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Station Crew Preps for Spacewalk

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Feb 4, 2012 10:44 am via: NASA
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Aboard the orbiting International Space Station, Expedition 30 Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Anton Shkaplerov continued preparations Friday for their Feb. 16 spacewalk by gathering and sorting tools and preparing the Pirs docking compartment airlock.

During the 5.5-hour excursion, the two cosmonauts will move one of the two Strela hand-operated cranes from Pirs to the Poisk module and install five debris shields on the Zvezda service module. If time permits, Kononenko and Shkaplerov also will attach two experiments on the exterior of the station and install support struts on the ladder attached to Pirs. This will be the 162nd spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance.

Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers continued their work with the SOdium LOading in Microgravity experiment. They placed urine samples in the Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer and took body mass measurements for the study, which investigates the mechanisms of fluid and salt retention in the body during spaceflight.

Burbank participated in an experiment known as VO2 Max, which observes the aerobic capacity of an individual on a long-duration space mission. The experiment involves a graded exercise test using either a treadmill or exercise bike. By understanding the changes in aerobic capacity that occur within spaceflight, necessary adjustments can be made to spacewalk exercise countermeasures.

Kuipers performed some troubleshooting on Express Rack 4, which had a computer failure earlier in the week, and he cleaned up and sorted stowage items in the Permanent Multipurpose Module.

Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin worked with the Russian experiment known as Relaxation, which uses two plasma contactor units installed on the station’s Z1 truss to observe radiation patterns from Earth’s ionosphere.

Flight Engineer Don Pettit participated in an educational activity in which he assembled a model of a land yacht with Lego bricks to demonstrate to children and student groups the challenges faced when building things in a weightless environment.

On Tuesday, NASA hosted a media telecon to discuss the status of the International Space Station and the progress toward an updated launch schedule, including international partner and commercial space vehicles. International Space Station Program Manager Michael Suffredini answered reporters’ questions.

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