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Departure Preps and Science Experiments for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Nov 5, 2012 11:35 pm via: NASA
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The Expedition 33 crew aboard the International Space Station made preparations for the upcoming departure of three of its crew members and performed a variety of science experiments aboard the orbiting laboratory on Monday.

Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineers Aki Hoshide and Yuri Malenchenko reviewed descent procedures to prepare for their upcoming departure from the station. The trio is currently set to undock from the station’s Rassvet module and return to Earth in their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft on Nov. 18.

Williams and Hoshide also worked with the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment, which observes a crew member exercising while using ultrasound in an effort to measure the weakening of the heart that occurs in microgravity.

Hoshide swapped out test samples in the NanoStep experiment, which studies the growth of protein crystals in a weightless environment.

Flight Engineer Kevin Ford inspected the Portable Emergency Provisions, which includes the Portable Breathing Apparatus and the Portable Fire Extinguisher.

Ford, along with Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin, had some time set aside for crew orientation activities to become accustomed to living aboard the orbiting complex. The trio arrived in their Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft on Oct. 26, beginning a five month stay aboard the station.

Malenchenko, Novitskiy and Tarelkin worked in the Russian segment of the station, monitoring its systems and performing a variety of housekeeping and maintenance duties.

Malenchenko also worked with the Plasma Crystal experiment, an investigation of the behavior of plasma-dust structures in space.

Novitskiy and Tarelkin spent some time working with a Russian experiment known as Kaskad, which investigates cultivation processes of micro-organism, animal and human cells in microgravity.

Novitskiy 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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