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Houston TX (SPX) Oct 12, 2012
Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide spent much of Thursday unloading some of the 882 pounds of cargo that arrived to the International Space Station the prior day aboard the SpaceX Dragon. The two astronauts also uncovered a special treat in one of the commercial cargo craft's freezer compartments along the way.
Williams and Hoshide, who used the station's robotic arm to grapple and berth Dragon to the Earth-facing side of the Harmony module Wednesday, began an extensive cargo transfer that will continue throughout the 18 days that Dragon remains at the station.
In addition to the crew supplies, science research and hardware that Dragon delivered to the station, the crew will reload the craft with 1,673 pounds of cargo for return to Earth when the capsule makes its parachute-assisted splashdown Oct. 28 in the Pacific Ocean, 250 miles off the southern California coast.
While unloading items delivered to the station in one of Dragon's freezer compartments, Williams discovered a stash of ice cream that had been packed there as a special treat for the crew.
Ice cream is a welcome novelty on the station since the crew's daily menu, healthy and varied though it may be, usually consists of specially packaged food that can be stored safely at room temperature for many months.
Williams also spent some time cleaning bacteria filters and testing samples from the Water Processing Assembly with the Total Organic Carbon Analyzer to check for any microbial contamination.
Williams took a break from her work for an in-flight interview with Lisa Stark of ABC News and Don Lemon of CNN. The commander discussed life aboard the station, her recent triathlon in space and the importance of Dragon and commercial spaceflight.
The third Expedition 33 crew member, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko, conducted another session with the Kulonovskiy Kristall experiment, which gathers data about charged particles in a weightless environment. He also performed routine maintenance on the life support system in the Russian segment of the station and cleaned air vents.
Meanwhile at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, three additional Expedition 33 flight engineers - NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin - participated in a traditional flag-raising ceremony outside their Cosmonaut Hotel crew quarters.
The trio is set to launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft Oct. 23 for a five-month mission on the station.
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