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Station Crew Continues Science Activities, Prepares for Upcoming Missions

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu May 12, 2011 6:24 am via: NASA
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The International Space Station and its six-member crew are orbiting about 224 miles above the Earth. Currently there are 111 science experiments taking place onboard during the Expedition 27 mission. The range of observations taking place in microgravity includes studies of physics, biology and psychology.

Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Ron Garan collected biological samples for storage in a science freezer that is part of the Human Research Facility rack. Coleman also worked to move and set up an incubator from one EXPRESS rack to another. The incubator, known as MERLIN, can store biological samples at different temperatures.

Garan joined Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli and checked gear unloaded from the “Johannes Kepler” Automated Transfer Vehicle-2. The European Space Agency cargo craft docked to the Zvezda service module in January and is due to undock for a fiery disposal over the Pacific Ocean in June.

As space shuttle Endeavour rests at launch pad 39A in Florida awaiting its May 16 launch, Nespoli, Coleman and station commander Dmitry Kondratyev are preparing to return home on May 23. The trio will undock in the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft while Endeavour is docked to the station with its six-member STS-134 crew. STS-134 will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and spare parts.

After the Soyuz TMA-20 undocks from the Rassvet mini-research module, Flight Engineer Andrey Borisenko will become Expedition 28 commander. Borisenko, Garan and Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev will remain at the station as the Expedition 28 crew.

Joining Expedition 28 in June will be Flight Engineers Mike Fossum, Sergei Volkov and Satoshi Furukawa. They will launch June 7 aboard the Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft and dock June 9.

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