Departure Preparations, Science for Crew
Expedition 24 Commander Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineers Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Mikhail Kornienko spent Monday preparing for their departure Thursday from the International Space Station. They packed items to be returned to Earth in their Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft, reviewed deorbit and landing procedures and checked out their Sokol launch and entry suits.

Once they undock, Expedition 25 will begin its increment with Commander Doug Wheelock and Flight Engineers Shannon Walker and Fyodor Yurchikhin continuing their stay on the station. Skvortsov will ceremonially hand command of the station over to Wheelock Wednesday afternoon.

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka will join Expedition 25 as flight engineers when they dock in the new Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft next month.

Walker set up equipment for the Anomalous Long Term Effects in Astronauts' Central Nervous System experiment. Also known as ALTEA, the experiment uses several diagnostic technologies to measure the effect of the exposure of crew members to cosmic radiation. Specifically, ALTEA was set up Monday to measure the effectiveness of materials on the orbital complex designed to shield the crew from this radiation.
Meanwhile, Kornienko assisted Skvortsov in a session with the Russian Pilot-M experiment. Pilot-M tests piloting skill in simulations on a laptop under stopwatch control and studies the response of cosmonauts to the effects of stress factors in flight.

Yurchikhin worked with the Matryoshka-R experiment. The Russian payload is designed for sophisticated radiation studies and is named after the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.

Wheelock installed a cable that will send power to the Pressurized Multipurpose Module when it is delivered by the STS-133 crew aboard space shuttle Discovery later this year.

Caldwell Dyson set up the U.S. Sound Level Meter and performed an acoustic survey of the station, the data from which she later downloaded to controllers on the ground.

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