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Shuttle Launch to Station Delayed

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:17 am via: source
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(NASA) – The Expedition 20 crew of the International Space Station worked Tuesday on science, maintenance and preparations for the arrival of space shuttle Discovery. A problem with a fill-and-drain valve inside Discovery’s aft compartment has scrubbed the Wednesday morning launch attempt for STS-128.

Discovery is carrying more than seven tons of supplies, science racks and equipment, as well as additional environmental hardware to sustain six crew members on the orbital outpost. The shuttle also will deliver the newest Expedition crew member, astronaut Nicole Stott, for a three-month stay aboard the station.

Expedition 20 Commander Gennady Padalka performs a check on an air filter unit in the Zvezda service module of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Expedition 20 Commander Gennady Padalka performs a check on an air filter unit in the Zvezda service module of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Flight Engineer Tim Kopra, who will be returning home aboard Discovery, spent some time completing additional departure preparations. Later, Kopra worked in the Japanese Kibo module to replace a hard disk in the video recording unit of an experiment studying the Marangoni effect, which is the flow of liquids caused by surface tension.

Flight Engineer Mike Barratt collected samples from surfaces throughout the station and tested them for microbial contamination. For this task, the crew uses LOCAD, the Lab-on-a-Chip Application Development-Portable Test System, which detects biological and chemical substances within 15 minutes.

In the Russian segment of the station, Commander Gennady Padalka inspected the sediment collector in the condensate water processor, while Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko cleaned fan guard screens.

Supporting NASA’s mission to inspire the next generation of explorers, flight engineers Bob Thirsk and Frank De Winne teamed up to record an educational video demonstration. These videos recorded by crews living and working aboard the station are used in developing curriculum support materials for distribution to educators internationally.

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