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Station Crew Repairs Communication System, Loads Trash for Disposal

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:57 am via: NASA
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The three-member Expedition 29 crew of the International Space Station wrapped up a busy workweek Friday with a variety of research and maintenance activities while continuing to load items for disposal in a Russian cargo ship set to undock around the end of October.

NASA astronaut Mike Fossum, commander of Expedition 29, spent much of his day building and installing a jumper cable to fix a problem that occurred with the Inter-Satellite Communication System in the Japanese Kibo module. That system allows the operators in the Mission Control Room at Tsukuba Space Center in Japan to send commands to Kibo and receive system, payload and video data from Kibo for scientific payload operations.

Fossum took a brief break from his work to speak with students in Ispica, Italy, over ham radio and answered a variety of questions about living and working aboard the space station.

Meanwhile Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, flight engineer, performed some preventative maintenance in the European Space Agency’s Columbus module as he cleaned and disinfected water valves and encapsulated them to inhibit condensation from forming.

Furukawa also spent some time in the cupola, the station’s seven-windowed observation deck, capturing nighttime city lights in Japan with a super sensitive HDTV camera.

Their Russian crewmate, Flight Engineer Sergei Volkov continued loading unneeded hardware and trash for disposal in the ISS Progress 42 cargo craft docked to the station’s Pirs docking compartment. The unpiloted supply ship, which arrived at the station in late April, is scheduled to undock Oct. 29 at 5:01 a.m. EDT for a destructive re-entry in the Earth’s atmosphere. Its departure will clear the way for the arrival of the next cargo craft, ISS Progress 45, on Nov. 2.

Later, Volkov performed regular maintenance on the life support system in the Russian segment of the station and worked with the Coulomb Crystal experiment, which gathers data about charged particles in a weightless environment.

Over the weekend, the three crew members will perform voluntary science experiments and regular housekeeping activities, enjoy some off-duty time and continue their daily two-hour exercise regimen to reduce the loss of bone density and muscle mass that occurs during long-duration spaceflight.

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