Science and Spacewalk Preps Wrap Up Busy Week for Station Crew
The six Expedition 35 crew members focused on experiment work and spacewalk preparations Friday as they wrapped-up a busy work week aboard the International Space Station.
Commander Chris Hadfield and Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn worked with the Energy experiment, which measures the changes in a crew member’s energy balance and total energy expenditure following long term space flight.
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Hadfield and Marshburn also performed Panoptic eye exams as part of the station’s Health Maintenance System. The data was then downlinked for analysis by medical ground support teams to study the effect of microgravity on sight.
› Read more about astronaut vision
Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy worked with an experiment known as Burning And Suppression of Solids, or BASS, which studies how a variety of solid materials burn and extinguish in microgravity. Results from BASS may lead to improvements in spacecraft materials selection, strategies for extinguishing accidental fires aboard spacecraft and improved computational models used in the design of fire detection and suppression systems here on Earth.
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Flight Engineers Pavel Vinogradov and Roman Romanenko organized tools and hardware in the Pirs docking compartment airlock to prepare for an upcoming Russian spacewalk set for April 19. Hadfield assisted by gathering U.S. spacewalking tools for use during the excursion.
During the spacewalk, Vinogradov and Romanenko are set to install and retrieve experiment packages on the exterior of the Zvezda service module and to replace a reflector device that will facilitate the automated docking of the European Space Agency’s “Albert Einstein” Automated Transfer Vehicle-4 when it arrives at the orbiting complex in June.
Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin worked in the Russian segment of the station, performing a variety of maintenance duties and monitoring its various life support systems.
As the newest station residents, Vinogradov, Cassidy and Misurkin also had some time set aside for familiarization and orientation activities to help them get used to their new home aboard the orbiting outpost.
› Read more about their launch and docking
Earlier this week, Hadfield and Marshburn installed the new High Rate Communications System hardware that will increase the number of station downlink video channels from four to six, and the number of space-to-ground audio channels from two to four. The redundant Ku Comm Unit 1 is set to be installed on April 11.
Over the weekend, the station residents will continue ongoing scientific research and perform their regular maintenance duties. They also will enjoy some off-duty time and have an opportunity to speak with family members.
› Read more about Expedition 35