Headlines > News > Russian Cargo Craft Set To Dock with Station Friday

Russian Cargo Craft Set To Dock with Station Friday

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:35 am via: NASA
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The ISS Progress 46 resupply craft is on its way to the International Space Station after a successful launch Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Loaded with 2.9 tons of food, fuel and equipment, Progress 46 will arrive at the station’s Pirs docking compartment on Friday at 7:08 p.m. EST.

Meanwhile, the six Expedition 30 crew members living and working aboard the orbiting laboratory made preparations for the arrival of the new cargo craft and continued ongoing science and maintenance activities Thursday.

Commander Dan Burbank set up and ran test sessions using the Capillary Flow Experiment, which is a physics experiment that investigates the flow of fluids in a complex geometric container in a weightless environment. Results from this study will improve computer models used to design fluid transfer systems on future spacecraft and will lead to improvements in system reliability with reductions in system mass and complexity.

Flight Engineer Don Pettit took part in nutrition studies throughout the day and participated in a Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, Port Install procedure review and conference. SPHERES uses three bowling-ball-sized satellites to test techniques that could lead to advancements in automated dockings, satellite servicing, spacecraft assembly and emergency repairs.

Burbank and Pettit also participated in an in-flight educational event with students from Wise County, Va., answering questions about life aboard the station and some of the science experiments they are currently working with.

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers worked in the Kibo module on the SAIBO rack’s clean bench and later worked to swap telemetry cables from Ku-band Antenna Group 2 to 1 to improve video downlink capabilities.

Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Oleg Kononenko reviewed Progress docking procedures with flight control teams and conducted science experiments in the Russian segment of the station. Shkaplerov worked with the Pneumocard experiment, which observes the adaptation of the cardiovascular system during long-term missions. Kononenko worked with the Typology experiment, which studies a crew member’s psychophysical state during long-duration spaceflight.

Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin inspected and photographed the condition of the structural elements, cabling and pressurized shell ring in the Russian segment of the station. He also worked with Shkaplerov on the Russian BAR experiment, which studies tools and methods for detecting pressure leaks in space.

Meanwhile, the same piece of Chinese Fengyun 1C satellite debris that was considered to be no threat to the station earlier this week is being tracked again by flight control teams for a possible conjunction. Two possible close encounters with the station occur early Sunday, about 32 hours after the docking of the ISS Progress 46 cargo ship. Flight control teams will continue tracking the orbital debris with no debris avoidance maneuver expected prior to the Progress docking.

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