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Station Crew Prepares for Visiting Spacecraft, Conducts Research

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:21 am
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The Expedition 27 crew members aboard the International Space Station made preparations for the arrivals of a new Russian cargo craft and space shuttle Endeavour and took part in a variety of scientific research Thursday.

The ISS Progress 42 cargo craft launched at 9:05 a.m. EDT Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and is scheduled to dock to the Pirs docking compartment at 10:29 a.m. Friday.

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the Progress docking beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday.

Space shuttle Endeavour is set to launch Friday at 3:47 p.m. to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and spare parts to the station. 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.

Commander Dmitry Kondratyev and Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Andrey Borisenko participated in a planning conference with flight controllers to prepare for the docking and unpacking of the ISS Progress 42 cargo craft. The Progress brings to the station a payload of 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.

Borisenko also set up gear for the Coulomb Crystal experiment. The Russian investigation gathers data about charged particles inside the microgravity environment of the space station.

Samokutyaev conducted a session of the Interaction experiment that observes interactions between station crew members and ground personnel.

Flight Engineer Ron Garan 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.

Flight Engineer Cady Coleman spent time working on station maintenance tasks including some work with the station’s Water Processing Assembly.

Coleman and Garan also worked on the installation of high rate data cables in the Kibo module.

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