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Crew Performs Science, Prepares Progress for Undocking

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:54 am
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(NASA) – The Expedition 20 crew aboard the International Space Station was busy Thursday with science experiments and preparations for next week’s departure of the ISS Progress 33 cargo ship.

Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko set up and conducted sessions of a Russian biomedical signal response experiment. The experiment uses hand controllers to test piloting skill in simulations on a laptop and the response to the effects of stress factors in flight.

Flight engineers Mike Barratt and Koichi Wakata worked with a medical experiment that tests the performance of a leg pressure cuff and ultrasound imaging to monitor fluid shifts that occur in the space environment. The cuff is a Russian device used to help prepare cosmonauts for the return to gravity after long stays in orbit. Understanding the effects of this countermeasure on the heart and circulatory system will be useful for both medical operations and future research on orbit and on Earth.

Flight Engineer Bob Thirsk conducted light tests, taking light temperature readings at various workstations and reporting them to ground controllers. The data collected will help provide a better understanding of work light usage in the low airflow environment aboard the station.

Throughout the day, Padalka, Romanenko and Flight Engineer Frank De Winne stowed unneeded items and trash into the Progress 33 cargo ship that is scheduled for undocking Tuesday. Its departure will clear the Pirs docking compartment for the relocation of the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft on July 2.

The Progress 33 cargo ship docked to the station’s Pirs docking compartment May 12 with more than 2 ½ tons of food, fuel and supplies needed to help sustain the crew during its stay aboard the station.

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