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Station Crew Prepares for Progress Departure, Arrival

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:16 am via: NASA
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With snow flurries falling from a chilled, leaden grey sky, the ISS Progress 45 cargo craft and its Soyuz booster rolled out to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday (7 a.m. Friday Baikonur time) for liftoff Sunday at 6:11 a.m. to the International Space Station.

The unmanned cargo vehicle is stocked with 2.9 tons of food, fuel and supplies for the station crew, including 1,653 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water and 3,108 pounds of maintenance gear, spare parts and experiment hardware.

Meanwhile aboard the orbiting complex, the Expedition 29 crew members set their sights on Saturday’s undocking and deorbit of the ISS Progress 42 cargo craft, which clears the way for the arrival of Progress 45. The crew closed the hatch between the Pirs docking compartment and the Progress Friday at 10:25 a.m. and conducted leak checks. Loaded with trash and gear set for disposal, Progress 42 is scheduled to undock from the station Saturday at 5:04 a.m. for a destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

Flight Engineers Sergei Volkov and Satoshi Furukawa conducted a training session with the telerobotically operated rendezvous system in the Zvezda service module. This manual system would be used in the unlikely event that Progress 45 encounters a problem with its automated docking.

Commander Mike Fossum swapped out the camera battery, checked samples and downloaded imagery associated with the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test-6 science payload. In this experiment, also known as BCAT-6, station crew members photograph samples of polymer and colloidal particles as they change from liquids to gases, to model that phase change. The results will help scientists develop fundamental physics concepts previously cloaked by the effects of gravity.

Fossum also spoke via amateur radio with students at the Herzliya Science Centre’s Space Laboratory in Herzliya, Israel.

Thursday, he spoke with children from the Cherry Creek School District in Centennial, Colo. in a conversation coordinated by Amateur Radio on International Space 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 Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov on Nov. 16.

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