Headlines > News > Station Crew Gets Back to Science after Progress Arrival

Station Crew Gets Back to Science after Progress Arrival

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Aug 3, 2012 3:36 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 32 crew aboard the orbiting International Space Station slept in Thursday following the docking of the ISS Progress 48 cargo craft to the Pirs docking compartment at 9:18 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

The cargo craft launched earlier in the day from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 3:35 p.m., carrying 1,962 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen and air, 925 pounds of water and 2,817 pounds of supplies, spare parts and experiment hardware.

While the normal launch-to-docking mission profile for a Russian cargo craft is two days or 34 orbits, Progress 48 docked after just four orbits. The exercise was designed to test a shortened transit plan to the station for possible use on future Soyuz missions to the complex.

The International Space Station is currently hosting three different cargo ships. Japan’s H-II Transfer Vehicle-3 arrived Friday evening and is berthed to the Harmony node. Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-3, also known as the “Edoardo Amaldi,” docked to the Zvezda service module on March 28.

Station Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko opened the hatch to the Progress to begin unloading supplies. Flight Engineer Sergei Revin aided them by taking air samples from the newly arrived ship.

Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide participated in 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 during spaceflight, necessary adjustments can be made to spacewalk exercise countermeasures.

Hoshide joined Flight Engineer Joe Acaba in deploying refreshed portable breathing apparatus devices throughout the station. Acaba also worked with 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.

Suni Williams, also a flight engineer, spent time on the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test science payload. In this experiment, also known as BCAT-5, 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.

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