International Science and Systems Maintenance for Station Crew
The Expedition 34 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station were busy with a variety of science experiments Wednesday as they continued the ongoing maintenance of the systems aboard the orbiting laboratory.
Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn worked with the Capillary Flow Experiment, which investigates how fluids flow across surfaces in a weightless environment. Results from this experiment will improve computer models used to design fluid transfer systems and fuel tanks on future spacecraft.
› Read more about the Capillary Flow Experiment
Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield conducted an annual overhaul of the Waste and Hygiene Compartment, cleaning and inspecting its components to ensure it is in proper working order.
Ford also replaced components for the Multi-user Droplet Combustion Apparatus (MDCA) installed in the Combustion Integrated Rack. The MDCA contains hardware and software to conduct unique droplet combustion experiments in space. Understanding how liquid fuel droplets ignite, spread and extinguish under microgravity conditions will help scientists develop more efficient energy production and propulsion systems, reduce combustion-generated pollution and mitigate fire hazards associated with liquid combustibles on Earth and in space.
› Read more about the Combustion Integrated Rack
Marshburn and Hadfield had time set aside for crew orientation activities to become accustomed to living and working aboard the orbiting complex. Marshburn, Hadfield and Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko arrived in their Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft on Dec. 21 to begin a five month stay aboard the complex.
Romanenko and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin worked in the Russian segment of the station performing routine maintenance on its life support systems, transferring cargo and conducting science experiments.
Novitskiy and Tarelkin spent some time with the BAR experiment, which looks at methods and instruments for detecting the location of an air leak from one of the station’s modules, while Romanenko and Tarelkin worked with a Russian experiment studying plasma crystal formation in microgravity.
› Read more about BAR
› Learn more about Plasma Crystal