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Expedition 34 Works With Science Experiments

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:23 pm via: NASA
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Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin moved into their second full day as the Expedition 34 crew Tuesday conducting biological research and performing routine maintenance on systems aboard the International Space Station.

They have been working as a three-person crew since the departure of their Expedition 33 crewmates — Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineers Aki Hoshide and Yuri Malenchenko – on Sunday.

Ford spent most of his time with MOST, short for the Medaka Osteoclast experiment, which takes a look at the loss of bone density in Medaka fish living within the Aquatic Habitat facility aboard the station. Astronauts experience a loss of bone density during long-duration spaceflight, and Japanese scientists are using the Medaka fish as a model animal to understand the causes.

Ford also set up hardware for the Microbe-III experiment, which monitors for the presence of bacteria and fungi in the Kibo module. The experiment employs new sampling techniques that will be used to maintain a microbiologically safe environment within the station.

The commander took a break from his work for a ham radio call from students in Maddaloni, Italy, and answered questions about living and working aboard the space station.

Later, Ford recorded a special Thanksgiving message and provided a quick tour of the food that he and his crew will enjoy on Thursday.

In the Russian segment of the station, Novitskiy and Tarelkin spent their morning on weekly housekeeping tasks as they inspected and cleaned laptop computers. Afterward, Novitskiy participated in Crew Medical Officer proficiency training, while Tarelkin performed routine maintenance on the Russian toilet.

Meanwhile at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, the three flight engineers who will restore Expedition 34 to its full six-person complement are preparing for a Dec. 19 launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft. NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, and Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Roman Romanenko conducted a suited Soyuz simulation Tuesday as they prepare for their final qualification exams next week.

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