Headlines > News > Station Raises Orbit for Visitors as Experiments Continue

Station Raises Orbit for Visitors as Experiments Continue

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:48 am via: NASA
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The International Space Station raised its orbit Wednesday after the Zvezda service module fired its engines for 1 minute, 53 seconds. The reboost puts the station in a good configuration for a second orbital boost on Oct. 26. Both firings will put the station at the proper altitude for the upcoming dockings of the ISS Progress 45 supply ship and the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft carrying three new Expedition 29 crew members.

The ISS Progress 42, packed with trash and discarded gear, is scheduled to undock Oct. 29 for a fiery disposal over the Pacific Ocean. The ISS Progress 45 will launch a day later and dock Nov. 2 to the Pirs docking compartment delivering fresh supplies to outfit the crew and station.

New flight engineers Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin are due to arrive at the orbiting laboratory in mid-November. After the hatches to the Soyuz TMA-22 are opened the new trio will join Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov.

Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov are due to end their stay at the station on Nov. 22 after 166 days aboard the station. They will return home in the Soyuz TMA-02M spaceship and will land in Kazakhstan.

Fossum spent part of Wednesday working in the Quest airlock reconfiguring and purging cooling loops in two U.S. spacesuits. The commander also worked in the Combustion Integrated Rack servicing the Flame Extinguishment Experiment, or FLEX-2. FLEX-2 uses small droplets of fuel to study the special burning characteristics of fire in space.

Furukawa downloaded data from the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment. The data is captured by sensors worn by a crew member that measure the decrease in the heart’s size during long duration microgravity missions. The Japanese astronaut also relocated gear inside the Kibo laboratory’s Logistics module and stowed unused ethernet cables in the Destiny laboratory.

Volkov continued preparing the Progress 42 for its upcoming undocking. The cosmonaut and former Expedition 17 commander loaded the supply ship with trash and inventoried gear set for disposal. He also conducted the ongoing Russian experiment RELAXATION. The study observes chemical reactions in the Earth’s upper atmosphere created by spacecraft plasma trails during re-entry and jet engine exhaust.

Fossum also spent 20 minutes Wednesday talking to Space.com’s Denise Chow and ABC Radio’s Vic Ratner. The commander talked about staying healthy in space, ongoing station science and NASA’s future.

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