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Station Crew Focuses on Maintenance, Spacewalk Preps, Science

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Feb 7, 2012 10:53 am via: NASA
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After an off-duty weekend for the International Space Station’s Expedition 30 crew, Commander Dan Burbank worked on removing a filter tank assembly from the Advanced Recycle System Monday. He is removing the assembly so it can be restored to its regular configuration to work in concert with the Urine Processing Assembly, or UPA. Part of the station’s Water Recovery System, the UPA distills urine that is then converted to potable water and oxygen.

Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Anton Shkaplerov reviewed timeline procedures for their Feb. 16 spacewalk. During the 5.5-hour excursion, the two cosmonauts will move one of the two Strela hand-operated cranes from the Pirs docking compartment 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 to 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.

Meanwhile, Don Pettit, also a flight engineer, worked to reset a video overlay display for the Smoke Point In Co-flow Experiment. Also known as SPICE, the experiment determines the point at which gas-jet flames begin to emit soot in microgravity. Studying a soot-emitting flame is important in understanding the ability of fires to spread.

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers set up the Portable Pulmonary Function System in advance of a session of the VO2 Max experiment. VO2 Max 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.

Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin spent time on the radiation payload suite Matryoshka-R. The Russian payload is designed for sophisticated radiation studies and is named after the traditional Russian set of nested dolls.

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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