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While construction has been a focus of ISS activities, that isn’t to say research hasn’t been ongoing. NASA has identified 197 US-integrated investigations that have been conducted on orbit as of April 2009, though 55 of these investigations were conducted on the Space Shuttle missions to the ISS instead of on the ISS itself. According to NASA, as of February 2009, US ISS and research have resulted in over 160 publications, including articles on topics such as protein crystallization, plant growth, and human research. According to NASA, there have also been approximately 25 technology demonstration experiments flown on the ISS during the assembly phase, the GAO stated.
Meanwhile NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi docked with ISS on Tuesday morning. The group joins NASA astronaut and Expedition 22 Commander Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev. They have been the ISS’ only occupants since Nov. 30. NASA’s space shuttle Atlantis left the day before Thanksgiving.
The group will welcome the next space shuttle, Endeavour, will be carrying 27,000 pound life support module known as Tranquility to the International Space Station. A “room with a view” module known as the Cupola module is also part of the ISS package heading into orbit.
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