Headlines > News > Station’s Orbit Raised; Crew Prepares ATV-2 for Undocking

Station’s Orbit Raised; Crew Prepares ATV-2 for Undocking

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:22 am via: NASA
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The “Johannes Kepler” Automated Transfer Vehicle-2 (ATV-2) fired its engines for nearly 27 minutes Friday raising the International Space Station’s altitude over 3 statute miles. The reboost, the last in a series of four, sets up the proper phasing for the undocking of ATV-2 Monday, the docking of the ISS Progress 43 cargo ship Thursday and the docking of space shuttle Atlantis in July.

Filled with trash and unneeded cargo, ATV-2 is scheduled to undock from the aft port of the Zvezda service module at 10:48 a.m. EDT Monday and will be deorbited for a destructive re-entry in Earth’s atmosphere. The European Space Agency supply ship delivered seven tons of cargo when it docked on Feb. 24.

The undocking will make room for the ISS Progress 43 cargo ship which is scheduled to launch Tuesday at 10:38 a.m. from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, docking to the aft port of the Zvezda service module two days later.

Meanwhile, the Expedition 28 crew members living and working aboard the station focused on preparations for the arrival and departure of visiting spacecraft Friday as they continued their scheduled science, maintenance and exercise activities.

To prepare for ATV-2’s departure, Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Sergei Volkov participated in training exercises and reviewed undocking procedures.

In advance of the arrival of space shuttle Atlantis and the STS-135 mission next month, Flight Engineers Mike Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa conducted a rehearsal photography session. On flight day 3 of the STS-135 mission Fossum and Furukawa will photograph the shuttle’s heat shield as it performs the rendezvous pitch maneuver shortly before docking. The photos will be sent down to Earth to be analyzed by experts at Johnson Space Center.

Fossum also had time set aside to prepare tools that will be used during the spacewalk he and Flight Engineer Ron Garan will perform during the STS-135 mission.

The station’s newest residents, Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov continued familiarization and orientation activities. The trio arrived aboard the station June 9.

Over the weekend, crew members will continue their daily physical exercise routines, enjoy some off-duty time, continue regular maintenance duties and have an opportunity to speak with family members. The hatches between ATV-2 and the station are scheduled to be closed Sunday morning.

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