Headlines > News > Station Crew Preps for Return Home, Shuttle Visit

Station Crew Preps for Return Home, Shuttle Visit

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat May 14, 2011 7:32 am via: NASA
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Aboard the orbiting International Space Station, Expedition 27 wrapped up the workweek Friday with a variety of microgravity research experiments and preparations for the return home of three of its crew members while space shuttle Endeavour is docked with the station.

Commander Dmitry Kondratyev and Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli, who arrived on the orbiting complex on Dec. 17, checked out the Sokol spacesuits they will wear when they board their Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft on the evening of May 23 and undock for a landing in the steppe of Kazakhstan.

Before departing, Kondratyev will hand over command to Andrey Borisenko who will remain aboard the station with Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Ron Garan as the Expedition 28 crew. Three additional crew members, Flight Engineers Sergei Volkov, Mike Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa are scheduled to launch to the station June 7 aboard the Soyuz TMA-02M.

With the launch of space shuttle Endeavour set for Monday at 8:56 a.m. EDT, the shuttle’s STS-134 crew will be visiting the station when Kondratyev, Coleman and Nespoli depart and Expedition 28 begins. The STS-134 astronauts will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and critical supplies to the space station, including two communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank and additional parts for the Dextre robot.

Launch coverage of the final voyage of Endeavour begins Monday at 3:30 a.m. on NASA Television.

In addition to her preparations for departure, Coleman also spent time working with an educational experiment known as Kids in Micro-g. For this session, Coleman performed a buoyancy demonstration designed by students from the Gate of Heaven School in Dallas, Pa, while Nespoli filmed the results.

Coleman also took time to speak with students at English Estates Elementary in Fern Park, Fla., during a ham radio session.

Garan tackled the relocation of the Major Constituent Analyzer Data and Control Assembly from the Tranquility node to the Destiny laboratory. This device is a mass spectrometer system that analyzes the station’s environment for harmful contaminants.

In the Russian segment of the station, Kondratyev and Samokutyaev worked with the Uragan experiment, which seeks to document and predict the development of natural and man-made disasters on Earth. Building upon a sequence of visual observations that began aboard the Mir space station, Uragan may provide researchers and cosmonauts the opportunity to notify authorities about impending catastrophes.

Meanwhile, Borisenko performed preventative maintenance on the ventilation subsystem of the Zvezda service module and conducted another session with the Tipologia experiment, a study of the preservation of adaptive control skills in cosmonauts during spaceflight.

The station’s residents also had several opportunities to observe and photograph our home planet as they orbit the Earth every 90 minutes. Among the sites suggested by researchers for photography Friday were Popocatepetl, an active volcano 43 miles southeast of Mexico City, and the city of San Marino in the European microstate of the Republic of San Marino.

The crew also photographed the flood waters of the Mississippi River as the station passed 220 miles overhead on Thursday.

The Expedition ISS-134 will launch in space show weeks time,it will carry alpha spectrometer,a hydrogen and ammonia gas tank and a robotic module to perform work by its high tec robot arm,including all this it also carries 2 two annentena and network acess cumminicable device which will examine the planet Earth and give its photographical detials after every 90 ninety minutes in full coverage from the outer orbit of the space.
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