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ISS Crew Prepares for Soyuz Docking

Published by Matt on Wed Dec 8, 2010 1:44 pm via: NASA
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Aboard the International Space Station, Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineers Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka continued preparations Tuesday for the arrival of three additional Expedition 26 crew members set to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz TMA-20 on Dec. 15 (Dec. 15, Baikonur time).Kaleri and Skripochka tested the passive side of the Kurs automated rendezvous system on the Zvezda service module Tuesday, which the Soyuz will use to update its navigational data as it approaches the station for docking on Dec. 17.

Expedition 26 Commander Scott Kelly works in the International Space Station’s U.S. Destiny laboratory. Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 26 Commander Scott Kelly works in the International Space Station’s U.S. Destiny laboratory. Credit: NASA TV

The Soyuz TMA-20 is bringing NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman, Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency to the station for a five-month tour of duty aboard the orbiting outpost.

Kaleri and Skripochka also conducted an audit of stowage areas available in the Russian segment of the station.

Meanwhile Kelly checked out the portable emergency provisions, making sure that the fire extinguishers and breathing masks are all ready for use in the event of an emergency.

Kelly also worked with the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test hardware for an ongoing investigation of colloidal samples aboard the station. Results of this study will guide researchers’ understanding of how solids suspended in fluids (such as pigments in paint) react in microgravity and will have practical application in the manufacture of plastics and other materials.

Throughout the day Tuesday, the station’s residents had several opportunities to take photographs of the Earth below as they continue to document the condition of the home planet. Among the sites suggested by researchers for photography were Victoria, the capital city of the Seychelles, and Kingston, Jamaica.

During his stay aboard the station, Kelly will post some of his photographs of Earth on Twitter for an online geography trivia game.

Participate in Commander Scott Kelly’s Geography Trivia From Space contest

NASA managers have targeted the launch of space shuttle Discovery’s STS-133 mission to the station for no earlier than Feb. 3. During Discovery’s final spaceflight, the STS-133 crew will deliver the Permanent Multipurpose Module, which will be attached to the Earth-facing side of the Unity module. Discovery also will carry critical spare components, the Express Logistics Carrier-4 and Robonaut 2, the first human-like robot in space.

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