Headlines > News > Station Crew Waits for SpaceX Launch, Stays Busy with Science

Station Crew Waits for SpaceX Launch, Stays Busy with Science

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Oct 6, 2012 4:58 am via: NASA
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Expedition 33 is getting ready for a new delivery of supplies. Dragon, the world’s first commercial cargo craft to resupply the International Space Station, is scheduled to launch Sunday at 8:35 p.m. EDT on the SpaceX CRS-1 mission. Dragon will be delivering food, clothing, science gear, hardware and other items.

NASA and SpaceX managers will conduct a briefing from Kennedy Space Center to discuss the CRS-1 mission on Saturday at 6 p.m. NASA TV launch coverage of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon capsule begins Sunday at 7 p.m.

Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide have been training during the week to grapple the Dragon capsule using the Canadarm2 from the cupola. When Dragon arrives Oct. 10 the duo will capture Dragon then berth it to the Harmony node for two-and-a-half weeks of docked operations.

The crew will transfer cargo to and from the new resupply craft which, unlike other resupply ships, will return to Earth for recovery on Oct. 28. The Dragon will be filled with completed science experiments, vehicle hardware and other station gear to be recovered after its splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

Williams spent much of Friday working on science gear and experiments. She loaded software on a laptop computer attached to an EXPRESS rack. The computer allows payload controllers to download research data and uplink commands to experiment hardware. She also worked in the Destiny lab’s Microgravity Science Glovebox for the ongoing InSPACE-3 experiment. That study observes fluids filled with microscopic particles, or colloids, and how they behave when exposed to magnetic fields.

Hoshide worked on a pair of experiments that monitor a crew member’s body. He downloaded data collected for the Integrated Cardiovascular (ICV) experiment. The research data was collected from sensors attached to Hoshide’s body. After removing the ICV gear, he set up and attached a monitor to his arm that he will wear for the next ten days for the Energy experiment. The monitor measures an astronaut’s energy output so scientists can plan nutritional requirements to maintain energy balance and offset the effects of long-term weightlessness.

Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko worked on a couple of ongoing Russian science experiments. He set up an experiment that studies the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles. Then he set up a dosimeter that measures space radiation in the station’s Russian segment.

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