Headlines > News > Station’s Orbit Raised, Crew Prepares for STS-135

Station’s Orbit Raised, Crew Prepares for STS-135

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Jul 2, 2011 7:13 am via: NASA
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The International Space Station’s orbit was raised Friday after the docked ISS Progress 43 cargo craft fired its engines for 30 minutes. The reboost was the second of two this week and places the station at the correct altitude for space shuttle Atlantis’ scheduled 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.

To prepare for the arrival of Atlantis, Flight Engineers Mike Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa conducted a rehearsal photography session. On flight day three 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 and Flight Engineer Ron Garan prepared tools and equipment for a spacewalk they will conduct on flight day five of the STS-135 mission. Furukawa is scheduled to assist the spacewalkers from inside the station during the excursion.

Fossum also spent some time in the Kibo laboratory removing and replacing a failed electronic unit in a freezer with a spare unit stored on the station. The failed unit will be packed for return on Atlantis during STS-135.

Commander Andrey Borisenko worked on the Plants-2 greenhouse experiment. 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.

Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev spent some time working with the RUSALKA experiment. RUSALKA is a test of procedures for remote determination of methane and carbon dioxide content in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Flight Engineer Sergei Volkov worked in the Russian segment of the station conducting routine maintenance and monitoring its systems.

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.

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