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Station Crew Prepares for Cargo Craft and Space Shuttle

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:17 am via: NASA
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The ISS Progress 42 (P42) resupply craft is scheduled to launch Wednesday at 9:05 a.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The Russian cargo craft will dock to the Pirs docking compartment Friday at 10:29 a.m.

The P42 replaces the ISS Progress 41 cargo craft, which undocked last week and was deorbited Tuesday morning after engineering tests. 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.

In preparation for the upcoming Progress docking, Commander Dmitry Kondratyev and Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev participated in a training session with the TORU, or tele-robotically operated rendezvous system. If necessary, the TORU could be used to manually dock a Russian spacecraft should its KURS automated rendezvous system fail. Flight Engineer Andrey Borisenko and Kondratyev will monitor the arrival of Progress 42 on Friday morning. The pair will be at the controls of the TORU ready to guide the new resupply craft.

Space shuttle Endeavour will launch Friday at 3:47 p.m. to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and spare parts to the orbital laboratory. The STS-134 mission is scheduled to last 14 days and will be Endeavour’s last flight. The four spacewalks planned while Endeavour is docked at the station also will be the last performed by shuttle astronauts.

Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli completed recharging spacesuit batteries and regenerating the METOX (metal oxide) canisters. METOX removes carbon dioxide from the spacesuits while an astronaut breathes during a spacewalk. Nespoli also continued packing gear for return aboard Endeavour when STS-134 ends.

Flight Engineer Ron Garan removed a video workstation from the Destiny lab and installed it inside the Tranquility node. Part of the robotics workstation, the video workstation will be utilized for robotics work during STS-134.

The crew continued working with an array of scientific experiments. The international experiments take place throughout the station including the Destiny, Columbus and Kibo laboratory modules.

Flight Engineer Cady Coleman set up a dosimeter to measure radiation and checked the status of the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA). The CGBA is a research facility located in an EXPRESS rack and is used for experiments on cells, microbes, and plants.

Nespoli measured his blood pressure and collected blood and urine samples for a study that measures heart performance during long-duration space missions. The investigation seeks to determine if blood pressure and volume can be maintained at the same level in microgravity as on the ground.

Garan also took part in a Japanese experiment that observes how cucumber seedlings adapt to microgravity. Nicknamed CsPINS, the experiment studies how plants use gravity as an environmental signal, influencing their growth.

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