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New Expedition 34 Crew Members Ready for Launch
201212180009hq -- Expedition 34 crew members

Expedition 34/35 Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn of NASA, left, Soyuz Commander Roman Romanenko and Canadian Space Agency Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield, right, pose for a photo at a press conference held at the Cosmonaut Hotel, on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi

Final launch preparations are under way at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as three new Expedition 34 crew members are ready to begin a two-day journey to join their crewmates aboard the International Space Station.

Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn, Roman Romanenko and Chris Hadfield are set to launch aboard their Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft at 7:12 a.m. EST (6:12 p.m. Baikonur time) Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.

Coverage of the launch will begin at 6 a.m. Wednesday on NASA TV.

› NASA TV schedule for Soyuz launch coverage
› Watch NASA TV

The new trio will join current station residents Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin when they dock their Soyuz to the Rassvet module at 9:12 a.m. Friday.

Meanwhile aboard the orbiting laboratory, Ford, Novitskiy and Tarelkin were busy with a variety of science experiments and maintenance duties Tuesday as they await the launch and arrival of their crew mates.

Commander Kevin Ford measured the water quality inside the Aquatic Habitat, which is currently home to some space-faring Medaka fish. Astronauts experience a loss of bone density during long-duration spaceflight, and Japanese scientists are using the fish as a model animal to understand the causes with the Medaka Osteoclast experiment.

› Read more about Medaka Osteoclast
› Read more about the Aquatic Habitat

Ford also performed some regular maintenance on the COLBERT treadmill in the Tranquility node and routed a LAN cable into the cupola.

iss034e005682 -- Evgeny Tarelkin

Flight Engineer Evgeny Tarelkin floats through a hatchway between the Unity node (background) and the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Novitskiy worked on the Coulomb Crystal experiment, which studies the dynamics of solid dispersed environments in an inhomogeneous magnetic field in microgravity. He also completed some onboard training in his role as a Crew Medical Officer and continued to unload supplies from the ISS Progress 49 cargo craft.

Tarelkin worked with the Identifikatsia experiment, which investigates dynamic loads on the station during events such as dockings, reboosts and crew exercise sessions.

› Read more about Identifikatsia

He also downloaded some data from the radiation dosimeters in the Russian segment and continued packing the ISS Progress 48 cargo craft with trash and other unneeded items.

› Send a holiday postcard to the station crew

› Read more about Expedition 34