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Research and Spacewalk Preps for Station Crew

Published by Matt on Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:44 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 25 crew living and working aboard the International Space Station prepared spacesuits for upcoming Russian and U.S. spacewalks and conducted research with a Star Wars-inspired experiment Tuesday.Commander Doug Wheelock spent most of his day troubleshooting the airflow in a crew quarters compartment on the starboard side of the station. Wheelock also worked in the Quest airlock to perform routine maintenance on the U.S. spacesuits that will be used by the STS-133 crew when space shuttle Discovery visits the orbiting complex in December.

Flight Engineers Scott Kelly and Shannon Walker conducted another test session with a trio of bowling-ball-sized free-flying satellites known as Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES. Inspired by the practice “remote” that Luke Skywalker used to hone his light saber skills in “Star Wars,” these robots are testing techniques that could lead to advancements in automated dockings, satellite servicing, spacecraft assembly and emergency repairs.

Three satellites fly in formation as part of the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) investigation. Credit: NASA

Three satellites fly in formation as part of the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) investigation. Credit: NASA

Meanwhile, Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri checked out the ammonia respirator to assure that this essential safety equipment will fit and function properly if needed.

Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Skripochka, both flight engineers, continued preparations for a spacewalk they will conduct Monday beginning at 9:25 a.m. EST. The pair will install work platforms, reposition a camera on the Rassvet module and install experiment hardware on the Russian segment of the station.

Additionally, Yurchikhin and Skripochka performed an assessment of their cardiovascular function while exercising on the station’s stationary bicycle known as the cycle ergometer.

The station’s residents also had several opportunities for Earth observation and photography Tuesday as they orbited the world every 90 minutes. Among the sites suggested for photography were the capital cities of Kathmandu, Nepal, and Kabul, Afghanistan. Over half a million photos of our planet taken from aboard the station are available online at the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.

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