Headlines > News > Post-Spacewalk Ops, Science and Maintenance for Station Crew after Busy Week

Post-Spacewalk Ops, Science and Maintenance for Station Crew after Busy Week

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Sep 8, 2012 9:02 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 32 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station continued post-spacewalk cleanup duties, performed science experiments and worked to maintain the systems aboard the orbiting laboratory on Friday.

After performing a 6-hour, 28-minute spacewalk on Wednesday, Flight Engineers Suni Williams and Aki Hoshide continued to focus on a variety of post-spacewalk cleanup duties, including cleaning their spacesuits to prepare them for long-term stowage and stowing equipment used during the spacewalk.

During their excursion, Williams and Hoshide completed the installation of a Main Bus Switching Unit after cleaning and lubricating the power relay unit’s bolts and posts. The installation was hampered last week by a possible misalignment and damaged threads on the unit’s bolts and posts. They also completed the installation of a camera on the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2.

Flight Engineer Joe Acaba used the Environmental Health System Surface Sample Kit to take surface samples for microbial analysis.

Acaba and Hoshide worked with the Integrated Cardiovascular experiment (ICV), which measures the atrophy of the heart muscle that appears to develop during long-duration spaceflight. Investigators use the data from these tests to develop countermeasures to keep the crew healthy. The research may also have benefits for people on Earth with heart problems.

Acaba and Hoshide also reviewed robotics procedures for the unberthing of the H-II Transfer Vehicle-3 (HTV-3) set for Sept. 12. HTV-3 will be detached from the Harmony node by Canadarm2, and like its predecessors, released for a fiery re-entry over the Pacific Ocean. HTV-3 was grappled and berthed to the Earth-facing side of the Harmony node on July 27.

Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineers Sergei Revin and Yuri Malenchenko worked in the Russian segment of the station, performing a variety of routine maintenance duties and science experiments.

Padalka and Malenchenko worked on the Coulomb Crystal experiment which studies the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles inside the station.

Padalka and Revin were later joined by Acaba to perform Sokol Suit leak checks to prepare for their upcoming departure from the station. Padalka, Revin and Acaba, who arrived aboard the station in May, are set to undock in their Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft and return to Earth on Sept. 16.

Over the weekend, the station residents will continue ongoing scientific research and perform their regular maintenance duties. They also will enjoy some off-duty time and have an opportunity to speak with family members.

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