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Soyuz Rolls Out to Launch Pad

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:21 am via: NASA
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The Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft that will carry Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Catherine Coleman, Paolo Nespoli and Dmitry Kondratyev to the International Space Station this week was rolled out to the launch pad at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Monday morning. The trio continued to prepare for their launch on Wednesday (Thursday, Baikonur time) and docking to the station two days later.

Aboard the orbital complex, Expedition 26 Commander Scott Kelly took air samples using the Environmental Health System (EHS) and calibrated and performed some maintenance on the EHS’s Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustion Products units. These units monitor the air in the complex for combustible materials.

Kelly checked out the HTV Hardware Command Panel (HCP) which he assembled Friday in the Japanese Experiment Module Pressurized Section. The station crew can use the HCP to control the approach of the Japanese cargo craft if needed.

He also performed some routine maintenance on the station’s Advanced Resistive Exercise Device.

Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri tested the vacuum pump on the Vozdukh air purification system, which removes carbon dioxide from the air inside the complex. The system had a failure over the weekend, and he was attempting to discover the source of the problem.

Additionally, Kaleri updated some of the station’s onboard laptops.

Oleg Skripochka, also a flight engineer, performed some regular maintenance on the Elektron oxygen generation system.

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

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