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Research and Maintenance for Station Crew, Launch Preps for Crew in Russia
ISS034-E-005219 -- Oleg Novitskiy, Kevin Ford and Evgeny Tarelkin

Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford (center) and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy (left) and Evgeny Tarelkin pose for a photo in the Zvezda service module of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

The three Expedition 34 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station were busy with scientific research and maintenance duties Wednesday, while three additional crew members prepared for their upcoming launch to the orbiting laboratory.

Commander Kevin Ford collected data and water samples in the Kibo laboratory’s Aquatic Habitat for the Medaka Osteoclast experiment, which studies the effects of microgravity on the biological systems of Medaka fish.

› Read more about Medaka Osteoclast
› Read about the Aquatic Habitat

Ford also worked with the Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, experiment. SPHERES uses three bowling-ball-sized satellites to test techniques that could lead to advancements in automated dockings, satellite servicing, spacecraft assembly and emergency repairs.

› Read more about SPHERES

Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin worked with the Typologia experiment, which studies a crew member's psychophysical state and ability to perform and communicate under stress.

› Read about Typologia

Novitskiy and Tarelkin also worked in the Russian segment of the station, monitoring its systems and performing a variety of housekeeping and maintenance duties.

jsc2012e238543 -- Expedition 34 Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn, Romanenko and Chris Hadfield

Expedition 34 Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn (left), Roman Romanenko (center) and Chris Hadfield pose for pictures Nov. 27, 2012 at the start of two days of certification exams for flight at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. Credit NASA

Meanwhile, at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, three additional Expedition 34 crew members continue preparations for their upcoming trip to the station. NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, and Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Roman Romanenko conducted the second of two days of Russian Soyuz and Russian segment qualification exams and simulations that will lead to their final certification for flight.

The trio is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome Dec. 19 and dock to the station two days later for a five-month stay. Hadfield will become the first Canadian to command the station when Ford, Novitskiy and Tarelkin depart in March, marking the start of Expedition 35.

NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and their international partners have selected two veteran spacefarers for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station in 2015. This mission will include collecting scientific data important to future human exploration of our solar system. NASA has selected Scott Kelly and Roscosmos has chosen Mikhail Kornienko.

› Read more about the announcement