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Station Crew Back at Work After Spacewalk, Soyuz Departure
November 12, 2013

[image-81]The International Space Station’s Expedition 38 crew was back at work Tuesday with science and maintenance tasks after a day off to recover from a whirlwind of Soyuz departure and spacewalk activities.

Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy spent their morning removing U.S. helmet cameras and lights from the Orlan spacesuits they wore during a 5-hour, 50-minute spacewalk on Saturday to take the Olympic torch outside for a photo opportunity and configure an optical camera pointing platform. After a conference call with spacewalk specialists at Russian mission control center, the two cosmonauts stowed their spacesuits as well as the tools they used during the excursion.

› Read more about the spacewalk

[image-65]The Olympic torch, which arrived to the station Thursday aboard the Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft along with Expedition 38 Flight Engineers Rick Mastracchio, Mikhail Tyurin and Koichi Wakata, returned to Earth on Sunday aboard a Soyuz carrying three departing Expedition 37 crew members. Expedition 37 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano landed their Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft in the steppe of Kazakhstan at 9:49 p.m. EST Sunday (8:49 a.m. Monday, Kazakh time), wrapping up a 166-day mission aboard the orbiting complex.

› Read more about the Expedition 38 crew launch
› Read more about the Expedition 37 crew landing

Wakata, Mastracchio and Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins began their day changing out a recycle tank inside the Water Recovery System. This system recycles condensation and urine into drinkable water, reducing the amount of fresh water that must be sent to the crew aboard resupply ships.

Mastracchio and Hopkins later checked in on several of the numerous experiments taking place every day aboard the orbiting complex. The two NASA astronauts took a look at the InSpace-3 experiment. This study examines colloidal fluids classified as smart materials, which transition to a solid-like state in the presence of a magnetic field. New manufacturing models based on the idea of having these nanoparticles act as self-assembling building blocks could be used to improve or develop active mechanical systems such as new brake systems, seat suspensions, stress transducers, robotics, rovers, airplane landing gears and vibration damping systems.

› Read more about InSpace-3

Hopkins and Mastracchio also spent some time with the Capillary Flow Experiment. Results from this experiment, which takes a close look at how fluids flow across surfaces with complex geometries in a weightless environment, will improve computer models used to design fluid transfer systems and fuel tanks on future spacecraft. These systems are crucial as NASA develops technologies that will take astronauts deeper into space than ever before.

› Read more about the Capillary Flow Experiment

[image-51]Taking a break from their work, Hopkins and Mastracchio spoke with Anna Carrera of WCIA-TV in Champaign, Ill, to discuss life aboard the station. Hopkins, who graduated from the University of Illinois in 1991, was a defensive back and team captain on the Fighting Illini football team during his years in Champaign.

› Watch the interview

All six space station residents tagged up for a discussion of their roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency aboard the station. As the newest crew members, Wakata, Mastracchio and Tyurin also had an hour set aside to become reacquainted with living and working in space.

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Aboard the International Space Station, Flight Engineers Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio talk with WCIA-TV in Champaign, Ill.
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201311110025hq: Expedition 37 NASA Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg
Expedition 37 NASA Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg gives the thumbs up as she is carried to the inflatable medical tent after her landing in the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft in a remote area southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, Nov. 11, 2013, Kazakh time.
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NASA/Carla Cioffi
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Astronauts Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio
Flight Engineers Mike Hopkins (left) and Rick Mastracchio work with the Capillary Flow Experiment aboard the International Space Station.
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Page Last Updated: November 12th, 2013
Page Editor: Jerry Wright