Advanced Science and Robotics Tests for Expedition 35
The six-member Expedition 35 crew continues its focus on international science promoting advances in space technology and down-to-Earth technology. The crew is also working to maintain the systems that keep the space station in orbit and in service.
Life science is one the most important activities onboard the station as scientists learn how crew members adapt to long-term missions in space. Numerous resources are available on the station to study long-term weightlessness and counteract its effects as NASA plans to send humans beyond low-Earth orbit.
Commander Chris Hadfield collected blood samples for stowage and processing as part of the Vascular experiment. The study observes how microgravity affects the blood vessels and accelerates aging in astronauts.
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Flight Engineers Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn took ultrasound scans of their spines and carotid arteries. The images will be downloaded to the ground for investigators to analyze.
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Marshburn, Hadfield and Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko later gathered personal items for their return home May 14 inside the Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft. The homebound trio started their day with a conference with the search and recovery forces that will monitor their landing in Kazakhstan.
On the Russian side of the space station, Flight Engineers Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin conducted their own life science work collecting blood, urine and saliva samples for stowage and analysis. After that work the two cosmonauts worked on maintenance of Russian systems and other science experiments.
On the ground, controllers are readying the Canadarm2 and Dextre, the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, for another Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) demonstration on the International Space Station. The RRM uses fine-tuned robotics to test the concept that satellites never meant to be serviced can be fueled and fixed in space.
› Read more about the Robotic Refueling Mission
In Star City, Russia, three new station crew members are training for their May 28 mission to replace the out-going Expedition 35 trio. Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin, Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano will launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft and dock about six hours later to the Rassvet module.
› Read more about Expedition 35