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Station Crew Members Prepare for Departure

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:00 am via: NASA
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Aboard the International Space Station Friday, Expedition 32 Commander Gennady Padalka spent time packing items into the Soyuz TMA-04M for return to Earth. Padalka and Flight Engineers Sergei Revin and Joe Acaba are scheduled to undock from the station in the Soyuz at 7:09 p.m. EDT Sunday, landing a few hours later in the steppe of Kazakhstan at 10:53 p.m.

Padalka will ceremonially hand command of the station over to Flight Engineer and Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams on Saturday at 2:35 p.m. Expedition 33 will officially begin at undocking with Williams taking command of the station. Williams and Flight Engineers Aki Hoshide and Yuri Malenchenko are scheduled to continue their stay aboard the station until Nov. 12.

Acaba performed a repair and replace of the Fluids Control and Pump Assembly in the orbital complex’s Water Recovery System Friday. He also checked the status of the WRS’s Contingency Water Containers.

Williams participated in the Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Study, known as Sprint. The experiment involves ultrasound imagery taken of her leg during a shorter, more intense workout 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. She also did some maintenance on the Potable Water Dispenser’s Beverage Adapter.

Hoshide worked with the Aquatic Habitat facility. Delivered aboard the recently departed H-II Transfer Vehicle-3, the facility provides a new option for the study of small, freshwater fish on orbit. The Aquatic Habitat is located in the Kibo module and is basically a set of two half-liter aquariums that can support to up to 12 fish at a time. It includes a filter, an LED lighting system, automatic feeders and a water oxygenation system. Scientists have multiple studies planned to look at the impacts of radiation, bone degradation, muscle atrophy and developmental biology.

Malenchenko participated in a Russian medical test called SPRUT-2, which investigates the distribution and behavior of human body fluids in zero gravity.

Revin cleaned dust collectors and fan screens in the station’s ventilation system and took microbial samples from several Russian experiments for return to Earth.

Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-3 fired its engines Thursday during a reboost of the station. The orbit adjustment will place the station in a higher orbit to accommodate the undocking of the Soyuz TMA-04M.

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