Headlines > News > Station Crew Relaxes Before “Albert Einstein” Arrives

Station Crew Relaxes Before “Albert Einstein” Arrives

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:19 pm via: NASA
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Two NASA astronauts and one ESA astronaut were off-duty Friday relaxing before Saturday morning’s arrival of Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle-4 (ATV-4). Launched last week, the “Albert Einstein” is refining its path to the International Space Station, firing its rendezvous engines before docking to the Zvezda service module at 9:46 a.m. ET.

Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg will photograph and videotape the arrival of the ATV-4. Flight Engineers Luca Parmitano and Alexander Misurkin will monitor its approach ready for rendezvous procedures or abort scenarios. Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy will join Nyberg and Parmitano after the ATV-4 docks to begin cargo transfers.

The next big event scheduled for the Expedition 36 crew is the June 24 spacewalk to ready the station for a new Russian laboratory module. Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin are checking their Orlan spacesuits and tools inside the Pirs docking compartment where they will exit for a six hour excursion.

The “Nauka” Multipurpose Laboratory Module is planned for a launch atop a Russian Proton rocket at the end of this year. The “Nauka” will be docked to the Earth-facing port on Zvezda.

The last time a space station module launched on a Proton rocket was in July 2000 when Zvezda, the station’s third module, was placed into orbit. The first module, the Zarya cargo module, was also launched on a Proton rocket in November 1998.

Commander Pavel Vinogradov continued his work for the ongoing Russian experiment Plasma Crystal. The study records plasma crystal forming processes and parameters such as gas pressure, high-frequency radiated power and the size of dust particles.

Misurkin worked again with the Matryeshka experiment which measures radiation in the environment of the space station and radiation absorption in crew members.

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