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ISS Crew Busy with Science, Shuttle Preparations

Published by Matt on Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:24 am via: source
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Aboard the orbiting International Space Station, the Expedition 21 crew was busy Monday with science and the continuing preparations for next week’s scheduled arrival of space shuttle Atlantis on the STS-129 mission to deliver critical spare parts to the complex.

Flight Engineers Maxim Suraev and Roman Romanenko worked with the Russian experiment known as Relaxation, observing radiation patterns from Earth’s ionosphere.

Expedition 21 Flight Engineer Robert Thirsk works in the Japanese Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 21 Flight Engineer Robert Thirsk works in the Japanese Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

Flight Engineer Jeff Williams – with help from Flight Engineer Bob Thirsk – worked with the Integrated Cardiovascular (ICV) experiment in the Columbus laboratory. ICV researches the extent of cardiac atrophy and seeks to identify its mechanisms.

Flight Engineer Nicole Stott spent time preparing for her return to Earth aboard Atlantis later this month. The shuttle is slated to launch from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Nov. 16.

Stott and Williams also reviewed spacewalk procedures for the upcoming shuttle mission.

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Soyuz rocket with the new Mini-Research Module 2 named Poisk rolled out to its launch pad Sunday for final preparations for its liftoff to the International Space Station Tuesday at 9:22 a.m. EST. Docking is scheduled for Thursday around 10:44 a.m. to the space-facing port of the Zvezda Service Module.

Troubleshooting of the Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) over the weekend resulted in the system operating once again, but flight controllers have decided to reduce its work load until further analysis of its previously clogged lines is completed. The UPA is running for one hour to reprocess urine every 10 hours with the expectation that it will be brought up to full functionality in the next day or so.

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