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Station Crew Preps for Cargo Craft Arrival

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:00 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 30 crew of the International Space Station participated in an emergency drill Tuesday and continued cleaning up the orbital outpost’s “closet” on the eve of the arrival of a European cargo ship.

The European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-3, or ATV-3, is set to dock with the aft end of the station’s Zvezda service module at 6:33 p.m. EDT Wednesday. As it fine tunes its path toward the final phase of its approach for that docking, the ATV-3, named “Edoardo Amaldi,” will complete a series of four rendezvous burns Tuesday.

Live NASA Television coverage of the docking begins at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday.

To make room for some of the 7.2 tons of food, fuel and supplies arriving aboard ATV-3, Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers continued moving items temporarily stored in the corridor of the Permanent Multipurpose Module to their final locations. Also known as Leonardo, this module serves as the station’s closet with 2,472 cubic feet of storage space.

In addition to his cleanup work, Kuipers joined Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Oleg Kononenko for a periodic emergency descent drill to review their roles and responsibilities should it become necessary to evacuate the station aboard their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft. In addition to providing the ride to the station and the return to Earth, each Soyuz spacecraft serves as a lifeboat throughout an Expedition.

Pettit and Commander Dan Burbank spent much of their day in the Destiny laboratory routing cable for the High Rate Communication System. When fully installed and operational, this upgrade to the station’s Ku band system will provide substantially faster uplink and downlink speeds, improved bandwidth, two extra voice communication loops and two additional video downlink channels.

Burbank also removed and replaced a crank handle on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device, one of several exercise devices the crew uses daily to maintain physical fitness and prevent the loss of muscle mass and bone density that typically occurs during long-duration spaceflight.

In the Russian segment of the station, Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin worked together on the Bar experiment, which looks at methods and instruments for detecting the location of a loss of pressure aboard the station. Kononenko meanwhile participated in the Relaksatsiya (“Relaxation”) Earth-observation experiment, studying chemical luminescent reactions in the Earth’s atmosphere.

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