Headlines > News > Station Crew Prepares for Progress, Looks Ahead to STS-135

Station Crew Prepares for Progress, Looks Ahead to STS-135

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:54 am via: NASA
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A new Progress resupply vehicle launched Tuesday from Kazakhstan and will dock to Zvezda Thursday morning. The Progress 43 replaces Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle “Johannes Kepler” (ATV-2).

The ATV-2 undocked Monday and fired its deorbit engines for the last time Tuesday afternoon. Loaded with trash and discarded gear, the ATV-2 entered the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean for a fiery destruction.

As Expedition 28 awaits the new resupply vehicle, it continues international science, station maintenance and STS-135 preparations.

Wednesday’s array of science activities covered fields such as biology, physics, oceanography and psychology. Science conducted in microgravity can uncover processes and effects difficult to recreate in the gravity environment of Earth.

Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Sergei Volkov tagged up with ground specialists in preparation for Thursday’s arrival of Progress 43. They also worked in Zvezda and the Rassvet mini-research module servicing gear.

Commander Andrey Borisenko also worked in the Russian segment of the station. Borisenko checked sensors and video cameras and assisted his fellow cosmonauts.

The final shuttle mission to the International Space Station is on target for a July 8 launch. The STS-135 astronauts are in Florida training for space shuttle Atlantis’ and the shuttle program’s final countdown. Atlantis will carry the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module containing supplies and spare parts for the space station and its crew.

Flight Engineers Mike Fossum and Ron Garan will perform the only spacewalk scheduled while Atlantis is at the station. Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa joined the pair in the Quest airlock to check out and fit the spacesuits and perform a dress rehearsal.

The spacewalkers will transfer a failed ammonia pump to Atlantis’ payload bay and set up a long-duration exposure experiment.

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