Headlines > News > Station Crew Focuses on Science, Prepares for Departures, Arrivals

Station Crew Focuses on Science, Prepares for Departures, Arrivals

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri May 13, 2011 7:13 am via: NASA
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Expedition 27 Flight Engineers Ron Garan and Cady Coleman worked with the “Kids in Micro-g” student experiment design challenge Thursday. The challenge is geared toward grades 5-8. Its purpose is to give students a hands-on opportunity to design an experiment or simple demonstration that could be performed both in the classroom and by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Coleman and Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli worked with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Education Payload Observation 6 (JAXA EPO 6) investigation. JAXA EPO 6 uses materials in the microgravity environment of the station to create multimedia products and artistic works that inspire the general public. The products will be exhibited in museums. The specific activity Nespoli and Coleman engaged in is Spiral Top-II, which aims to record the motion of a luminous spinning top.

Nespoli also transferred items to 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.

Tuesday, the crew reported an unknown substance in the Elektron’s oxygen generation system’s O2 line downstream of the liquid unit, between the pump connector and the pump valve. This segment of the O2 line is transparent, so the crew was able to take photographs. Controllers in Moscow shut down Elektron and performed a purge. The downed Elektron has no impact on current or near-term operations.

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