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Crew Off and Running With Treadmill Maintenance Marathon

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:04 am
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(NASA) – The Expedition 19 crew kicked off the first of four days of planned maintenance activities on the International Space Station’s exercise treadmill Tuesday.

Working in the station’s Zvezda service module, flight engineers Mike Barratt and Koichi Wakata removed the Treadmill Vibration Isolation System, or TVIS, from its recessed location to begin thorough maintenance of all its components. After removing the left chassis side plate of the treadmill, Barratt was able to slip the tread belt off so he and Wakata could begin uninstalling all fifty of the roller bearing assemblies.

Image above: Expedition 19 Commander Gennady Padalka equipped with a bungee harness, exercises on the Treadmill Vibration Isolation System in the Zvezda service module of the International Space Station on April 15. Credit: NASA

The TVIS, which crew members run on while they are held down by bungee cords, is an important part of the exercise regimen aboard the station. Each crew member exercises for 2 ½ hours daily to stave off the effects of long-term exposure to weightlessness.

A new treadmill is targeted for delivery to the station by the STS-128 crew aboard space shuttle Discovery in August. The Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, or COLBERT, was named after comedian Stephen Colbert.

Meanwhile, Commander Gennady Padalka focused on science, photographing an ongoing educational study of physics in microgravity. Padalka also took advantage of the removal of TVIS to work with an experiment designed to seek air leaks under the treadmill’s installed location.

Throughout the day, the crew had time set aside for Earth observation and photography. The targets for Tuesday included the Irrawaddy Delta in Burma, which suffered severe damage from Cyclone Nargis in 2008, as well as the cities of Berlin and Paris.

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