Crew Cleans Up Furnace, Transfers Cargo
In their third full day as the Expedition 34 crew aboard the International Space Station, Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin tackled a full workload of science and station maintenance Wednesday.
Ford spent much of his day cleaning up the cooling zone of the Materials Science Laboratory’s Solidification and Quenching Furnace. This metallurgical research furnace provides three heater zones to ensure accurate temperature profiles and maintain a sample's required temperature variations throughout the solidification process. It’s just one part of the Materials Science Research Rack (MSRR), which allows for the on-orbit study of a variety of materials -- including metals, ceramics, semi-conductor crystals and glasses.
› Read more about MSRR
Ford also saved data from the Microbe-III experiment, which monitors for the presence of bacteria and fungi in the Kibo module. The experiment employs new sampling techniques that will be used to maintain a microbiologically safe environment within the station.
› Read more about Microbe-III
Tarelkin, who began his day by providing blood and saliva sample for an ongoing study of the effects of weightlessness on the human body, conducted an audit of the lights in the Russian segment of the station.
Novitskiy focused on cargo operations with a pair of Progress resupply ships currently visiting the station. He transferred items out of the ISS Progress 49 vehicle docked at the aft end of the Zvezda service module and loaded trash and unneeded items into the ISS Progress 48 at the Pirs docking compartment. Both Progress ships will be undocked next year for a destructive re-entry for disposal.
All three crew members have an off-duty day Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving. The crew will enjoy space-food versions of traditional holiday favorites such as irradiated smoked turkey, thermo-stabilized candied yams and cornbread dressing.
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› Watch Expedition 34 Thanksgiving message
Meanwhile at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, the three flight engineers who will restore Expedition 34 to its full six-person complement are preparing for a Dec. 19 launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft. NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, and Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Roman Romanenko reviewed systems and science data files for the Russian segment of the station.