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Station Gets Ready for Busy Vehicle Schedule

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:53 am via: NASA
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The International Space Station completed its second and final orbital boost before the departure and arrival of three Russian spacecraft. The Zvezda service module fired its engines Wednesday morning for 1 minute, 54 seconds, its second burn in a week putting the station at the correct altitude.

The ISS Progress 42, packed with trash and discarded gear, will undock Saturday for a fiery disposal over the Pacific Ocean. The ISS Progress 45 will launch Sunday and dock Nov. 2 to the Pirs docking compartment delivering fresh supplies to replenish the crew and station.

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft carrying three new station crew members is set to arrive in mid-November. Flight Engineers Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin will join Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov on Nov. 16.

Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov are due to end their stay at the station on Nov. 21. They will undock — at which time Expedition 30 will officially begin — and return home in the Soyuz TMA-02M spaceship for a landing in Kazakhstan.

Fossum worked in the station’s Waste and Hygiene Compartment replacing a filter and receptacle Wednesday. The commander also scanned his legs with the Ultrasound 2 as part of the Sprint experiment. That study observes whether high intensity resistance training can minimize muscle and bone loss during long duration microgravity missions.

Furukawa talked to student visitors at the Saga Prefecture Space & Science Museum and Takayama Village Astronomical Observatory. The Japanese astronaut talked about the differences between living and working on Earth and in space.

Volkov is nearing the completion of packing the Progress 42 craft before its undocking. The cosmonaut also continued work on the ongoing Russian experiment Plasma Crystal-3. The experiment investigates plasma-dust structures in the space environment exposed to ultraviolet radiation, plasma flows and ionizing radiation.

The space station flew over Hurricane Rina giving crew members an opportunity to photograph and videotape the intensifying storm. Other targets available for the Crew Earth Observations program included cities in Pakistan and Thailand and the coronal mass ejection over North America which created aurora night lights.

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