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Lead Increment Scientist's Highlights for the week of Jan. 9, 2012
(Highlights: Week of January 9, 2012) -- Don Petit and Andre Kuipers completed their first sessions with the Evaluation of Maximal Oxygen Uptake and Submaximal estimates of VO2max before, during and after long-duration space station missions (VO2max). The investigation documents changes in maximum oxygen uptake over long-duration missions. The data obtained from this study provides valuable insight into the aerobic capacity of teams in closed environments on the station, and on Earth in places such as arctic bases and submarines.

Dan Burbank completed his third Treadmill Kinematics session, and Kuipers and Pettit completed their first sessions. Burbank also completed a short video of the calibration card position. Ground teams will review the video to provide feedback to the crew on their technique. The Treadmill Kinematics study is the first rigorous investigation to quantify the biomechanics of treadmill exercise conditions during long-duration spaceflight. Exercise prescriptions are developed under the assumption that walking and running in microgravity have the same training effects as during normal gravity. However, if locomotion kinematics and kinetics differ between microgravity and normal gravity, understanding these mechanisms allows the development of appropriate exercise prescriptions to increase exercise benefits to crew health and well-being.

The Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean Experiment Payload (HREP-HICO) has taken 4824 images to-date. The investigation analyzes the water clarity, chlorophyll content, water depth and ocean or sea floor composition for naval purposes. The most recent HICO images taken include the coast of California, the Danube River delta, the Gulf Coast of Florida and Mount Everest.

Crew members made successful contact with ham radio operators in Poland, France and Belgium as part of the International Space Station HAM Radio (ISS HAM Radio). By utilizing amateur radios, this education investigation gets students interested in space exploration by allowing them to talk directly with the crews living and working aboard the space station.

Kuipers completed his second weekly questionnaire for the European Space Agency-sponsored Space Headaches investigation. The study involves obtaining both current in-flight data and retrospective post-flight data via questionnaires to evaluate the prevalence and characteristics of a crew member's headaches in microgravity. Space Headaches investigators use this data to assess headache episodes, analyze characteristics of the headaches and provide the basis for developing future countermeasures.

Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument - Diffusion and Soret Coefficient (SODI-DSC) runs continued nominally. This European Space Agency experiment will study diffusion in six different liquids over time in the absence of convection induced by the gravity field.

During SODI-DSC operations in the Microgravity Science Glovebox, vibration levels were measured by the Space Acceleration Measurement System-II (SAMS-II).

The minimum overall acceleration levels are recorded during crew sleep with the glovebox off, while the maximum levels are recorded during a crew wake period with the glovebox on. The team noticed that between certain frequencies, the acceleration levels are shown to be highest during crew wake and the glovebox off. The team is investigating the reason for this. They show that crew activity increases acceleration levels in the lower frequency bands, but has negligible effect on the higher ones. SAMS-II is an ongoing study of the small forces -- vibrations and accelerations -- on the International Space Station resulting from the operation of hardware, crew activities, dockings and maneuvering. Results generalize the types of vibrations affecting vibration-sensitive experiments. Investigators seek to better understand the vibration environment on the station.

Jorge Sotomayor, Lead Increment Scientist
Expedition 29/30

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