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Science Work and Communication Upgrades Take Up Crew’s Day
Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn

Tom Marshburn demonstrates how liquid forms a ball in microgravity to North Carolina students. Credit: NASA TV

Apollo 17 Commander Eugene Cernan

Apollo 17 Commander Eugene Cernan visits Mission Control Tuesday and gives a thumbs-up to the Expedition 34 crew. Credit: NASA TV
› Watch video of the visit

The six-member Expedition 34 crew worked throughout the International Space Station ensuring its systems and ongoing science experiments function safely and continuously. The station residents also exercised for two hours to stay fit and counter the effects of a long-duration mission in space.

Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn spoke to students from his native home state. Speaking from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, the kids asked questions such as what it’s like to eat in space and work in stiff spacesuits.

Marshburn spent most of his morning on the fluids physics experiment Capillary Flow Experiment-2 (CFE-2). That study observes the behavior of fluids in microgravity. Results could improve the design of fluid transfer systems on future spacecraft such as fuel and water tanks.

Read more about Capillary Flow Experiment-2

Canadian astronaut and Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield worked on a couple of experiments including one targeted to students demonstrating playing games or sports in space. For the Education Payload Operation SpaceSports activity Hadfield videotaped an astronaut moving through an obstacle course, shooting rubber bands and tossing paper rings on a floating flashlight.

Hadfield later powered up the Microgravity Science Glovebox for the InSpace-3 experiment. That experiment observes how liquids filled with microscopic particles, or colloids, change their behavior when exposed to different magnetic fields.

Read more about InSpace-3

Commander Kevin Ford spent most of Tuesday reconfiguring cables for the Joint Station Local Area Network. The cable work is in preparation for the installation of a new KU communications unit inside the Destiny laboratory.

The three cosmonauts and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy, Evgeny Tarelkin and Roman Romanenko spent their day maintaining Russian systems and running science experiments.

Novitskiy and Tarelkin worked on the ongoing BAR experiment. That study tests new procedures and methods for detecting and locating pressure leaks on the space station. Romanenko audited the availability of stowage space in the station’s Russian segment.

Tarelkin later joined Romanenko to videotape station crew members living and working in space. The video will be a documentary for a Russian television program.

The Expedition 34 crew received a special call Tuesday morning when Apollo 17 Commander Eugene Cernan visited Mission Control Houston. Cernan along with several guests called and congratulated the crew from the Capcom console.

› Read more about Expedition 34