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Station Crew Performs Exercise Research, Departure Preparations

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:24 am via: NASA
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Aboard the orbiting International Space Station Monday, Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit participated in the Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study, known as Sprint. The experiment involves ultrasound imagery taken of his leg during 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.

Pettit and Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers had some time set aside to prepare for their imminent departure from the station. They sized special garments they will wear during descent aboard the Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft that protect from increased gravity loads during re-entry and prevent blood shift to the lower part of the body in the post-flight period of readaptation.

Kuipers, Pettit and Kononenko are scheduled to undock from the orbital complex at 12:48 a.m. EDT Sunday, landing in Kazakhstan a few hours later. Prior to the trio’s departure, Kononenko will ceremonially hand command over to Flight Engineer and Expedition 32 Commander Gennady Padalka at 7:35 p.m. Friday. These events will air on NASA Television.

Kuipers also did some maintenance work on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device, greasing Vibration Isolation and Stabilization rails and rollers.

Flight Engineer Joe Acaba performed a checkout of the Japanese Kibo laboratory’s robotic arm in preparation for the arrival of the HTV-3 cargo vehicle next month. The arm will be used to move cargo from the HTV-3 to the laboratory module’s exposed pallet. He also worked with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency flight controllers in Tsukuba, Japan, to test the Kibo airlock’s ability to remain sealed when exposed to the vacuum of space. The airlock allows scientific experiments to te placed on the Kibo’s external experiment platform, and was used to send the Japanese robotic arm out the door in the first place.

Padalka and Sergei Revin, also a flight engineer, performed 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.

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