Headlines > News > Station Crew Unloads Progress, Prepares for STS-135, Performs Science

Station Crew Unloads Progress, Prepares for STS-135, Performs Science

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:00 am via: NASA
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Aboard the orbiting International Space Station Monday, Expedition 28 Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev unloaded items from the ISS Progress 43 cargo ship. The spacecraft docked to the orbital complex Thursday delivering three tons of fuel, air and supplies.

The crew conducted routine leak checks of the Progress craft’s fuel lines in advance of two small reboosts this week that will occur Wednesday and Friday and a final reboost July 5. The reboosts will tweak the station’s altitude for its rendezvous with space shuttle Atlantis on the upcoming STS-135 mission. This final flight of Atlantis and of the space shuttle program is slated for a July 8 launch.

In preparation for the arrival of Atlantis, Flight Engineer Ron Garan installed and performed a check-out of the Centerline Berthing Camera System. The system aids in precision alignment of modules as they are attached to the station and will provide close-up views of the attachment of the Raffaelo Multipurpose Logistics Module, which will be delivered by Atlantis’ crew.

Garan also prepared tools that he and Flight Engineer Mike Fossum will use during a spacewalk they will perform while Atlantis is docked to the orbiting laboratory. Fossum, Garan and Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa also packed some items for return to Earth aboard the shuttle.

Fossum participated in an experiment known as VO2 Max, which observes the aerobic capacity of an individual on a long-duration space mission. The experiment involves a graded exercise test using either a treadmill or exercise bike. By understanding the changes in aerobic capacity that occur within space flight, necessary adjustments can be made to spacewalk exercise countermeasures. Fossum will participate in a VO2 Max observation at least once every 30 days while he is on the station.

Samokutyaev and fellow Flight Engineer Sergei Volkov worked with the Plasma Crystal-3 experiment, an investigation of the behavior of plasma-dust structures in space. Plasma Crystal-3 also can provide understanding of plasmas on Earth such as lightning.

Commander Andrey Borisenko worked with the Russian experiment known as Relaxation, replacing an associated laptop computer and testing a spectrometer. Relaxation observes radiation patterns from Earth’s ionosphere.

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