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Crew Prepares Spacesuits, Conducts Research

Published by Matt on Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:20 am via: NASA
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On the eve of a planned reboost of the International Space Station, the Expedition 25 crew conducted research Tuesday and made preparations for upcoming U.S. and Russian spacewalks.

Commander Doug Wheelock (left) and Flight Engineers Scott Kelly and Shannon Walker talk to KILT radio in Houston. Credit: NASA TV

Commander Doug Wheelock (left) and Flight Engineers Scott Kelly and Shannon Walker talk to KILT radio in Houston. Credit: NASA TV

After the crew’s daily planning conference with flight teams around the world, Commander Doug Wheelock kicked off his workday collecting test samples from the hot and cold water valves in the Zvezda service module for microbial analysis. Several samples were tested onboard, while others will be returned to Earth for further testing.

Oleg Skripochka and Alexander Kaleri, both flight engineers, conducted a Russian experiment that seeks to predict the ability of cosmonauts to perform tasks during spaceflight. From this data, researchers can develop methods to improve cosmonaut readiness for various activities.

Flight Engineer Shannon Walker continued her work with a new Japanese experiment that examines a cucumber plant for changes in root structure and direction of growth in a weightless environment. HydroTropi, short for Hydrotropism and Auxin-Inducible Gene expression in Roots Grown Under Microgravity Conditions, will provide further understanding of how plants grow and develop at a molecular level, which can lead to significant advancements in agricultural production on Earth.

To prepare for a Russian spacewalk planned for Nov. 15, Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin performed a software upgrade to the Russian Orlan spacesuit computers.

Meanwhile, Flight Engineer Scott Kelly 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 computer models used to design fluid transfer systems on future spacecraft.

After a break for lunch, Wheelock worked in the Quest airlock gathering tools for the two spacewalks planned during the STS-133 shuttle mission. During Discovery’s final spaceflight, slated to launch Nov. 1, the STS-133 crew members will install the Permanent Multipurpose Module and deliver important spare parts to the station along with the Express Logistics Carrier-4 and Robonaut 2.

Near the end of their workday, Kelly, Wheelock and Walker spoke with Houston Texans’ lineman Eric Wilson for an interview on KILT radio in Houston.

The engines of the ISS Progress 39 cargo craft currently docked to the aft port of Zvezda will be fired for 3 minutes, 49 seconds Wednesday at 3:41 p.m. EDT. This reboost will place the station at the proper altitude for the arrival of the ISS Progress 40 supply ship, which is set to launch Oct. 27 and dock to the station two days later. The reboost also sets up the station for its rendezvous with Discovery in November.

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