Headlines > News > Crew Continues Station Familiarization, Robotics Work

Crew Continues Station Familiarization, Robotics Work

Published by Matt on Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:28 am via: NASA
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After an off-duty day Sunday, newly arrived Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratyev, Catherine Coleman and Paolo Nespoli spent their first full work day aboard the International Space Station familiarizing themselves with their new surroundings. They also participated in a conference with Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineers Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka.

This night time image, photographed by an Expedition 26 crew member on the International Space Station, features the Las Vegas, Nevada metropolitan area. Credit: NASA

This night time image, photographed by an Expedition 26 crew member on the International Space Station, features the Las Vegas, Nevada metropolitan area. Credit: NASA

Kondratyev, Coleman and Nespoli launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday (Thursday Baikonur time) on the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft and arrived at the station Friday, beginning a five-month stay aboard the complex.

Kelly, Kaleri and Skripochka have been living and working on the space station since Oct. 9 and are scheduled to end their stay in March.

Kelly spent time cleaning fans aboard the complex and working with the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-5 science payload. In this experiment, also known as BCAT-5, station crew members photograph samples of polymer and colloidal particles as they change from liquids to gases, to model that phase change. The results will help scientists develop fundamental physics concepts previously cloaked by the effects of gravity.

Nespoli installed hardware for the Neurospat experiment, which examines the effects of the microgravity environment of space on brain function.

Kaleri worked with the Coulomb Crystal experiment, which studies dynamic and structural characteristics of the Coulomb systems formed by charged dispersed diamagnetic macroparticles in a magnetic trap. Coulomb systems are structures following Coulomb’s Law, a law of physics describing the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles. It was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism.

Ground controllers moved the mobile transporter in preparations for tests of the Canadian Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator that will take place Thursday.

Tuesday, Kelly and Coleman will conduct a checkout of the Kibo robotic arm in preparation for next month’s grapple of the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle, named Kounotori, or white stork.

Wednesday, the station’s altitude will be raised through a reboost using the Progress 39’s thrusters from the aft end of the Zvezda service module. The burn is scheduled for 11:25 a.m. EST and will last almost 19 minutes. The reboost puts the orbital outpost in the correct position for the launch of Kounotori on Jan. 20, the undocking of the Progress 40 cargo ship on Jan. 24 and the launch and docking of the Progress 41 cargo ship on Jan. 28 and 31.

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