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Three Station Crew Members Prepare for Departure

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:31 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station wrapped up a busy week Friday, focusing on departure preparations for three of its crew members. The crew also conducted science experiments, performed maintenance duties and continued Earth observations.

Commander Andrey Borisenko and Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Ron Garan rehearsed undocking and descent procedures to prepare for their departure and return to Earth scheduled for Sept. 16. They will undock and return home aboard the Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft, landing in the steppe of Kazakhstan.

The launch date for the next trio of station residents, NASA’s Dan Burbank and Russia’s Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, remains under review pending the results of an investigation into the cause of a recent cargo launch vehicle failure.

NASA has been following the investigation of the Progress 44 launch issue by its Russian partners. Roscosmos is sharing data with NASA which NASA also is assessing. This is an ongoing process and finding the cause is the beginning step. NASA looks forward to working with its Russian colleagues to fully understand what happened and take the corrective actions necessary to ensure the safe continuation of flights to the International Space Station.

Flight Engineer Mike Fossum replaced and reconfigured equipment inside the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) which is part of the Fluids and Combustion Facility inside the Destiny laboratory. The CIR is an experiment facility that helps researchers study how different materials combust in the microgravity environment aboard the station and can be operated by crew members or remotely by researchers on Earth.

Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa worked on the Vehicle Cabin Atmospheric Module, inspecting, troubleshooting cables and reconnecting cables as needed.

Garan worked on the Inter-Orbit Communications System in the Kibo module, troubleshooting a short circuit. He also performed a routine Crew Quarters clean up, performing safety checks and ensuring all ducting was working properly.

Throughout the week, the six station residents have used their unique view of Earth to capture dramatic photos and video of Hurricane Katia and Tropical Storm Nate in the Atlantic Ocean and the wildfires that have destroyed thousands of acres and hundreds of homes in Texas.

Over the weekend, crew members will continue their departure preparations, maintenance duties and scientific research. They also will perform their daily physical exercise routines, enjoy some off-duty time and have an opportunity to speak with family members.

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