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Crew Ramps Up Science After New Treadmill Installed
05.23.13
 
Astronaut Chris Cassidy

Chris Cassidy talks to students from the Talbot Innovation Middle School in Fall River, Mass. about the SPHERES experiment. Credit: NASA TV

Tornado tracks

Tracks from tornados that hit near Oklahoma City. Credit: NASA TV
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The Expedition 36 trio aboard the International Space Station is stepping up science work after several days of treadmill installation activities. The crew also had an opportunity during an orbital pass to photograph the tornado damage surrounding Oklahoma City, but it appeared cloud cover obscured the area.

Commander Pavel Vinogradov set up and worked with the ongoing Russian experiment Kulonovskiy Kristall. The study observes the dynamics of charged macroparticle systems in a magnetic field under microgravity conditions. The results of the study could be used on future spacecraft and advanced photovoltaic cells.

Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy spent some time with the long-running SPHERES experiment, also known as Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites. The experiment is run in conjunction with students who program bowling ball-sized satellites using algorithms. The free-floating satellites are programmed to perform maneuvers potentially influencing the design of future missions.

› Read more about SPHERES

Cassidy held a second event with students at the Talbot Innovation Middle School in Fall River, Mass. This event was held on NASA Television with students asking questions about life in space. Wednesday’s event was conducted during a ham radio pass.

The space station has a new treadmill, replacing the older Treadmill with Vibration Isolation System, that was installed this week inside the Zvezda service module. Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin, assisted by Vinogradov, removed and disassembled the old TVIS and replaced it with a new TVIS.

› Read more about the Treadmill with Vibration Isolation System

Misurkin is checking out the new treadmill before operations begin on the exercise device. The new treadmill was delivered aboard the ISS Progress 51 resupply craft in April. The old TVIS has been temporarily stowed.

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, three new Expedition 36 crew members are preparing to join their orbiting crewmates. Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano will launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft Tuesday at 4:31 p.m. EDT. The new space trio will dock to the Rassvet module just four orbits – or about six hours – later.

› Read more about Expedition 36