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Lead Increment Scientist's Highlights for the Week of March 4, 2013
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield works with Robonaut in the Destiny laboratory. (NASA) Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield works with Robonaut in the Destiny laboratory. (NASA)
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(Highlights: week of March 4, 2013) -- NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield inserted Russian crew members' IMMUNO samples into the Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) aboard the International Space Station. IMMUNO is short for Neuroendocrine and Immune Responses in Humans During and After Long Term Stay at ISS. IMMUNO provides an understanding for the development of pharmacological tools to counter unwanted immunological side effects during long-duration missions in space, and will provide insight into the disease process of immunocompromised humans on Earth.

Hadfield reviewed Robonaut operations and deployed Robonaut in the Destiny laboratory for a taskboard session. Robonaut serves as a springboard to help evolve new robotic capabilities in space. It demonstrates that a dexterous robot can launch and operate in a space vehicle, manipulate mechanisms in a microgravity environment, operate for an extended duration within the space environment, assist with tasks, and eventually interact with the crew members.

NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, Expedition 34 commander, removed lockers from EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments for Space Station Racks (EXPRESS Racks) 3 in preparation for the General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator GLACIER installation. EXPRESS Racks are multipurpose payload rack systems that store and support research aboard the space station. The racks can support science experiments in any discipline by providing structural interfaces, power, data, cooling, water and other items needed to operate science experiments in space. GLACIER refrigerators are ultra-cold freezers that will store samples at temperatures as low as -160 °C (-301 °F).

Hadfield performed the Microflow onboard training (OBT) and the first of two Microflow runs. The Microflow technology demonstration investigation provides the first performance test of a miniaturized flow cytometer in the microgravity environment of the station. Flow cytometry is a technique that focuses fluids (blood or other body fluids) into a controlled stream that enables researchers to quantify the components and monitor physiological and cellular activity. The goal of this testing in microgravity is the development of a smaller and safer operational instrument that may be certified for real-time medical care and monitoring during spaceflight. The project will lead to technology transfer and economic benefits through greater efficiency and flexibility in health care delivery and in agricultural support. For examples, visit here.

Other human research investigations continued for various crew members including Spinal Ultrasound, Nutrition, Repository, Space Headaches and Reaction Self Test.

Vic Cooley, Lead Increment Scientist
Expedition 33/34

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