Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao and Cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov picked up the pace of scientific, maintenance and familiarization activities aboard the International Space Station this week.
A highlight of the week's scientific activities was work with an advanced diagnostic method that could be important to medical care of future crewmembers on long spaceflights. It also could improve medical care in remote areas and emergency medical care on Earth.
The crew devoted considerable time on Thursday and Friday to the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity (ADUM) experiment. The experiment looks at whether crewmembers can perform advanced ultrasound examinations after undergoing computer-based training. Data is sent as the scan is done in space to physicians on the ground, who use it in making a diagnosis.
Chiao, who also is NASA ISS science officer, used Sharipov as an ADUM subject on Thursday, and Sharipov did test scans on Chiao on Friday.
Both crewmembers participated in an emergency medical drill Thursday, looking at procedures and use of Crew Health Care Systems equipment. Later that day Sharipov relocated the Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter (TEPC) within the U.S. laboratory Destiny. The device continuously records radiation readings. It is moved periodically to provide information from throughout the Station.
Chiao worked with the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test (BCAT). It looks at long-term behavior of colloids, particles suspended in liquids like ink, paint and milk, in microgravity. Results should help determine what types of colloids should be studied by future station crews. Chiao spent a little over two hours on BCAT Monday, and worked periodically with the experiment later in the week.
Crewmembers continued their regular exercise sessions and Station maintenance chores. Activities included replacement of smoke detectors in the Zarya module. On Thursday Sharipov spent about an hour and a half checking the continuity of cables on the European Space Agency/Russian Global Timing System. GTS broadcasts time signals downward for global time synchronization. It has had occasional problems recently.
On Tuesday, Election Day, Chiao talked with reporters from Fox News and Associated Press. The conversations focused on Chiao having become the first person in space to vote in a U.S. presidential election when he cast his ballot by e-mail Oct. 31.
Next Monday Chiao and Sharipov will carry out proficiency training in operating the Space Station robotic arm, Canadarm2. To practice their work with the arm, the crew will maneuver the arm to provide camera views of an area of interest on the U.S. Lab module's exterior debris shielding. The area may be a shadow or possibly a dent in the shielding. The area has been observed in previous imagery taken during a Space Shuttle flight several years ago. On Friday the crew will operate the arm again to position its cameras in a prime viewing location for the relocation of the Soyuz by the crew later this month.
Meanwhile, Expedition 9 NASA Science Officer Mike Fincke and Commander Gennady Padalka are at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. They are conducting debriefings and rehabilitation as they readapt to Earth's gravity. They are scheduled to return to Houston later this month.
Information on the crew's activities aboard the Space Station, future launch dates, as well as Station sighting opportunities from anywhere on the Earth, is available on the Internet at: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/
Details on Station science operations can be found on an Internet site administered by the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., at: http://scipoc.msfc.nasa.gov/
The next ISS status report will be issued on Friday, Nov. 12, or earlier if events warrant.
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