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Station Crew Preps for Arrivals; Conducts Research

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:41 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 25 crew members aboard the International Space Station focused Thursday on preparations for a rendezvous with a Russian cargo ship set for Saturday and the arrival of space shuttle Discovery set for next week. They also conducted scientific research in a variety of areas.

The ISS Progress 40 cargo craft is on its way to the International Space Station following its launch Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Russian cargo craft is delivering 1,918 pounds of propellant, 1,100 pounds of oxygen, 498 pounds of water and 2,804 pounds of food, spare parts and supplies for the station’s six crew members. It is set to dock to the Pirs docking compartment Saturday at 12:39 p.m. EDT. The new cargo craft replaces the ISS Progress 37 which undocked Monday.

To prepare for the arrival of Discovery and the STS-133 crew, Flight Engineer Shannon Walker was involved in prepacking activities and hardware stowage.

Space shuttle Discovery will launch Nov. 1 to begin the STS-133 mission to the space station. On the orbiter’s final spaceflight, the 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.

Commander Doug Wheelock worked with the VO2max experiment, which involves recording the oxygen intake of exercising crew members before, during and after their stays aboard the station to evaluate and document the changes in their aerobic capacity.

Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri worked with the Russian experiment known as Relaxation, observing radiation patterns from Earth’s ionosphere.

Flight Engineer Scott Kelly worked with the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) experiment. SPHERES consists of three free-flying spheres that fly within the station, performing flight formations. Each satellite is self-contained with power, propulsion, computers and navigation equipment. The results are important for satellite servicing, vehicle assembly and formation flying spacecraft configurations.

Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin conducted an observation with the Rusalka experiment, which is a test of procedures for remote determination of methane and carbon dioxide content in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Later, Wheelock, Kelly and Walker gathered to answer questions about life on the station and their daily activities during an in-flight interview with Voice of America in Washington, D.C.

After a reboost on Tuesday to avoid a fragment of the defunct Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, the station is in a good configuration for the arrival of space shuttle Discovery next week.

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