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ISS crew to have restful sleep Thurs ahead of Fri landing

September 15, 2011, 11:35 UTC+3
"Of course, usually, the cosmonauts do not sleep so long. They may have a rest and engage in some useful psychological-release pursuits,' said head of the FCC medical group
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MOSCOW, September 15 (Itar-Tass) — The ISS-27/28 combined crew of the personalized spaceship Soyuz (named "Yuri Gagarin") have been given an opportunity of restful sleep until Thursday evening ahead of the spaceship's Friday return to Earth.

An official at the Flight Control Center (FCC) outside Moscow has told Itar-Tass, "At 4 a.m. on Thursday, the cosmonauts went to sleep until 5 p.m., Moscow time".

"Of course, usually, the cosmonauts do not sleep so long. They may have a rest and engage in some useful psychological-release pursuits,' said Irina Alfyorova, head of the FCC medical group.

The crew's schedule of work and rest has been changed Thursday in view of the forthcoming nightly landing, Alfyorova pointed out. This past Wednesday was a day of high-powered work for Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyayev, Andrei Borisennko and Sergei Volkov, American astronauts Ronald Garan and Michael Fossum, and Japansese astronaut Satoshi Fukurawa: upon getting up as usual at 10 a.m., they worked until 4 a.m. Thursday.

Upon getting up, Samokutyayev, who together with Borisenko and Garan will return to Earth on Friday morning aboard the Soyuz TMA-21 spaceship, will engage in stowing returnable equipment and the results of scientific experiments performed in the Russian segment of the International Space Station. The American astronaut will also engage in the concluding loading operations, in public relations arrangements, and will prepare for a transfer to the spaceship.

At about 23:00, Moscow time, the combined crew will get together for a farewell supper, after which the cosmonauts will put the cold-stored results of the medico-biological experiments pm board the spaceship and set about reactivating the Soyuz spaceship systems.

The Soyuz TMA-21 spaceship is to undock from the ISS at 04:38, Moscow time, on September 16 and land at 08:00, the FCC official said.

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