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Station Crew Prepares for Visitors, Moves Experiment Racks

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:35 am via: NASA
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Expedition 26 Commander Scott Kelly spent time Tuesday preparing the International Space Station’s Quest airlock for spacewalks to be performed during the upcoming STS-133 mission of space shuttle Discovery and gathered tools for the excursions. He later shot a video tour of the station for the STS-133 crew.

Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli prepared spacesuits to be used during the spacewalks.

With help from Nespoli and Flight Engineers Catherine Coleman, Kelly and Flight Engineer Dmitry Kondratyev moved a Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) rack from the Japanese Kibo laboratory and installed it in the U.S. Destiny laboratory. They also removed a failed MELFI rack from Destiny and put it in Kibo. Since the MELFI racks use a large amount of power, it was decided that the two working racks should not be kept in the same module.

Coleman and fellow Flight Engineer Oleg Skripochka tested video downlink capabilities in preparation for the imminent docking of the European Space Agency’s “Johannes Kepler” Automated Transfer Vehicle-2 (ATV-2) cargo craft.

Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri performed maintenance on the Russian Vozdukh carbon dioxide removal system.

ATV-2 continues a flawless journey to the orbital complex. The first of two rendezvous burns was conducted at 7:40 a.m. EST, fine-tuning its path for a docking to the aft port of the Zvezda service module on Thursday at 10:46 a.m., just hours before Discovery’s scheduled launch on the STS-133 mission.

The shuttle is slated to launch Thursday at 4:50 p.m., beginning its final flight. The STS-133 crew members will take important spare parts to the station along with the Express Logistics Carrier-4.

The ISS Progress 39 cargo craft undocked from Zvezda’s aft port Sunday at 8:12 a.m., freeing the port for the arrival of ATV-2 on Thursday. The vehicle later performed a deorbit burn and descended to a fiery demise over the Pacific Ocean.

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