Headlines > News > Dragon Set for Launch Friday, Off-Duty Time and Maintenance for Station Crew

Dragon Set for Launch Friday, Off-Duty Time and Maintenance for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:41 pm via: NASA
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The SpaceX 2 mission is set to begin with the launch of the Dragon capsule on Friday at 10:10 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The Dragon capsule will be filled with about 1,200 pounds of supplies for the space station crew and experiments being conducted aboard the orbiting laboratory. Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth March 25 for a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California. It will be bringing back more than 2,300 pounds of experiment samples and equipment.

Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineers Chris Hadfield and Tom Marshburn enjoyed some off-duty time Thursday aboard the International Space Station as they gear up for the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft on Saturday.

Hadfield had some time set aside to participate in an in-flight interview with the CTV Network, answering some questions about his experiences and daily activities aboard the station. He also gathered and packed items that will be returned to Earth aboard the Dragon cargo craft.

Marshburn set up a camera in the Destiny laboratory that will send video of the robotic workstation to flight control teams to assist in the grapple and berthing of the Dragon cargo craft.

Flight Engineers Evgeny Tarelkin and Oleg Novitskiy rigged cables in the Russian segment of the station to prepare for the installation of the Obstanovka experiment, which is designed to measure the effect of plasma waves on a variety of materials housed outside of the Zvezda service module.

Obstanovka is set to be installed on the exterior of the orbiting complex by Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko and Expedition 35 Flight Engineer Pavel Vinogradov during a spacewalk planned for April 19. Other experiments already mounted outside the Zvezda service module will be retrieved during the excursion, which will be the first of six Russian spacewalks planned in 2013.

Romanenko worked with an experiment that studies bacterial and fungal microflora on the surfaces in the Russian segment using a portable gas sensor system.

Japanese flight controllers in Tsukuba, Japan maneuvered the Kibo module’s Small Fine Arm to gather data on the robotic arm’s joint angles and sensitivity. The operation was ended earlier than expected, however, due to a minor issue with one of the arms’ joints readings. Tsukuba flight controllers are reviewing the data.

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