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Station Residents Await New Trio

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu May 10, 2012 6:26 am via: NASA
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The three Expedition 31 crew members onboard the International Space Station are working on cargo transfers and science. They await three new crew members who are in Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, as their Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft is being prepared for launch.

Flight Engineer Don Pettit continued transferring cargo and trash back and forth from Europe’s “Edoardo Amaldi” Automated Transfer Vehicle-3. The resupply vehicle is planned to undock in August and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean for a fiery destruction.

The Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft is placed inside its booster rocket. Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov

The Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft is placed inside its booster rocket. Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov

Pettit then spent the afternoon working on the Combustion Integrated Rack replacing a fuel reservoir in the Multi-user Droplet Combustion Apparatus. The rack enables microgravity combustion experiments in the Destiny laboratory module which are operated remotely from the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers spent most of his day on an experiment sponsored by the European Space Agency and run by French scientists. The study conducts numerous measurements to determine how to maintain a crew member’s energy balance while counteracting the effects of long-term missions in space.

Holding their launch and entry suits while waiting to join Expedition 31 are (from left) Flight Engineers Joe Acaba, Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin. Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov

Holding their launch and entry suits while waiting to join Expedition 31 are (from left) Flight Engineers Joe Acaba, Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin. Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov

Commander Oleg Kononenko spent some time in the morning on ISS Progress 47 cargo transfers and updating the inventory management system. The Progress cargo craft will undergo a test of upgraded Kurs automated rendezvous equipment when it undocks and re-docks in July. It will finally undock a few days later from the Pirs docking compartment for re-entry over the Pacific Ocean.

Meanwhile, a new Soyuz vehicle is being attached to its booster rocket for a May 14 launch to the orbital laboratory. The Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft will carry Expedition 31 Flight Engineers Gennady Padalka, Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin to the space station. They will dock to the Poisk module two days later.

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