorient Experimental Satellites. Better known by their acronym SPHERES, these bowling-ball-sized, free-flying robots are used by the crew to test techniques that could lead to advancements in automated dockings, satellite servicing, spacecraft assembly and emergency repairs.

Pettit later closed the shutters of the cupola, the station’s observation deck, to protect the shutters while Canadarm2 and the Dextre robot are remotely commanded to conduct a survey of the exterior of the Zarya module Tuesday and Wednesday.

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers used the Total Organic Carbon Analyzer to test a sample from the station’s Water Recovery System. After making sure that the station’s reclaimed water remained free of contaminants, he performed routine maintenance on the system.

On the Russian side of the station, Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov participated in a Russian cardiovascular study known as Pneumocard, and later performed a radio communications check of the two docked Soyuz spacecraft.

Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko worked with the Relaksatsiya experiment, which observes chemically luminescent reactions as two plasma contactor units installed on the station’s truss are fired. Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin meanwhile spent some time replacing the smoke detectors in the Pirs docking compartment.

The long duration space flights are less often sucessfull to maintain the gravity a pull like over planet Earth against the objects of their own weight thus detoriots the organic and inorganic content of appendages untill the limbs doesn't perform any medically experienced exercises on board.
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