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Crew Back on Track After Comm Restored
iss034e051551 -- Roman Romanenko

Expedition 34 Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko works with the Electronic Nose hardware in the Zvezda service module aboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

The six-member Expedition 34 crew is back at work following Tuesday morning’s temporary loss of communication. The crew was safe the entire time and was able to contact Mission Control while orbiting over Russian ground stations. The communications link, which was lost after controllers switched to a backup computer during a software update, was fully restored after nearly three hours.

› Audio: Commander Kevin Ford reports status as station passes over Russian ground stations

Commander Kevin Ford joined Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn and Chris Hadfield for a NASA Social event Wednesday. The informal gathering at NASA Headquarters in Washington allowed NASA’s social media followers to ask the station crew members about life onboard the International Space Station. Questions were simulcast live on Google+, YouTube and NASA TV. Questions were also submitted live on Twitter and Facebook.

Ford began the final run of the InSPACE-3 experiment for Expedition 34. He powered up the hardware and set up the Microgravity Science Glovebox for downlinking the science activities to payload specialists on the ground. The commander then continued preparations for the arrival of the SpaceX-2 Dragon commercial cargo capsule in early March.

› Read more about InSPACE-3

Marshburn removed and replaced a water separator in the Destiny laboratory during his morning. That work required deactivating the Common Cabin Air Assembly and rotating out a rack to access the water separator. He also joined Ford in practicing on a computer for the rendezvous and capture of the Dragon capsule.

Hadfield spent his morning changing out a belt and removing life support system modules in the Columbus laboratory’s Biolab. That facility is used to perform space biology experiments on microorganisms, cells, tissue cultures, small plants, and small invertebrates. Hadfield also participated in Wednesday afternoon’s Dragon activities with his NASA crewmates.

In the Russian segment of the station, cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy, Evgeny Tarelkin and Roman Romanenko continued an array of science and maintenance tasks.

Novitskiy loaded items for disposal in the ISS Progress 49 resupply craft. He then joined Tarelkin for a ground conference to discuss cargo to be returned aboard the Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft.

Tarelkin worked on a couple of ongoing life science experiments. He had a photography session for the Sprut-2 experiment, which studies the liquid content of a crew member in microgravity. He also conducted photography for the Matryoshka experiment, which uses a mannequin to study the radiation a crew member might be expected to experience.

› Read more about Sprut-2
› Read more about Matryoshka

Romanenko unloaded gear from the newly arrived ISS Progress 50 cargo craft and updated the station’s inventory management system. He also participated in the Earth observation experiments Seiner and Uragan.

› Read more about Seiner
› Read more about Uragan