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Station Crew Works with Variety of Experiments

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:28 am via: NASA
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Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Joe Acaba worked with the Burning and Suppression of Solids experiment, known as BASS, on Monday aboard the International Space Station.

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.

Acaba also reviewed procedures for an upcoming maintenance task on the station’s Thermal Control System.

European astronaut and Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers performed ultrasound scans on himself and fellow Flight Engineer Don Pettit as part of the Integrated Cardiovascular (ICV) experiment. ICV measures the atrophy of the heart muscle that appears to develop during long-duration spaceflight and seeks to identify its mechanisms.

Pettit worked on removing and replacing the oxidizer in the Total Organic Carbon Analyzer, or TOCA, which is necessary for checking drinking water quality aboard the orbital complex. Total Organic Carbon is naturally present in the environment and by itself has no health effects, but it provides a medium for the formation of byproducts that may be harmful.

Along with station Commander Oleg Kononenko, he also spent time preparing for his imminent return to Earth. The pair, along with Kuipers, is set to land July 1 aboard their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft.

Kononenko joined fellow cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin in a session with the Russian experiment known as Bar. The investigation looks at methods and instruments for detecting the location of a loss of pressure aboard the orbital complex.

Revin also worked with the radiation payload suite Matryoshka-R, which is designed for sophisticated radiation studies and is named after the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.

Flight Engineer Gennady Padalka worked with the Plasma Crystal experiment, an investigation of the behavior of plasma-dust structures in space.

The space crew must be exposed to a small duration X-radiation to protect the cardiac muscle form being deterioted as a reseach confirms that the low interval radition are stimulatory to the exchange of salts (Na+,K+) across the cardiac muscle at the intercalated discs.
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