Headlines > News > Soyuz Departure Preps and Dragon Cargo Transfers for Expedition 39

Soyuz Departure Preps and Dragon Cargo Transfers for Expedition 39

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri May 9, 2014 5:37 pm via: NASA
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The Expedition 39 crew is focusing on Soyuz and SpaceX Dragon vehicle departures while also operating ongoing science experiments. On the ground, flight controllers are investigating the 3A power channel that went down Thursday.

Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin, Expedition 39 Commander Koichi Wakata and Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio are wrapping up their stay on the International Space Station which ends May 13. The trio are packing up gear and personal items and stowing them inside the Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft. They will land Tuesday night in Kazakhstan at 9:58 p.m. EDT.

NASA astronaut Steve Swanson, who will become station commander when Expedition 39 undocks, trained in the morning for the robotics work necessary to grapple, unberth and release the SpaceX Dragon. Swanson will be at the controls of the robotics workstation in the Cupola operating the Canadarm2 to remove Dragon from the Harmony node then release it for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

Mastracchio worked throughout Friday morning packing up science gear and research samples to be returned to Earth inside Dragon for analysis. SpaceX’s third commercial cargo mission to the space station will end May 18. The Dragon spacecraft will be recovered off the coast of Baja California by SpaceX technicians.

In the afternoon, Swanson assisted Mastracchio with the research samples transferring them from a station science freezer to a Dragon freezer. Before that work began he opened up the Fluids Integrated Rack for work on the Light Microscopy Module removing a petri plate containing a botany experiment.

Wakata continued more operations for the CsPINs plant investigation taking place inside the Japanese Kibo laboratory. That study examines how plants, specifically cucumber seedlings, sense gravity which may have impacts on future plant cultivation in space.

The commander also downloaded data to a laptop computer for the Biological Rhythms 48 investigation which examines an astronaut’s cardiac function for 48 hours. The medical data is captured using electrodes, a portable electrocardiogram and a wrist-worn activity monitor that supplements circadian rhythms data.

Cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev worked throughout the orbital laboratory’s Russian segment on science and maintenance. The duo partnered together for the Bar study which explores tools and techniques for detecting pressure leaks in the space station.

Skvortsov started his day conducting a ham radio session with Russian students. During the afternoon, he photographed heaters in the docked Soyuz and Progress vehicles and replaced filters in the Zarya cargo module. Artemyev set up and operated the Membrane experiment which explores complex mixtures of macromolecules and checked on the Matroyshka radiation experiment.

Flight controllers are investigating Thursday’s power loss from the 3A power channel associated with one of the station’s solar arrays. After the loss, power was seamlessly transferred to a secondary power channel with no impact to crew operations, science work or spacecraft departure preparations.

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