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Science Abounds on Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jun 5, 2012 5:19 am via: NASA
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Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit, aboard the International Space Station, performed his final session Monday with the VO2 Max experiment, which 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.

He also changed out filters in air ducts in three of the four crew quarters in the station’s U.S. segment.

In the Quest airlock, Flight Engineer Joe Acaba worked with spacesuits, scrubbing their cooling loops. Additionally, he reviewed procedures for the Burning and Suppression of Solids experiment, also known as BASS. The investigation examines the burning and extinction characteristics of a wide variety of fuel samples in microgravity. The BASS experiment will help to develop procedures and methods for extinguishing accidental fires in microgravity, and it will contribute to the design of fire detection and suppression systems in microgravity and on Earth.

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers worked in the Japanese Kibo laboratory to replace the failed Image Processing Unit power supply in the Ryutai Rack in the Japanese Kibo laboratory. The rack contains hardware for researching fluid physics, crystal growth and more.

In the Russian section of the orbital complex, Flight Engineer Gennady Padalka worked with the Coulomb Crystal experiment that studies the formation and interaction of electrically charged particles.

Flight Engineer Sergei Revin performed regular maintenance on the ventilation system in the Zvezda service module.

At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, future Expedition 32 crew members Suni Williams, Yuri Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide took part in a suited simulation. The trio is slated to launch in July to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft.

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