Headlines > News > Station Crew Back at Work Following Weekend Cargo Transfers

Station Crew Back at Work Following Weekend Cargo Transfers

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Apr 4, 2012 7:40 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 30 crew of the International Space Station got back to work Tuesday following a weekend of expedited cargo transfers and a day off on Monday.

Commander Dan Burbank began his day talking with students from St. Anthony’s Parish Primary School in Canberra, Australia, over amateur radio before moving onto some work with the Waste and Hygiene Compartment. Burbank performed an electrical conductivity test to investigate an anomaly he observed in the power connector to the Urine Monitoring System back in March. Flight controllers want to pinpoint the cause of the anomaly and ensure that the connector is fully functional.

Later, Burbank teamed up with Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers in the Destiny laboratory for a live educational event with students from O. Henry Middle School in Austin, Texas. The three astronauts answered a variety of questions about living and working in space.

Pettit spent part of his day performing routine weekly cleaning and housekeeping. Later he swapped out a laptop computer associated with the Microgravity Science Glovebox, which provides a safe environment for research with liquids, combustion and hazardous materials aboard the station.

Kuipers meanwhile moved NanoRacks from the EXPRESS rack in the Japanese Kibo module to the rack in the Destiny lab. NanoRacks, a commercial research facility designed to make access to the station easier and cheaper for scientists and educators, provides room for up to 16 customer payloads through a standardized interface.

Kuipers also set up the Portable Pulmonary Function System hardware for a VO2Max experiment session that Pettit will conduct on Wednesday. VO2Max studies changes in the astronauts’ aerobic capacity during long-duration spaceflight. Data from this research also may provide valuable insight into the aerobic capacity of teams in closed environments on Earth, such as arctic bases and submarines.

On the Russian side of the station, Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Oleg Kononenko worked with the Matryoshka experiment. Named after the traditional Russian set of nested dolls, this experiment helps measure the ionizing radiation exposure that Expedition crews are subjected to during long-duration spaceflights.

Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov set up hardware for the Coulomb Crystal experiment, which gathers data about charged particles in a weightless environment, and later participated in the Seiner ocean observation experiment.

Because the Expedition 30 crew members were pressed into action Saturday for an expedited unloading of cargo from the European Space Agency’s “Edoardo Amaldi“ Automated Transfer Vehicle-3 (ATV-3), they were given Monday off. The crew moved bags of vital supplies of clothing, food, spare parts and other crew provisions from the European ship to the International Space Station and began loading trash back into the cargo vehicle.

Flight controllers at NASA’s Mission Control in Houston, the European Space Agency’s ATV Control Center in Toulouse, France, and the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow successfully restored power Saturday to the ATV-3. Controllers in Toulouse sent commands to connect a backup power channel in the Russian Equipment Control System, or RECS, that enables electricity to flow from the station to the ATV-3, allowing the resupply craft to perform a reboost of the station Saturday afternoon and avoid an early undocking.

The primary channel of the RECS failed late Thursday during air scrubbing of the interior of the cargo ship. The cause of the failure is under investigation. ATV-3 docked with the station Wednesday, March 28.

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