Headlines > News > Station Crew Back to Work After Poisk Propulsion Module Undocking

Station Crew Back to Work After Poisk Propulsion Module Undocking

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Dec 9, 2009 9:19 am via: NASA
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(NASA) – After monitoring the undocking of a propulsion module late Monday, Expedition 22 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev slept in a few extra hours before beginning science and maintenance activities Tuesday aboard the International Space Station.

The propulsion compartment of the Poisk module undocked at 7:16 p.m. EST Monday and was deorbited four hours later for a destructive reentry in the Earth’s atmosphere. Its departure opens up a docking port for Russian vehicles on Poisk, which will first be used when Suraev and Williams relocate their Soyuz spacecraft in January.

Poisk's propulsion compartment, seen at the bottom of this camera view, undocks and moves away from the International Space Station on Monday. Credit: NASA TV

Poisk's propulsion compartment, seen at the bottom of this camera view, undocks and moves away from the International Space Station on Monday. Credit: NASA TV

Following the crew’s daily planning conference with teams on the ground, Williams spent much of his day in the Destiny laboratory conducting maintenance on the Waste and Hygiene Compartment, one of the toilets aboard the space station. Williams removed and replaced urine hydraulic components in the system that converts waste water to potable water.

Meanwhile, Suraev began his workday with a session with a Russian experiment that explores changes in the cardiovascular system during long-duration spaceflight and predicts possible reactions following a crew member’s return to Earth. Suraev later performed routine maintenance on the Elektron oxygen-generating system.

The Expedition 22 crew also had time scheduled for Earth observation and photography. Among the sites selected for observation was a 200-mile long fan-like spread of ancient river sediment in one of the remotest parts of the Sahara Desert. New research shows that many features of this pattern, known as a megafan, are replicated by river-like features seen on Mars.

Back on Earth, the rest of the Expedition 22 crew, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, NASA’s T.J. Creamer and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, wrapped up administrative work at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. They will depart Wednesday for the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the site of their Dec. 20 liftoff aboard the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft, bound for a docking with the space station two days later.

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