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Expedition 28 Crew Awaits New Crew Members

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Jun 2, 2011 8:41 am via: NASA
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With the successful completion of the STS-134 mission Wednesday at 2:35 a.m. EDT, the three-member Expedition 28 crew awaits three new crew members and the final visit of a space shuttle.

Commander Andrey Borisenko and Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Ron Garan have been at the International Space Station since April 6. New crew members Mike Fossum, Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov are due to arrive in the Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft and join the orbiting trio June 9.

The final shuttle mission, STS-135, is targeted for launch July 8. Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Sandy Magnus will launch aboard space shuttle Atlantis and deliver supplies and spare parts to the station. The new gear will be carried in the Raffaello logistics module. The mission also will fly a system to investigate the potential for robotically refueling existing spacecraft and return a failed ammonia pump module to help NASA better understand the failure mechanism and improve pump designs for future systems.

In the meantime, the current station residents are busy monitoring station systems, maintaining the orbital laboratory and conducting science.

Garan cleaned an exhaust fan and air ducts in the Harmony module’s crew quarters. He then worked on science gear to transfer and store biological samples. In addition, he worked in the Fluids Integrated Rack rotating a spindle bracket assembly. The rotation enables the rack doors to close and allows experiments to be operated from the ground.

Borisenko spent time on the plant experiment Rastenia-2. Observations will enable scientists to understand microgravity’s effects on botanical life and the potential to cultivate plants for advanced life support systems on future space missions.

Samokutyaev worked in the Zvezda service module demating connectors. This task enabled him to remove and replace Russian hardware with spares. He also inspected and photographed windows in the Russian segment of the space station.

Wednesday’s targets for the ongoing photo-documenting experiment, Crew Earth Observations, included Belgrade, Serbia along the Danube River and the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii.

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