Lu spent much of his time inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory setting up and performing science investigations. He installed a protein crystal growth experiment in the Microgravity Science Glovebox that will be operated by European Space Agency Astronaut Pedro Duque of Spain, who will arrive at the Station Oct. 20 with the oncoming Expedition 8 crew. Duque, who is flying to the Station on a Soyuz spacecraft under a commercial contract between ESA and the Russian Aviation and Space Agency, will return to Earth Oct. 28 with Malenchenko and Lu.
A soldering experiment that is providing insight into how solder connections in space can be improved and an automated Earth observation camera system were also set up by Lu in the lab. This week, Lu worked with the Fluid Dynamics Investigation, which scientists believe will help alleviate problems with mixing samples for tissue growth experiments. Those samples are housed in a bioreactor, which allows three-dimensional tissue cells, like those in the human body, to grow.
As part of an educational project to help inspire the next generation of explorers, Lu used well-known objects to videotape center-of-mass demonstrations. Using a screwdriver, a compact disc player, a cassette tape and a ruler, he showed how these objects behave differently without gravity. The video will be distributed to science centers across the country for use in lesson plans and future exhibits.
Malenchenko conducted science experiments in the Russian segment of the Space Station. They included biomedical studies of the human body in microgravity as well as observations of thunderstorm activity, the world's ocean biology and studies of how space-based predictions of man-made disasters could be made.
The maintenance activities onboard the Station included Malenchenko inspecting fire sensors in the Zarya control module and checking systems in the Pirs Docking Compartment. Both Lu and Malenchenko did monthly maintenance on the treadmill and resistive exercise equipment.
Lu also configured the U.S. laptop computers so the Expedition 8 crew can begin using them when it arrives. The oncoming resident crew, Commander and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri, along with Duque, are set to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:37 a.m. CDT Oct. 18.