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Reboost for Station as Crew Preps for Spacewalk and New Vehicles

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:38 am via: NASA
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The International Space Station increased its orbit by 1.1 statute miles Wednesday afternoon after a docked Progress 39 cargo craft fired its thrusters. The reboost puts the complex at the correct altitude for the docking of space shuttle Discovery on Feb. 26 and the Soyuz TMA-21 on March 30.

Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka continued preparing for next Wednesday’s spacewalk. The cosmonauts will exit the Pirs docking compartment to install communications equipment and remove debris panels. They also will deploy a nanosatellite containing messages for the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s April 12, 1961 spaceflight – the first made by a human – and a small ham radio transmitter.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s H-II Transfer Vehicle, Kounotori2, continues to be unloaded by the station crew. On Feb. 18, Kounotori2 will be robotically moved from the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module to its space-facing port. The relocation gives space shuttle Discovery proper clearance for its docking during the STS-133 mission.

The crew is reviewing cargo transfers that will take place during Discovery’s stay at the station. The cooling loops of the U.S. spacesuits aboard the orbiting laboratory were cleaned to eliminate bacteria and other contaminants. The spacesuits are scheduled to be used for the STS-133 spacewalks.

Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineers Catherine Coleman and Paolo Nespoli on Wednesday morning talked to reporters from National Public Radio and KHOU-TV in Houston. Coleman demonstrated playing a flute in microgravity and Kelly discussed the retirement of the space shuttle and privatization of the space industry.

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