Headlines > News > Station Crew Preps for Upcoming Spacewalk During ATV-5’s Slow Trek to Station

Station Crew Preps for Upcoming Spacewalk During ATV-5’s Slow Trek to Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Aug 1, 2014 7:07 pm via: NASA
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One resupply ship is on its way to the International Space Station and testing its rendezvous system while another has ended its mission and deorbited over the Pacific Ocean. Inside the orbital laboratory the six-member Expedition 40 crew continues combustion investigations, spacesuit preparations and cargo transfers.

Russia’s ISS Progress 55 (55P) cargo craft finished its mission in space Thursday afternoon after it reentered the Earth’s atmosphere upon completing 10 days of engineering tests. The 55P undocked from the Pirs docking compartment last week and was replaced two days later when the ISS Progress 56 (56P) launched to replenish the station crew.

The Iberian Peninsula, part of northern Africa and the Cygnus cargo carrier are pictured from the space station.

The Iberian Peninsula, part of northern Africa and the Cygnus cargo carrier are pictured from the space station.

Europe’s last Automated Transfer Vehicle, named for “Georges Lemaître,” the 20th century Belgian astronomer, is orbiting Earth and headed for an August 12 docking to the station’s Zvezda service module. Flight controllers decided to take the slow trek to the station so they could test new rendezvous sensors that may be used on future spacecraft.

Commander Steve Swanson is looking ahead to an upcoming U.S. spacewalk scheduled on August 21 for relocation, replacement and reconfiguration tasks. He fitted the U.S. spacesuits for himself and astronauts Reid Wiseman and Alexander Gerst. The commander then collected the tools necessary for the spacewalk tasks.

Wiseman was back at work with the Microgravity Science Glovebox conducting more flame studies for the Burning and Suppression of Solids (BASS-II) experiment. He worked with payload specialists on the ground watching downlinked video to achieve a stable long-burning blue flame during two tests. The investigation observes flames, their shape and length of burn time in space which may allow researchers to design safer, less-flammable spacecraft materials.

Gerst, a German astronaut from the European Space Agency, started Friday with cargo transfers from berthed Cygnus commercial craft. Cygnus is attached to the Harmony node and was launched by Orbital Sciences from Virginia on July 13. The private space freighter is due to be grappled by the Canadarm2 and released from Harmony on Aug. 15 for a destructive reentry over the Pacific Ocean.

In the afternoon, Gerst did some temporary stowage work inside the Unity node. He then entered the Z1 truss structure to collect gear for the upcoming spacewalk and inspect hatch seals.

The Russian flight engineers worked in their segment of the space station conducting routine maintenance and international science.

Veteran cosmonaut and past station commander Alexander Skvortsov configured communications gear inside the Rassvet mini-research module throughout the day. Afterward, he went inside the Poisk mini-research module to replace old fans with new low noise units and conducted acoustic measurements.

New cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev did some ham radio work during Friday morning. Later he did some sample mixing for the Kaskad microbiology experiment.

Future station commander Max Suraev continued more cargo transfers from the docked 56P space freighter and updated the station’s inventory management system. The veteran cosmonaut also partnered up with Artemyev inside the Zarya cargo module installing overlay plates on the interior panels.

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