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Station Crew Conducts Drill, Science

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:35 am via: NASA
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Aboard the orbiting International Space Station Monday, Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin entered their Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft for a required emergency egress drill that is part of the periodic review of evacuation procedures for the station crew.

Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers 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.

Pettit also continued his work with the Structure and Liftoff In Combustion Experiment, or SLICE, which investigates the nature of flames in microgravity. Pettit set up the SLICE hardware inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox and performed a flame test. Results from SLICE could lead to improvements in pollution control technology and fuel efficiency.

Burbank conducted a maintenance procedure on two payload computers that were recently upgraded with the Enhanced Processor and Integrated Communications, or EPIC, main processor cards. The EPIC computer cards were installed in seven computers on the orbital complex, which are formally called Multiplexer/Demultiplexers, and are used for Guidance, Navigation, & Control; Command and Control; and Payload, or experiment, control. The new cards have faster processors and more memory than the previous ones, and they have an Ethernet connection for data output.

Shkaplerov and Ivanishin joined fellow Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko in the continued unloading of supplies from the ISS Progress 46 cargo craft. Progress 46 arrived at the station in January delivering 2.9 tons of food, fuel and equipment to the six crew members on the orbital laboratory.

Pettit and Kuipers were interviewed by KGO-TV in San Francisco and the ABC Radio Network.

The Zvezda Service Module’s engines will fire Wednesday for a reboost that will raise the station’s altitude in preparation for the launch and docking of the European Space Agency’s “Edoardo Amaldi” Automated Transfer Vehicle-3. The vehicle is set for launch March 9 on an Ariane 5 rocket from the Arianespace launch complex in Kourou, French Guiana.

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