Headlines > News > Cosmonauts Vote from Station; Science and Maintenance for Crew

Cosmonauts Vote from Station; Science and Maintenance for Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Mar 6, 2012 9:13 am via: NASA
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Over the weekend, Expedition 30 Flight Engineers and cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin and Oleg Kononenko voted in the Russian presidential election from orbit in a confidential procedure set up with officials on the ground at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, where the three station crew members reside.

Aboard the International Space Station Monday, the Expedition 30 crew members focused on a variety of science and maintenance tasks, kicking-off another busy week aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Commander Dan Burbank 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.

Flight Engineer Don Pettit worked with the Structure and Liftoff In Combustion Experiment, or SLICE, which investigates the nature of flames in microgravity. Results from SLICE could lead to improvements in pollution control technology and fuel efficiency.

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers checked out and tested the hardware control panel that will be used to monitor the Japanese HTV-3 cargo ship once it is launched later this year to deliver supplies to the station. He also had some time set aside to speak with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at a computer expo fair in Hanover, Germany during an in-flight media event.

Shkaplerov, Ivanishin and Kononenko worked in the Russian segment of the station, maintaining and monitoring its systems, transferring cargo and performing science experiments.

The status of the station’s Water Processing Assembly (WPA) continues to be analyzed following last week’s detection of a leak in a catalytic converter component that has temporarily shut down the system. Thursday evening, the WPA catalytic reactor experienced a pressure decay and then faulted to a warm shutdown, which indicates a leak in the system. Currently, ground teams are working towards an in-flight maintenance procedure on March 11, but this is still under review.

The WPA produces potable water by processing condensate, urine distillate, and Oxygen Generation Assembly by-products. The potable water is used by the crew in the galley for drinking and hydrating food, in the Waste and Hygiene Compartment and for payloads. Currently, the crew is supplying the potable water bus by filling it from Contingency Water Containers stored on the station.

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