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Cargo Transfers and Science for Crew; Station Set for Reboost

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri May 4, 2012 9:22 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 31 crew living and working aboard the International Space Station Thursday focused on cargo transfers from a docked Russian resupply vehicle and performed a variety of science experiments.

Commander Oleg Kononenko unloaded and took inventory of cargo delivered aboard the ISS Progress 47 resupply craft, which docked to the station April 22. He also performed software upgrades on computers in the Russian segment of the station and worked on a variety of maintenance activities.

Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers worked with the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment, which researches the extent of cardiac atrophy during and after long-duration spaceflight and seeks to identify its mechanisms.

Pettit and Kuipers also cleaned air selector valves in the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly, the component of the Air Revitalization System which scrubs carbon dioxide from the station’s environment.

To prepare for experiment work on Friday, Pettit set up hardware for a VO2Max experiment session. 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.

Meanwhile, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 31 crew members Gennady Padalka, Joseph Acaba and Sergei Revin donned their Sokol launch and entry suits and boarded the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft for the first of two “fit check” dress rehearsals to familiarize themselves with the vehicle that will deliver them to the orbiting laboratory. They are scheduled to launch to the station aboard the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft May 14.

The thrusters on the European Space Agency’s “Edoardo Amaldi” Automated Transfer Vehicle, which is docked to the station’s Zvezda service module, are scheduled to fire at 4:37 a.m. EDT Friday for 20 minutes, 21 seconds to place the station at the correct altitude for docking of the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft later this month.

The Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to space successfully test fired its engines for two seconds at the launch pad Monday afternoon. However, the first commercial cargo craft’s May 7 launch target appears unlikely as SpaceX continues to work through the software assurance process with NASA.

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