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Station Crew Makes Spacewalk Preparations

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:16 am via: NASA
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Expedition 27 Flight Engineers Ron Garan and Paolo Nespoli prepared the Quest airlock for spacewalks to be performed during the upcoming STS-134 space shuttle mission, including the removal of some items from the airlock. Nespoli also recharged the MetOx air scrubbers that will be used in the spacesuits. The MetOx, or metal oxide, canister uses a silver oxide-based sorbent to remove practically all carbon dioxide generated during a spacewalk.

Flight Engineer Andrey Borisenko worked with the Coulomb Crystal experiment, which studies dynamic and structural characteristics of the Coulomb systems formed by charged dispersed diamagnetic macroparticles in a magnetic trap. Coulomb systems are structures following Coulomb’s Law, a law of physics describing the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles. It was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism.

Flight Engineer Cady Coleman participated in an experiment that tests whether drugs known as biophosphonates could serve as an additional countermeasure to fend off bone density loss in long-term space travelers.

Garan performed maintenance on the complex’s Water Recovery System (WRS), including collecting and analyzing water samples. The WRS recycles water for the crew’s use while on orbit.

The Russian members of the station crew – Commander Dmitry Kondratyev and Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Borisenko – began working to break down a spare hatch in the Russian segment. The flat hatch differs from the other hatches in the Russian segment in that they are conical in shape. The hatch must be broken down into smaller pieces so it can be stored in a Progress cargo ship to be destroyed when the craft re-enters Earth’s atmosphere.

Ground controllers in Houston tested alert sounds aboard the station and measured the volume of the sounds.

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the ISS Progress 42 cargo craft moved to the launch pad for final preparations for its launch Wednesday at 9:05 a.m. EDT (7:05 p.m. Baikonur time). The new Progress is loaded with 1,940 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen and air, 926 pounds of water and 2,976 pounds of maintenance hardware, experiment equipment and resupply items. It is scheduled to dock to the station’s Pirs docking compartment Friday at 10:29 a.m., less than 6 hours before space shuttle Endeavour’s scheduled launch on the STS-134 mission.

The ISS Progress 41 cargo ship that undocked from Pirs last Friday is scheduled to be deorbited Tuesday morning.

Teams at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center have begun preparations for space shuttle Endeavour’s launch countdown which will begin Tuesday at 2 p.m. Endeavour’s final lift off is slated for Friday at 3:47 p.m.

The six STS-134 crew members are set to arrive at Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility on Tuesday. The arrival will be shown live on NASA TV.

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