Headlines > News > Expedition 33 Prepares for SpaceX-1 Amidst Busy Day

Expedition 33 Prepares for SpaceX-1 Amidst Busy Day

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Oct 2, 2012 5:38 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 33 crew is getting ready for next week’s arrival of the SpaceX Dragon capsule and its delivery of 1,000 pounds of cargo. Dragon’s launch on the SpaceX-1 mission is scheduled for Oct. 7 at 8:35 p.m. EDT with capture and berthing to the Harmony node planned two-and-half days later.

The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon capsule successfully tested all nine of its Merlin engines on Sept. 29 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. SpaceX engineers are reviewing test data before a final “go-no go” for its mission to the International Space Station.

Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide also prepacked gear to be returned to Earth aboard the Dragon when it returns for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on Oct. 28.

Commander Suni Williams encountered some problems reactivating a pretreat tank and uploading software to an EXPRESS rack. She also had difficulties installing a remote power control module on the robotics work station. Experts on the ground are troubleshooting the issues with no interruption to operations aboard the orbital laboratory.

Williams had some time to work the InSPACE-3 experiment that studies the behavior of fluids, or colloids, when exposed to magnetic fields. Hoshide also cleaned a ventilation fan, analyzed water and sampled air among other tasks during the crew’s busy day.

Meanwhile, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko worked in the station’s Russian segment on routine maintenance. He also conducted a run of the MATI-75 experiment that observes how a piece of plastic changes shape during heating and cooling in microgravity. Malenchenko later participated in a couple of Earth observations experiments.

Europe’s ATV-3 resupply craft is orbiting the Earth after undocking Friday evening from the Zvezda service module. The ATV-3 is scheduled to deorbit Tuesday night for a fiery re-entry over the Pacific Ocean that will destroy the trash-filled spacecraft. Inside the ATV-3 is the Re-Entry Breakup Recorder that will record various data such as temperature, pressure and speed as the resupply craft burns up during its return to Earth. Experts will use that data to design safer and more predictable destructive re-entry techniques.

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