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Station Crew Conducts Science While Awaiting Next Cargo Launch

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Feb 4, 2014 9:21 pm via: NASA
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While awaiting the launch of the next shipment of supplies to the International Space Station, the six-person Expedition 38 crew participated in a wide range of experiments studying the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body Tuesday.

Flight Engineer Mike Hopkins spent much of his morning participating in the Body Measures experiment, which collects anthropometric data to help researchers understand the magnitude and variability of the changes to body measurements during spaceflight. Predicting these changes will maximize crew performance, prevent injury and reduce time spent altering or adjusting spacesuits and workstations.

The ISS Progress 54 cargo craft awaits its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Image Credit: Russian Federal Space Agency

The ISS Progress 54 cargo craft awaits its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Image Credit: Russian Federal Space Agency

The investigation also could help scientists understand the effects of prolonged bed rest, which produces physiological changes similar to those experienced in microgravity. Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata assisted Hopkins throughout the experiment session, setting up the calibration tape, collecting data and taking photographs.

Wakata also conducted an ultrasound scan on Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio for the ongoing Spinal Ultrasound investigation. Medical researchers have observed that astronauts grow up to three percent taller during their long duration missions aboard the station and return to their normal height when back on Earth. The Spinal Ultrasound investigation seeks to understand the mechanism and impact of this change while advancing medical imaging technology by testing a smaller and more portable ultrasound device aboard the station.

Wakata took a break from his work to talk with students from Fukuoka Prefecture and Kyushu University in his home country of Japan.

Hopkins and Wakata spent the afternoon loading the Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus cargo craft with trash for disposal when that vehicle departs the station on Feb. 18 for a destructive re-entry over the Pacific Ocean. Cygnus delivered over 2,700 pounds of cargo including crew provisions and scientific gear when it arrived at the station Jan. 13.

Hopkins also read up on procedures and gathered hardware for his upcoming session with the BP Reg experiment. This is a Canadian medical study that seeks to understand the causes of fainting and dizziness seen in some astronauts when they return to Earth following a long-duration mission. Results from this experiment will not only help researchers understand dizziness in astronauts, but it also will have direct benefits for people on Earth – particularly those predisposed to falls and resulting injuries, as seen in the elderly.

Mastracchio meanwhile changed out a recycle tank in the station’s Water Recovery System, which recycles condensation and urine into drinkable water, thereby reducing the amount of fresh water that must be sent to the crew aboard resupply ships.

On the Russian side of the complex, Commander Oleg Kotov conducted a biochemical analysis of his blood for the Splanh experiment, which is taking a look at the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the digestive system. The commander also performed the Seiner ocean-observation study, documenting color bloom patterns in the oceans’ waters for the fishing industry.

Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy downloaded data from an earthquake-monitoring experiment known as Seismoprognoz. He and Kotov installed the hardware for Seismoprognoz on the exterior of the station during a spacewalk on Dec. 27.

The third Russian cosmonaut aboard the station, Mikhail Tyurin, set up a camera to record the operation of the Kaplya-2 experiment, which is studying the fluid motion and heat transfer of monodisperse drop flows in space. Tyurin also collected dosimeter readings for the Matryoshka experiment. Named after the traditional Russian nesting dolls, Matryoshka analyzes the radiation environment onboard the station.

Meanwhile at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, preparations continue for the launch of the ISS Progress 54 cargo craft Wednesday at 11:23 a.m. EST (10:23 p.m. Baikonur time) for an accelerated 6-hour, 4-orbit journey to the station.  When the new Progress docks with the station’s Pirs docking compartment at 5:25 p.m., it will deliver 1,764 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water and 2,897 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware and other supplies to the orbiting complex.

The ISS Progress 52 cargo craft, which undocked from Pirs on Monday to make way for Progress 54, will conduct several days of tests to study thermal effects of space on its attitude control system before it is ultimately de-orbited Feb. 11 for a fiery demise over the Pacific.

The medical scientific research is done smoothly and transformation of organic matter to desired quality also the forthcoming crew and data of not less than 7250 + pounds will be handled as is rehearsed. For.ISS is ready to accept data from 54 craft will launch from khazakistan space center.
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