Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Science Grows Aboard Station as Crew Awaits New Arrivals

Aboard the orbiting International Space Station, Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev focused on housekeeping and biological experiments Tuesday as they await the arrival of the remainder of the Expedition 22 crew.

Following the crew’s daily planning conference with teams on the ground, Williams conducted a periodic analysis of a sample from the Water Recovery System using the Total Organic Carbon Analyzer. Williams also performed preventative maintenance on some of the station’s exercise equipment.

Later, Williams harvested Arabidopsis thaliana plants, commonly known as thale cress, from the Advanced Biological Research System. This investigation seeks to understand spaceflight-induced molecular changes in gene activity. Thale cress makes a good subject for this type of research because its genome was the first set of plant genes to be fully sequenced by scientists.