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Station Crew Prepares for Progress Undocking

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:35 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 28 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station closed out the week Friday by preparing the ISS Progress 43 cargo ship for its undocking and working on a variety of science experiments and maintenance tasks.

Flight Engineers Sergei Volkov and Alexander Samokutyaev prepared the Progress 43 resupply craft for its undocking at 5:38 a.m. EDT Tuesday. Volkov completed loading it with unneeded items and station discards and removed two handles from the spacecraft’s hatch. He also joined Samokutyaev in installing a docking mechanism on the station side of the hatch which will be used during the arrival of ISS Progress 44.

Once undocked, Progress 43 will be placed into a parking orbit for engineering tests before it is deorbited for a fiery disposal over the Pacific Ocean on September 1. Its departure will clear the way for Progress 44, scheduled to launch Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Progress 44 will carry 2,050 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water and 2,777 pounds of spare parts and experiment hardware (for a total of 5,863 pounds or 2.9 tons) to the orbital complex. The vehicle is slated to rollout to its launch pad in Baikonur Monday for launch Wednesday at 9 a.m. (7 p.m. Baikonur time). Docking Friday is scheduled at 10:38 a.m.

Working with a Microgravity Science Glovebox in the Destiny laboratory, Flight Engineer Ron Garan participated in the Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment. The series of observations, known as PACE, studies the behavior of particles suspended in fluid in the space environment.

Station commander Andrey Borisenko spent some time with the Russian Plants-2 experiment. Plants-2 researches the growth and development of plants under spaceflight conditions in a special greenhouse facility.

Borisenko also performed routine maintenance on the environmental control and life support system in the Zvezda service module.

Samokutyaev gathered routine surface samples aboard the Zarya control module, and Flight Engineer Mike Fossum took routine water samples from the station’s Water Recovery System.

Satoshi Furukawa, another flight engineer, inspected the station’s Portable Breathing Apparatuses and Portable Fire Extinguishers.

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