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Station Crew Members Perform Medical Experiments and Prep for Departure

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:18 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 33 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station were busy with medical research Friday as preparations continue for the upcoming departure of Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineers Aki Hoshide and Yuri Malenchenko.

Williams, Hoshide and Flight Engineer Kevin Ford performed ultrasound eye scans and downlinked the data for analysis by medical ground support teams to study the effect of microgravity on sight.

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

Hoshide performed some maintenance on the Aquatic Habitat in the Kibo laboratory, removing air bubbles from aquariums 1 and 2.

Williams, Hoshide and Malenchenko had some time set aside to continue preparations for their upcoming departure from the station. The trio is set to undock and return to Earth in their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft on Nov. 18. Expedition 34 will officially begin when the departing trio undocks from the from the station’s Rassvet module.

Ford and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin will remain aboard the station, with Ford taking command of the orbiting complex. Williams is set to hand over station command duties to Ford during a traditional change of command ceremony on Nov. 17.

Ford, Novitskiy and Tarelkin, had time scheduled for ongoing 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 and Tarelkin also participated in a Russian medical test called SPRUT-2, which investigates the distribution and behavior of human body fluids in zero gravity.

Over the weekend, the station residents will continue ongoing scientific research and perform their regular maintenance duties. They also will enjoy some off-duty time and have an opportunity to speak with family members.

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