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ATV-3 Launch Delayed; Science and Maintenance for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Mar 3, 2012 10:41 am via: NASA
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The European Space Agency announced Friday a postponement for the scheduled March 9 launch of the “Edoardo Amaldi” Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo ship to the International Space Station. It is expected that the delay will be around two weeks in length.

Meanwhile, the Expedition 30 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station focused on a variety of science and maintenance tasks Friday, wrapping up another busy week aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Commander Dan Burbank participated in an experiment known as VO2max, which monitors individuals on a long-term space missions. 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 Don Pettit performed maintenance on the EXPRESS rack 4 facility in the Kibo module, removing and replacing a rack interface controller. Pettit also had some time set aside to speak with students in Atlanta and Greece via amateur radio as part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program (ARISS).

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers conducted and recorded an optic image inversion demonstration using a free-floating sphere of water as part of an educational program that will be seen by students on Earth. He also performed some maintenance in the U.S. airlock, removing and replacing bacteria filters.

Flight Engineers and cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin and Oleg Kononenko sent down a congratulatory message to Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to fly in space in 1963, as she prepares to celebrate her 75th birthday Tuesday.

The three cosmonauts also worked in the Russian segment of the station, maintaining and monitoring its systems and performing science experiments.

Later, ground controllers are scheduled to remotely command the Dextre robotic manipulator from the Mobile Base System to a grapple position on the starboard truss in advance of next week’s initial test work with the Robotic Refueling Mission payload located on Express Logistics Carrier-4.

Over the weekend, the station residents will continue regular maintenance duties and ongoing scientific research. They also will perform their daily physical exercise routines, enjoy some off-duty time and have an opportunity to speak with family members.

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