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Science, Progress Undocking Preps for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:32 am via: NASA
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Expedition 32 Flight Engineer Joe Acaba worked with a couple of different experiments aboard the International Space Station Monday. He spent time on the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test science payload. In this experiment, also known as BCAT-6, station crew members photograph samples of polymer and colloidal particles as they change from liquids to gases, to model that phase change. The results will help scientists develop fundamental physics concepts previously cloaked by the effects of gravity.

Additionally, Acaba set up and activated the Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students (EarthKAM) experiment hardware in the Window Observational Research Facility that is located in the U.S. Destiny laboratory.

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. More than 120 schools have signed up to participate in the experiment this week.

Flight Engineer Sergei Revin meanwhile stowed items for disposal aboard the ISS Progress 47 cargo ship, which is set to undock on July 22 and re-dock to the station a day later to test upgrades to the Russian Kurs automated docking system. Progress 47 will perform its final undocking on July 30 for a destructive re-entry in the Earth’s atmosphere. Its final departure clears the Pirs docking compartment for the arrival of ISS Progress 48, set to launch on Aug. 1 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The cosmonaut 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.

Revin aided Gennady Padalka, commander of the station crew, in some regular communications maintenance, and Padalka performed routine servicing of the Sozh environmental control and life support system in the Zvezda service module.

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