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Station Crew Prepares for New Trio and Adapts to Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Dec 1, 2011 10:35 am via: NASA
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The International Space Station raised its orbit when the Zvezda service module fired its engines Wednesday at 6:11 p.m. EST. The first of two reboosts will put the station at the proper altitude for the arrival of three additional Expedition 30 flight engineers on Dec. 23.

Mission controllers are monitoring space debris from a Russian satellite for a possible conjunction with the station. Ballistics officers continued to track the piece of space debris throughout the day, but determined that it would not interfere with today’s planned reboost. If a debris avoidance maneuver is required, that would occur Friday morning at 9:33.

The current crew, Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, continued ongoing station science and maintenance activities. The new station residents also spent time adapting to life on the orbital complex.

Burbank updated UHF communications software and set up a command panel that will be used when the first commercial vehicle, the SpaceX Dragon reusable spacecraft, arrives at the station. The demonstration flight of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon capsule in January 2012 is under review.

The station commander also changed out gear that is part of the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment. Cardiac atrophy, a decrease in the heart’s size, is associated with long-duration space flight. The ongoing experiment seeks to determine how fast atrophy occurs and if any significant problems arise in the heart’s function.

Shkaplerov and Ivanishin worked in the Russian segment of the orbital laboratory transferring cargo, replacing a computer system and conducting science.

Shkaplerov worked on the Molniya-Gamma experiment downlinking data. The investigation studies optical emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere and ionosphere associated with thunderstorms and seismic activity.

Ivanishin spent time tagging up with specialists on the Pneumocard experiment. The study observes the adaptation of a crew member’s cardiovascular system during a long-duration mission in space.

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