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Station Crew Prepares for Soyuz Move, Conducts Science

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:38 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 24 crew members aboard the International Space Station were busy with a variety of maintenance and science activities Wednesday as they orbited the Earth.

Commander Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko tested the station’s manual TORU docking system for Monday’s relocation of the newly arrived Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft. The Soyuz will be moved to the Rassvet module, the newest component of the station, clearing the way for the arrival of the ISS Progress 38 cargo craft on July 2. With fellow Flight Engineers Doug Wheelock and Shannon Walker aboard, Fyodor Yurchikhin will undock the Soyuz TMA-19 from the Zarya module at 1:58 p.m. EDT and dock to Rassvet around 25 minutes later.

Aurora Australis photographed by a crew member on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Aurora Australis photographed by a crew member on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Meanwhile, Walker continued installing and outfitting the Window Observation Research Facility, a rack surrounding the Destiny laboratory’s 20-inch window. This rack will serve as an attachment point for cameras and scanners to be mounted in the window and will provide power and data transfer capabilities for those instruments.

Flight Engineer Tracy Caldwell Dyson set up the Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMD) experiment and performed body mass measurements. Wheelock and Walker followed. SLAMMD follows Newton’s Second Law of Motion by having two springs generate a known force against a crew member mounted on an extension arm, the resulting acceleration being used to calculate the subject’s mass, in effect weighing the individuals.

Caldwell Dyson also worked with Coarsening in Solid Liquid Mixtures-2, an experiment which examines the kinetics of competitive particle growth within a liquid metal matrix.

Yurchikhin worked with the PILOT-M experiment. PILOT-M is an ongoing experiment that examines the effects of long-duration space flight and stress on the ability of crew members to complete manual spacecraft control tasks.

Walker, Yurchikhin and Wheelock continued to familiarize themselves with the station. The three new flight engineers had an hour of free time set aside to study the layout of their orbital home for the next five-and-a-half months and learn to move about in its large habitable space.

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