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Departure Preps, Science for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:44 am via: NASA
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Expedition 32 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineers Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin performed fit checks Monday of the entry suits they will wear when they depart from the International Space Station aboard their Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft. The trio arrived at the station in May and will undock and return to Earth on Sunday.

Padalka and Revin also participated in a descent simulation in preparation for the departure.

Acaba 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.

Acaba and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide spent time reviewing robotics procedures for Wednesday’s unberthing of the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle-3 (HTV-3). The pair will use Canadarm2, the station’s robotic arm, to detach HTV-3 from the Harmony node and release the cargo craft, like its predecessors, for a fiery re-entry over the Pacific Ocean. Acaba and Hoshide grappled and berthed HTV-3 to the Earth-facing side of the Harmony node on July 27.

Flight Engineer Suni Williams 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.

Williams also collected blood and urine samples for the Human Research Facility, which she stored in the Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer, and she performed a routine inspection of one of the station’s treadmills.

Meanwhile, in the Russian section of the orbital complex, Padalka worked with the Coulomb Crystal experiment, which is an investigation into the formation and interaction of electrically charged particles.

Revin took photos of a microorganism experiment that will be returning to Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-04M, and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko performed some routine maintenance on the Russian toilet system.

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