Headlines > News > Station Crew Packing Dragon for Thursday Departure

Station Crew Packing Dragon for Thursday Departure

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed May 30, 2012 3:24 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 31 crew of the International Space Station spent much of the day Tuesday working with the SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle, reviewing procedures for the departure of the first commercial spacecraft to visit the station and packing it with items for return to Earth.

Dragon, which delivered 1,014 pounds of non-critical cargo on its demonstration flight to the station, was cleared unanimously Tuesday by the station’s Mission Management Team for unberthing early Thursday. In reverse order of how Dragon was captured and berthed Friday, the crew will use the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to detach the vehicle from the Earth-facing port of the station’s Harmony node at 4:05 a.m., move it away from the station and release it at 6:10 a.m. for return to Earth. The SpaceX team in Hawthorne, Calif., will run Dragon through about five hours of orbital operations before commanding it to a splashdown for recovery off the California coast.

To prepare Dragon for its departure, Flight Engineers Don Pettit, Joe Acaba and Andre Kuipers packed it with some of the 1,367 pound of cargo slated for return to Earth, including experiment hardware and alloy samples processed in microgravity from the Materials Science Research Rack. Kuipers also collected some last-minute test samples from the station’s atmosphere and surfaces to give researchers an up-to-date assessment of any microbial contamination that may be occurring.

Pettit and Kuipers, who operated Canadarm2 for the Dragon grapple Friday, also conducted an onboard training session to review the Dragon unberthing procedures.

Acaba also participated in an on-orbit hearing test while Pettit cleaned bacterial filters.

Kuipers took a brief break from his work to participate in a European Space Agency sponsored “Tweet up” hosted by veteran space shuttle astronaut Christer Fuglesang in Noordwijk, Netherlands. Kuipers updated the participants on the current activities aboard the orbiting complex and answered questions submitted through Twitter.

On the Russian side of the station, Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Gennady Padalka installed a data receiver unit and its cabling in the Zvezda service module. Flight Engineer Sergei Revin performed some housekeeping duties as he cleaned ventilation screens and replaced dust filters.

2 Comments
Anybody who can tell me what timezone the provided times are? Central? Eastern? Pacific?
According to the NASA TV schedule, those times should be EDT.
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