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Visiting Vehicle Preps, Maintenance and Exercise for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:14 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 27 crew focused on upcoming spacecraft departures and arrivals Wednesday. Two docked resupply vehicles are being packed with trash and discarded gear. More gear is being packed for return to Earth aboard space shuttle Endeavour when STS-134 ends.

The ISS Progress 41 is nearly filled with disposable items. Its hatches will be closed Thursday, and it will undock from the Pirs docking compartment Friday.

The “Johannes Kepler” Automated Transfer Vehicle continues to be unloaded and loaded with unneeded gear. The European Space Agency’s second resupply vehicle will undock from the Zvezda service module in June.

Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli spent time packing gear for return aboard space shuttle Endeavour. STS-134 is scheduled to begin when Endeavour launches on April 29. The shuttle is delivering the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and spare parts for the International Space Station.

Commander Dmitry Kondratyev and Nespoli reviewed photography procedures to be used when Endeavour performs its backflip prior to docking to the station. The pictures taken of Endeavour’s thermal system will be sent to Earth for analysis. Kondratyev also worked with Russian flight controllers to reactivate the Elektron oxygen generator inside Zvezda.

Flight Engineer Cady Coleman set up a video camera inside the Tranquility module so flight surgeons could observe the crew exercising on the advanced resistive exercise device (ARED). The monthly video session allows the surgeons to determine if the crew needs to change its exercise technique. Flight Engineer Ron Garan and Nespoli performed maintenance work on the ARED earlier.

Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Andrey Borisenko along with Garan conducted station orientation activities. Samokutyaev also worked on systems maintenance in the Russian segment of the orbital laboratory. Borisenko worked on a communications device that allows the crew to talk to mission controllers in Moscow.

Garan also joined Coleman and Nespoli for crew handover activities. Nespoli, Coleman and Kondratyev will end their stay at the station in May. Expedition 28 will begin when they undock in the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft. Borisenko, Samokutyaev and Garan will stay behind, and Borisenko will become commander.

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