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Spacewalk Preps, Cargo Transfers and Science for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Feb 1, 2012 3:40 pm via: NASA
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The Expedition 30 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station Tuesday were busy with preparations for an upcoming Russian spacewalk and continued cargo transfers from the newest station resupply vehicle. 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.

To prepare for their upcoming spacewalk, Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Anton Shkaplerov checked the control panel systems in the Pirs docking compartment airlock. They are scheduled to exit the airlock on Feb. 16 for a six-hour spacewalk to attach five debris shields on the exterior of the Zvezda service module and relocate one of two Strela telescoping cranes from the Pirs module to the Poisk module.

Kononenko and Shkaplerov also continued to unload and inventory the 2.9 tons of food, fuel and equipment aboard the ISS Progress 46 cargo craft, which docked Friday to the Pirs docking compartment.

Commander Dan Burbank worked 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.

Flight Engineer Don Pettit 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.

Burbank and Pettit also participated in an in-flight educational event, speaking with students at the Asa E. Low Intermediate School in Mansfield, Texas.

Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin worked with the Identification experiment, which examines the station’s dynamic loads during events such as dockings and reboosts, as well as the Seiner ocean observation experiment. Ivanishin later conducted inspections of the windows in the Pirs and Poisk modules, collecting detailed photographs for further review by Russian flight controllers.

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers replaced the Photoacoustic Analyzer Module inside the Human Research Facility 2 Pulmonary Function System and performed routine maintenance work on the station’s Water Recovery System.

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