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Science Experiments for Crew Inside, Robotics Ops Outside Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:56 pm via: NASA
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The Expedition 34 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station were busy with a variety of science experiments and research Tuesday, while ground-commanded robotics continued on the exterior of the orbiting complex.

Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn worked with the Capillary Flow Experiment-3, which investigates how fluids flow across surfaces in a weightless environment. Results from this experiment will improve computer models used to design fluid transfer systems and fuel tanks on future spacecraft.

Marshburn continued work with a spacesuit cooling loop maintenance procedure that is part of an International Space Station Testbed for Analog Research (ISTAR) activity that mimics robotic and remotely controlled activities that may one day be used on a voyage to Mars.

Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield worked with the InSPACE-3 experiment, which examines the physical property changes in fluids containing ellipsoid-shaped particles when a magnetic field is applied. These colloidal fluids are classified as smart materials, transitioning to a solid-like state in the presence of a magnetic field, and this technology may lead to the design of bridges and buildings that can better withstand earthquakes.

Commander Kevin Ford collected hardware and performed some adjustments on the Amine Swingbed to prepare for its periodic maintenance. The Amine Swingbed is a technology demonstration of a smaller, more efficient system to scrub carbon dioxide from the atmosphere of a future spacecraft.

Ford also took photos of the various payload racks aboard the orbiting laboratory to document any configuration changes for the Payload Operations Center personnel at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Flight Engineers Evgeny Tarelkin, Oleg Novitskiy and Roman performed various inspections and maintenance duties in the Russian segment of the station, tagging-up with flight control teams in Russia as needed. The three cosmonauts also had some time set aside to record a video documenting their time aboard the station.

Tarelkin worked with a Russian experiment known as Relaxation, which examines chemical luminescent reactions from jet engine exhaust in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Romanenko worked with the Kulonovskiy Kristall experiment which studies plasma dust structures and later conducted ocean photography for the Seiner experiment.

Meanwhile, ground-commanded robotics continued for flight controllers as they commanded Canadarm2, the station’s 57.7-foot robotic arm, and Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency’s twin-armed robotic “handyman,” to transfer and store equipment on the exterior of the orbiting complex. Tuesday’s robotic work included the transfer of a Cargo Transport Carrier from the External Logistics Carrier 2 to a temporary stowage location on Dextre’s equipment holder.

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