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Station Crew Preparing for Cargo Craft Relocation

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Mar 9, 2011 9:54 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 26 crew of the International Space Station enjoyed a light-duty day Tuesday following the undocking of space shuttle Discovery on Monday.

Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka and Alexander Kaleri each had some time scheduled to prepare for their own return home March 16 aboard the Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft that brought them to the station on Oct. 9, 2010.

Their departure will mark the end of Expedition 26 and the beginning of Expedition 27 under the command of cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, who will remain on the station with Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli. Kaleri and Kondratyev spent some time Tuesday discussing the handover of roles and responsibilities.

Meanwhile the crew continued preparations for Thursday’s relocation of the Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-2) from the zenith, or space facing, docking port of the Harmony node back to the nadir, or Earth-facing, side of Harmony. Coleman and Nespoli worked Tuesday to transfer cargo that had been temporarily stowed in the nadir side of Harmony to provide access to the hatch. The Japanese cargo craft is currently scheduled to undock from the station March 28 for a destructive re-entry in the Earth’s atmosphere.

At 7 a.m. EST Monday, space shuttle Discovery undocked from the International Space Station while the spacecraft were 220 miles above the western Pacific, northeast of New Guinea. Discovery spent eight days, 16 hours, and 46 minutes attached to the orbiting laboratory.

During their stay Discovery crew members delivered and helped install the Permanent Multipurpose Module Leonardo with its 6,500 pounds of cargo for the station, the Express Logistics Rack 4 now installed on the station’s exterior, and delivered an additional 2,000 pounds of cargo on the middeck. During two spacewalks they completed a number of maintenance and installation tasks.

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