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Station Crew Prepares and Trains for Upcoming Missions

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:10 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 30 crew is preparing for the departure of three crewmates while also training for the arrival of the first commercial cargo craft.

Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin worked to prepare their Soyuz TMA-22 for undocking on April 27. They checked the Soyuz systems and stowed gear. The two cosmonauts and Commander Dan Burbank will wrap up Expedition 30 when they land in Kazakhstan several hours after leaving the International Space Station.

Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko, Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers will become Expedition 31 when their crewmates undock. Kononenko will become station commander while the trio awaits three new crew members who are scheduled to arrive in mid-May aboard the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft.

Kononenko also worked to load the ISS Progress 46 with trash and discarded gear. The resupply craft is scheduled to undock on April 19 then deorbit several days later after engineering tests on the vehicle.

Pettit and Kuipers continued their training for the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon capsule planned for May. They trained on the Robotics Work Station in the cupola. The two astronauts will use Canadarm2 to grapple and berth the automated resupply vehicle during its rendezvous with the station.

Science continues uninterrupted on the orbital laboratory with the crew working on numerous ongoing experiments in conjunction with scientists on the ground.

Shkaplerov worked with the Coulomb Crystal experiment which observes the formation and interaction of electrically charged particles. Results are essential to the theory of electromagnetism. Pettit, Kuipers and Burbank continued Ultrasound eye scans with the data being studied by doctors to determine the effect of microgravity on sight.

Burbank continued plumbing work on the Waste and Hygiene Compartment as he removed and replaced a pump separator. The commander also completed his last proficiency test as the station’s Crew Medical Officer.

April 12 is Cosmonautics Day in Russia when they observe the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first flight of a human into space. To celebrate the 51st anniversary the six-member crew gathered in the Kibo laboratory for a conference with Russian space officials.

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