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Eye and Ear Exams for Crew Including Fluids and Space Science Work
November 21, 2013

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The six Expedition 38 crew members living and working on the International Space Station conducted numerous science experiments to benefit life on Earth and in space. The multinational crew also worked to keep their bodies and the orbital laboratory in tip top shape.

Flight Engineers Mike Hopkins and Koichi Wakata both conducted hearing tests. The duo also collected their blood and urine samples for stowage inside a science freezer and later analysis. The tools and stowage used for the biological samples are part of the Human Research Facility consisting of two laboratory racks which are dedicated to studying life in space.

› Human Research Facility-1
› Human Research Facility-2

Hopkins participated in an eye exam conducted by Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio with remote guidance by doctors on the ground. The astronauts used Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) a diagnostic imaging technique that measurements of retinal thickness, volume, and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness.

At the end of the day Hopkins joined Wakata for another eye exam collecting reference images with a Fundoscope. Again, the astronauts were working with remote assistance from the ground. Both eye exams, OCT and Fundoscope, are part of the Ocular Health life sciences experiment.

› Read more about Ocular Health

Wakata spent most of his workday on a fluid physics experiment. He set up a work area, configured tools and ran tests for the ongoing study in the Destiny laboratory. The Capillary Flow Experiment-2 observes how liquids behave in microgravity which could benefit water and fuel delivery systems on future spacecraft. Scientists are researching properties of fluids and bubbles inside containers with a specific 3-D geometry.

Inside the station’s Russian segment, the three cosmonauts Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineers Sergey Ryazanskiy and Mikhail Tyurin, also worked ongoing science and maintenance. Kotov worked throughout the day cleaning fans and filters and checking computers and connecting cables.

Earth and space science have been an important part of Russian microgravity research since the space station began 15 years ago. For the Seiner study Tyurin photographed parts of the world’s oceans to locate productive habitats for fisheries. Ryazanskiy downloaded data collected for the Obstanovka experiment which measures the Earth’s ionosphere electromagnetic state and how it affects the space station.

› Read more about Seiner
› Read more about Obstanovka

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Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy
Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy enjoys a meal at the gallery inside the Zvezda service module.
Image Credit: 
NASA TV
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Commander Oleg Kotov
Commander Oleg Kotov enjoys a meal at the gallery inside the Zvezda service module.
Image Credit: 
NASA TV
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Page Last Updated: November 21st, 2013
Page Editor: Mark Garcia