ISS Update: Weekly Recap for Jan. 4, 2013

Uploaded by ReelNASA on 04.01.2013

>> This is Mission Control Houston.
The year 2013 is has kicked off
on board the International Space Station with a range
of science operations showing just a portion of the kinds
of groundbreaking research that are being conducted
in lower Earth orbit to prepare human beings
to explore deep space.
Early this week, Monday,
Commander Kevin Ford started his day with blood draws,
which are a standard procedure
to acquire samples for later study.
They'll be used in several investigations looking
at how life in a micro gravity environment affects the
biological processes.
Ford also worked as the crew medical officer in conjunction
with a periodic fitness evaluation
for flight engineer Chris Hadfield.
Ford did his own daily exercises,
which are a standard daily requirement --
twice daily requirement for all crew members --
that is designed to maintain their physical fitness
and prevent bone and muscle atrophy.
He also spent the afternoon of his day working
on the Capillary Flow Experiment.
That's one of the physics research projects;
this one looking into how fluids behave
in the absence of gravity.
Flight engineers Evgeny Tarelkin and Roman Romanenko worked
on the Sainar [phonetic] Experiment
in the Russian module.
That's a Russian investigation that's designed
to help commercial fishermen find the most productive
fishing grounds.
Also on Monday, flight engineer Tom Marshburn powered
up the ultrasound in order to do some self-scans
for the Integrated Cardiovascular Experiment,
which is quantifying the atrophy of cardiac muscle,
trying to identify the causes of that in order
to develop better countermeasures
that will be needed for crew members on long duration flights
that go well beyond earth orbit.
All six of the Expedition 34 crew members had a day off duty
on Tuesday to celebrate the first day of the brand new year,
but they got right back to work on Wednesday.
For Commander Kevin Ford, he went to work
in the Destiny Laboratory setting up the robonaut,
Robonaut 2, and the associated hardware for two days
of continued evaluations that are designed
to help develop new robotic capabilities for space
for manipulating mechanisms.
The hope -- the goal here is
that the Robonaut 2 will help lead to eventual assistance,
robotic assistance with tasks and ultimate interaction
with the human crew members.
Flight engineers Oleg Novitskiy
and Evgeny Tarelkin started a two-day operation replacing a
series of panels in the walls inside the Zvezda Module,
that's standard maintenance procedure,
and they spent their Tuesday afternoon
with the BAR Experiment; that is testing principles and methods
of leak control for future space -- space craft construction.
Roman Romanenko had a lot of maintenance work on Tuesday,
but also time set aside for crew orientation along
with his Soyuz crewmates Christ Hadfield and Tom Marshburn.
Hadfield and Marshburn each worked
with a cognitive assessment investigation;
that's gathering data on how living
in space impacts a person's perception of the environment.
They also spent time that day on different projects
that are designed to help people on Earth connect
with what's going on in space.
For Hadfield it was recording a series of podcasts about life
in space; for Marshburn, he conducted a couple of interviews
with two television stations in his native North Carolina.
On Thursday Hadfield and Marshburn worked together again
to set up the MARES Experiment hardware.
That acronym stands for Muscle Atrophy Research
and Exercise System; that's a European Space Agency project
in human research and counter measures developmental that's
just getting its first tryout on the station right now.
Exercise on that MARES facility is intended
to provide researchers with a better understanding
of how living in Zero-G affects the muscular system and also
to evaluate the efficacy of countermeasures that are
in place now to work against the deleterious effects of Zero-G.
Marshburn also spent part
of that day helping Commander Kevin Ford replacing some piping
in the waste hygiene compartment, that's the toilet
on the U.S. side of the station, which is just one of a number
of routine maintenance tasks that crew members have
to take care of on a daily and weekly basis
to maintain the station's ability to support them as well
as the science research that they're doing.
Hadfield retrieved detectors
for an investigation called the Radi-N Bubble
Detector Experiment.
It's a Canadian experiment that's designed
to characterize neutron radiation in the environment.
Hadfield also spent time
on Thursday partially removing the station's agricultural
camera from the window observational research facility
in the Destiny laboratory.
The agriculture camera known
as ISSAC has completed its planned operations.
The expectation is that they'll have the crew members inspect
that optical quality window next week,
and then they'll install a new environmental research
and visualization system in its place inside the wharf.
The new hardware, the ISERV, is an automated system
to acquire imagery, it's designed to gain a lot
of experience in automated data acquisition,
but in the meantime, it will acquire useful imagery
for disaster monitoring and environmental decision-making.
Commander Kevin Ford started his Friday
with some refresher training for his role
as a crew medical officer and devoted most of the rest
of his day, along with help from flight engineer Tom Marshburn,
to the set up and execution
of the SPHERES Zero Robotics Experiment.
SPHERES is an experiment using some experimental free-flying
satellites that can be flown using programmed commands.
There are teams of students from all around the world
who have written algorithms
to have the satellites perform specific tasks that are relevant
to future space missions.
The best of those entries get a chance
to have their program executed by the SPHERE's satellites
in a competition onboard the space station that takes place
on Friday of next week.
Friday of this week Marshburn spent had early part of his day
on the Integrated Cardiovascular Experiment
for which he wears some specialized hardware
to monitor him while he performs other regular work.
The Integrated cardiovascular experiment is performed several
times over the course of the six-month mission in order
to quantify the extent, the time course,
and the clinical significance of the decrease in the size
of the heart muscle which is known to occur in persons
who spend a long time in Zero-G.
Roman Romanenko monitored another round
of the Russian Plasma Crystal Experiment which is looking
into the behavior of plasma dust crystals and fluids
in microgravity, and saw to some maintenance
of the Soyuz vehicle he commands,
while flight engineer Evgeny Tarelkin completed a survey
of the windows in the Russian segment of the space station,
and Oleg Novitskiy continued transfers of materials
for disposal into the one
of the progress cargo ships before joining Tarelkin
for an afternoon working with the BAR Experiment.
In the coming weekend in the celebration
of the Russian Orthodox Christmas on Monday, January 7,
has the Expedition crew looking forward to a long weekend.
After taking care of some weekly housecleaning
and regular daily exercise sessions,
the crew members will have time off duty as well as conferences
with their families over the course of the three days
with an eye toward getting into the research agenda
that awaits them over the remaining ten weeks
of Expedition 34.