Headlines > News > Station Gets New Residents; Science and Maintenance for Crew

Station Gets New Residents; Science and Maintenance for Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri May 18, 2012 6:21 am via: NASA
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With the arrival of the remaining three crew members Thursday, the Expedition 31 crew is now operating at full strength aboard the International Space Station.

Flight Engineers Gennady Padalka, Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin were welcomed aboard the orbiting laboratory after the hatches opened Thursday at 4:10 a.m. EDT. They docked to the Poisk module at 12:36 a.m. after a two-day journey that began in Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, aboard the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft.

After a series of leak and pressure checks, the new station residents were welcomed aboard by their crewmates, Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers. All six crew members then participated in a greeting ceremony and conference with family and mission officials, followed by a safety briefing.

The station crew members then performed a variety of post-docking operations and Soyuz transfers, before returning to their regular science and maintenance activities.

Pettit worked with the SPHERES experiment troubleshooting the reference clock. He also replaced a manifold bottle in the Combustion Integrated Rack experiment and observed microbial samples for the Environmental Health System – Microbial Capture Device.

Kuipers worked on the Water Resource System to prepare for water transfers and performed flow measurements on the Temperature and Humidity Control Intermodule Ventilation system.

Kononenko worked with the Identification experiment, which examines the station’s dynamic loads during events such as dockings and reboosts. He also spent some time in the Russian segment of the station, performing maintenance and monitoring its systems.

The newest station residents had some time scheduled to set up their Crew Quarters and began several days of familiarization tasks as they adjust to life aboard the orbiting laboratory.

The station residents are slated for a 14-hour sleep period to get them back on the normal station sleep schedule after adjusting it to accommodate Thursday’s docking operations.

While the space station transitions to six-member operations, SpaceX ground controllers are gearing up for the May 19 launch of the Dragon capsule. The first commercial cargo craft is scheduled to launch at 4:55 a.m. with the Canadarm2 grappling Dragon May 22 for a berthing to the Harmony node.

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