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Station Crew Prepares for STS-133

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:14 am via: NASA
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The International Space Station’s Expedition 25 crew Monday prepared for the arrival of the STS-133 space shuttle mission next month.

Flight Engineer Scott Kelly gathered tools that will be used during two spacewalks to be performed by STS-133 Mission Specialists Tim Kopra and Alvin Drew. Commander Doug Wheelock inspected the hatches in the U.S. segment of the orbital complex, and controllers on the ground moved the Dextre remote manipulator system onto a power and data grapple fixture on the Destiny Laboratory in advance of the installation of the Permanent Multipurpose Module that will be delivered by the shuttle crew.

Super Typhoon Megi is seen from the International Space Station as it approached the Philippines Sunday. Credit: NASA TV

Super Typhoon Megi is seen from the International Space Station as it approached the Philippines Sunday. Credit: NASA TV

STS-133 is slated to begin with the launch of space shuttle Discovery Nov. 1 from Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Flight Engineer Shannon Walker worked with a new experiment called Hydrotropism and Auxin-Inducible Gene expression in Roots Grown Under Microgravity Conditions, or HydroTropi. The experiment examines a cucumber plant for changes in root structure and direction of growth in the microgravity environment of space. HydroTropi provides a further understanding of how plants grow and develop at a molecular level, which can lead to significant advancements in agricultural production on Earth.

Kelly participated in an experiment that tests whether drugs known as biophosphonates could serve as an additional countermeasure to fend off bone density loss in long-term space travelers.

He also worked with the Capillary Flow Experiment, which is a suite of fluid physics experiments that investigate capillary flows and flows of fluids in containers with complex geometries. Results will improve current computer models that are used by designers of low gravity fluid systems and may improve fluid transfer systems on future spacecraft.

Flight Engineers Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka had a session with the Russian behavioral assessment TYPOLOGY, which measures a crew member’s psychophysical state and ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. An electroencephalogram measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.

Wheelock conducted a monthly inspection of the COLBERT treadmill, which is part of the crew’s exercise equipment. Each station crew member performs routine exercise daily to combat the effects of long-term exposure to microgravity.

Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin reconfigured cables and network routers aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Walker set up the U.S. Sound Level Meter and performed an acoustic survey of the station, the data from which she later downloaded to controllers on the ground. She also assisted Wheelock in moving the Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS 2 to a new location within the Destiny Laboratory.

The crew began loading trash into the ISS Progress 37 cargo craft that will undock from the station’s Pirs docking compartment Oct. 25.

The Sabatier device that the crew installed on the station last week is undergoing testing this week. The device will combine carbon dioxide from the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly and hydrogen from the Oxygen Generation System to form water and methane. The water will be recycled by the Water Processor Assembly, and the methane vented overboard.

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