Headlines > News > Station Crew Prepares for Soyuz Undocking

Station Crew Prepares for Soyuz Undocking

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:59 am via: NASA
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Aboard the International Space Station Tuesday, Expedition 24 Commander Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineers Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Mikhail Kornienko conducted final Soyuz descent training in preparation for their undocking Thursday at 9:34 p.m. EDT. The trio reviewed the effects of the sudden gravitational forces they will experience as their Soyuz TMA-18 capsule re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere and deploys its parachutes for a landing in the steppes of Kazakhstan at 12:55 a.m. Friday.

Skvortsov also conducted a test of the Soyuz’s motion control system while Caldwell Dyson and Kornienko packed up additional items for return to Earth.

Twitchell Canyon Fire in central Utah is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA Twitchell Canyon Fire in central Utah is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Twitchell Canyon Fire in central Utah is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Once they undock, Expedition 25 will begin its increment with Commander Doug Wheelock and Flight Engineers Shannon Walker and Fyodor Yurchikhin continuing their stay on the station. Skvortsov will ceremonially hand command of the station over to Wheelock around 5 p.m.Wednesday.

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka will join Expedition 25 as flight engineers when they dock in the new Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft in October.

Wheelock spent much of his day Tuesday working in the Harmony node installing rack attachment hardware to accommodate the relocation of the crew quarters from the Kibo module. The original rack attachment hardware was removed to allow the temporary installation of the COLBERT treadmill, which has since been moved to its permanent home in the Tranquility node.

Meanwhile, Walker conducted a session with an experiment that studies changes in the astronauts’ aerobic capacity during long-duration spaceflight. NASA is interested in tracking these changes because a reduction in maximum oxygen uptake directly impacts a crew member’s ability to perform strenuous activities such as spacewalks or emergency operations. Data from this research also may provide valuable insight into the aerobic capacity of teams in closed environments on Earth, such as arctic bases and submarines.

Working in the Russian segment of the station, Yurchikhin participated in Pilot-M, a Russian biomedical experiment designed to test the response of cosmonauts to the effects of stress factors in flight. This experiment employs a device to track eye movements while the subject pilots a flight simulator on a laptop computer.

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