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Progress Departure Preps, Science and Maintenance For Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:31 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 30 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station Thursday were busy with preparations for the departure of the ISS Progress 45 cargo craft and its deployment of a nanosatellite. They also worked with a variety of scientific research from around the world and continued the upkeep and maintenance of the systems aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Oleg Kononenko performed leak checks and reviewed undocking procedures to prepare the ISS Progress 45 cargo ship for its departure. It is set to undock from the Pirs docking compartment at 5:10 p.m. EST on Monday for a destructive re-entry in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Progress will depart the orbital complex with its hatch open in order to deploy a small 88-pound nanosatellite called Chibis-M. The deployment will occur at 6:19 p.m. on Tuesday after the Progress separates from the station. Chibis-M will remain in orbit for at least four years studying the interaction of plasma waves with the ionosphere.

Commander Dan Burbank updated software on the spare COTS UHF Communications Unit which will be used to communicate with visiting commercial spacecraft, such as the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship. He also performed maintenance on the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) in the Destiny laboratory.

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers performed sound level measurements to ensure equipment sound levels are within safe ranges. He also analyzed water samples and performed maintenance on the station’s Water Recovery System, or WRS, which recycles urine to produce potable water.

Flight Engineer Don Pettit worked on the recertification of the MSG throughout the day and gathered Structure and Liftoff Combustion Experiment, or SLICE, hardware for installation into the MSG on Friday. Pettit also scanned his thigh and calf for the Sprint study. That experiment, in conjunction with guidance from the ground team, evaluates the use of exercise to minimize muscle and bone loss.

Controllers on the ground continued ongoing remote robotics work, commanding the Canadarm2 and Dextre to survey an experiment installed on the exterior of the station during the STS-134 mission.

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