The six-member Expedition 38 crew has spent the week participating in biomedical experiments observing how the human body adapts to long duration missions in space. The crew collected blood, urine and saliva samples; performed ear and eye exams; and studied how a crew member moves in space.
Flight Engineers Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio conducted another round of ultrasound eye exams for the Ocular Health study. The data is sent to the ground in real time with remote guidance from doctors reviewing the results.
Hopkins also paired up with Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata using an electrocardiogram to measure heart rate and blood pressure. Wakata also wore ultrasound gear around his legs while exercising for the Sprint experiment. Both of those activities were monitored in real time by doctors on the ground.
A new Russian resupply craft will launch Monday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, delivering food, fuel and supplies to replenish the station crew. The Progress 53 cargo craft will take a longer route to the station so mission controllers can test a new automated rendezvous system.
It will fly by the station Wednesday coming within less than a mile and finally arrive for a docking to the Zvezda service module on Friday. The fly by is meant to test the enhanced rendezvous system before it is integrated into the newer Soyuz and Progress spacecraft.
In the Russian segment of the station, Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin practiced manual rendezvous techniques in case the Progress 53 encounters problems with its new rendezvous system. The duo practiced inside the Zvezda using the TORU, or telerobotically operated Rendezvous system.
Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy replaced dust filters, checked communication systems and audited head sets. He also worked on the long-running Matryoshka experiment that observes the effects of space radiation on the human body.