Headlines > News > Station Boosts Orbit as Crew Prepares for STS-135

Station Boosts Orbit as Crew Prepares for STS-135

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:26 am via: NASA
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The International Space Station boosted its orbit Wednesday morning after the ISS Progress 43 cargo craft fired its engines for over 33 minutes. The orbit adjustment places the station at the correct altitude for space shuttle Atlantis’ docking on July 10. The shuttle program’s final mission, STS-135, is officially set for launch on July 8 at 11:26 a.m. EDT.

NASA astronauts Ron Garan and Mike Fossum along with Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa spent some time reviewing their planned activities during Atlantis’ stay at the station. Garan and Fossum will conduct a spacewalk on flight day five of STS-135. Furukawa will assist the spacewalkers from inside the station.

The three astronauts also reviewed maneuvers for walking off the Canadarm2 from the Mobile Base System to the Harmony Node 2. The walkoff will be conducted in advance of the arrival of space shuttle Atlantis to prepare for docked operations.

Commander Andrey Borisenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Volkov also joined their crewmates for the mission timeline review. Earlier, Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev joined his fellow cosmonauts for a periodic emergency descent drill to maintain readiness in the unlikely event a station evacuation would be necessary.

Samokutyaev also continued transferring gear from the ISS Progress 43. The Russian resupply ship will be loaded with trash and other discarded gear then undocked at the end of August for disposal over the Pacific Ocean.

Volkov worked on the Plasma-3 Crystal experiment. The investigation studies ultra-violet radiation and its interaction with macro-particles in the space station. Plasmas on Earth include static electricity, lightning and auroras.

Furukawa and Fossum participated in an eye exam in conjunction with medical ground support. A video camera and laptop computer were set up to collect data as a crew member used a tonometer to measure eye pressure.

Fossum also conducted maintenance on the Waste Recovery System’s condensate pump. In addition, he continued configuring spacewalk tools.

Also on Tuesday, the Expedition 28 crew prepared for the spacewalk that Fossum and Garan will perform when the STS-135 crew aboard space shuttle Atlantis visits the station during the final mission of the shuttle program. That launch is currently planned for July 8. Fossum and Garan reviewed procedures for a tag-up later with spacewalk specialists on the ground.

On Wednesday beginning at 8:15 a.m., the engines of the ISS Progress 43 cargo craft docked to the aft port of the station’s Zvezda service module will fire for 33 minutes and six seconds. This reboost will increase the station’s altitude and refine docking opportunities with Atlantis. Progress 43 docked to the station Thursday, bringing around three tons of fuel, air and supplies for the Expedition 28 crew.

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