Headlines > News > Station Crew Prepares for Spacewalks, Works on Science

Station Crew Prepares for Spacewalks, Works on Science

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:16 am via: NASA
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Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 32 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko donned their Orlan spacesuits Friday, with help from Flight Engineer Sergei Revin. They were performing a fit-check in advance of Monday’s scheduled Russian spacewalk, the first of the mission, which is slated to begin at 10:40 a.m. EDT and last about 6.5 hours.

Padalka and Malenchenko will move the Strela-2 hand-operated crane from the Pirs docking compartment to the Zarya module, preparing Pirs for its replacement with a new laboratory and docking module. Strela-1 was moved from Pirs to the Poisk Mini-Research Module in February. The pair also will deploy a small satellite and install debris shields on the Zvezda module.

Flight Engineers Joe Acaba, Suni Williams and Aki Hoshide reviewed procedures for a U.S. spacewalk that Williams and Hoshide will perform on Aug. 30 while Acaba choreographs activities from inside the station. The pair will replace a faulty Main Bus Switching Unit – a distribution hub for the complex’s power system – on the station’s truss. They also will replace a camera on a robotic arm extension boom and route cables for the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory replacing Pirs.

Acaba spent time working on two experiments focused on colloids – very small particles suspended in another substance. The first was the Binary Colloidal Alloy or BCAT-C1, in which crew members photograph samples of colloidal particles as they phase separate and self-assemble into crystals that interact strongly with light.

Second, he worked with the Advanced Colloids Experiment (ACE), which will provide data leading to a better understanding of crystallization and phase separation. ACE could have an impact on quality, production, and longevity of products like paints, motor oils, food and cosmetics, while offering insights into microfluidics and cell biology processes.

Williams and Hoshide worked with the Integrated Cardiovascular (ICV) experiment. ICV measures the atrophy of the heart muscle that appears to develop during long-duration spaceflight and seeks to identify its mechanisms.

Williams also spent time troubleshooting a laptop that is part of ISSAC, the International Space Station Agricultural Camera. ISSAC takes frequent images in visible and infrared light of vegetated areas. ISSAC is also used to study dynamic Earth processes around the world, such as melting glaciers and ecosystem responses to seasonal changes and human impacts.

The Pro K diet experiment took up some of Hoshide’s day. Pro K studies how dietary intake can predict and protect against changes in bone metabolism during spaceflight.

Meanwhile, Revin worked with the Seiner experiment. This is a Russian experiment that examines the oceans below, documents their characteristics and then correlates that to certain bioproductive areas that impact the fishing industry.

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