Headlines > News > Earthquake Postpones HTV Activities; Change of Command Ceremony on Monday

Earthquake Postpones HTV Activities; Change of Command Ceremony on Monday

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:06 am via: NASA
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An earthquake in Japan has temporarily shut down activities at the Tsukuba Flight Control Center. Due to the evacuation of personnel, the planned hatch opening of the Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle after Thursday’s relocation has been postponed. The Tsukuba staff is expected to return to work no earlier than Monday.

With the successful completion of STS-133 and space shuttle Discovery back home in Florida, the Expedition 26 crew members are reconfiguring the station for normal operations. Discovery delivered the Permanent Multipurpose Module and the EXPRESS Logistics Carrier-4.

Expedition 26 Commander Scott Kelly will ceremonially hand over command of the International Space Station to Flight Engineer Dmitry Kondratyev on Monday. Kelly along with Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka and Alexander Kaleri will return to Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-01M on Wednesday. The departure of Kelly, Skripochka and Kaleri marks the beginning of Expedition 27.

Flight Engineers Catherine Coleman and Paolo Nespoli will be remaining aboard the station with Kondratyev. Joining Expedition 27 will be Flight Engineers Ron Garan, Andrey Borisenko and Alexander Samokutyaev. They will launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.

Space shuttle Endeavour reached its launch pad Friday morning in preparation for an April 19 launch to the International Space Station. Endeavour and the six-member STS-134 crew will deliver spare parts and the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). The AMS is a particle physics detector that will contribute to the understanding of the universe’s origin.

Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli spoke with officials from the Italian Space Agency in Torino, Italy Friday morning. Nespoli discussed the science taking place in Europe’s Columbus laboratory as well as Europe’s newest cargo craft the “Johannes Kepler” Automated Transfer Vehicle.

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