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Station Crew Starts Work Week, New Trio Prepares for Launch
Commander Kevin Ford

Kevin Ford talks about life in space with students who gathered at Oklahoma State University. Credit: NASA TV

Super Typhoon Botha

The Category 4 storm, Super Typhoon Botha, is seen from the station on Sunday bearing down on the Philippines with winds of 135 mph. Credit: NASA
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Expedition 34 is back to work after a light-duty weekend. Three more crew members are in Star City, Russia, preparing for their launch to the International Space Station.

Commander Kevin Ford spent his morning on science activities. He transferred a locker that contained experiment gear from one EXPRESS rack to another. He also activated the InSpace-3 experiment inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox. That experiment studies particles in a fluid, or colloids, which could have benefits such as stronger building materials that could withstand earthquake forces.

Ford talked to students from Stillwater, Okla., on Friday. Middle school and college students called up from Oklahoma State University and asked Ford about living and working in space.

Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin worked in the Zvezda service module installing cover sheets to repair interior panels. Novitskiy later configured communications equipment inside the Poisk mini-research module. Tarelkin checked vents and cleaned fan screens throughout the station’s Russian segment.

Novitskiy also worked on an ongoing Russian science experiment. The Kulonovskiy Kristall experiment will help model the physical dynamics of space dust particles exposed to sunlight as well as control the particles in a magnetic field.

Back on Earth, three crew members are preparing to join Expedition 34. Flight Engineers Chris Hadfield, Roman Romanenko and Tom Marshburn are relaxing in Star City. On Thursday the trio will fly to Baikonur, Kazakhstan where they will launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft on Dec. 19 for a two-day trip to the orbital laboratory.