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New Crewmates Prepare For Launch; Science for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Dec 9, 2011 10:40 am via: NASA
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Expedition 30 Flight Engineers Don Pettit, Oleg Kononenko and Andre Kuipers flew from their training base at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, to their launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday to prepare for their launch to the International Space Station on Dec. 21. They are scheduled to join their crewmates aboard the orbiting laboratory on Dec. 23.

The thrusters on the station’s Zvezda service module are scheduled to be fired Friday for one minute, 22 seconds at 2:50 p.m. EST to raise the altitude of the station in preparation for the launch and docking of the Soyuz TMA-03 spacecraft carrying Pettit, Kononenko and Kuipers.

Meanwhile, the Expedition 30 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station focused on science experiments, hardware tests and maintenance duties Thursday.

Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov spent time with the Typology experiment, which studies a crew member’s psychophysical state during long-duration spaceflight, as well as the Coulomb Crystal experiment, which observes the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles. He also charged batteries in the satellite phone used in the docked Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft and worked in the Russian section of the station maintaining its systems.

Commander Dan Burbank began a checkout of the Amine Swingbed prototype hardware before running into some issues with the fittings for some of the components. The hardware was put away for now until flight controllers can develop a plan to resolve the issues. The hardware is being tested for use in the Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle for removing carbon dioxide while conserving water. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry crews beyond low Earth orbit.

Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin transferred supplies from the docked ISS Progress 45 resupply ship and took photos and video for the Russian ocean observation program known as Seiner.

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