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Spacewalk Preparations for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:04 am via: NASA
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Circling the Earth aboard the International Space Station Monday, Expedition 28 Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Sergei Volkov prepared for a spacewalk they will conduct out of the Pirs docking compartment next week.

The Russian excursion will take place on Aug. 3 and will include the installation of a laser communications device on the hull of the Zvezda service module to transmit data from the station to the ground through optical communications channels. The spacewalkers also will transfer a telescoping Strela boom from Pirs to the Poisk module, install new materials science experiments on Zvezda, retrieve a Kurs antenna from the interface of Poisk and Zvezda and perform several more tasks.

Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa worked with the Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment (SHERE), which is designed to investigate the effect of rotation on the stress and strain response of a polymer fluid being stretched in microgravity. SHERE provides information that is important for understanding containerless processing, an important operation for fabrication of parts used on future exploration missions. This knowledge can be applied to controlling and improving Earth-based manufacturing processes as well.

Ron Garan, also a flight engineer, worked with the SOdium LOading in Microgravity (SOLO) experiment. Since average and high sodium intake in microgravity exacerbates the increased bone loss space travelers experience, SOLO is researching the ways in which the human body retains fluid and salt during bed rest and space flights. Subject crew members follow a diet of constant low or normal sodium intake and increased fluid consumption.

Garan and fellow Flight Engineer Mike Fossum spent a large portion of their day organizing cargo delivered by the STS-135 crew of space shuttle Atlantis that was temporarily stowed in the Permanent Multi-purpose Module.

Fossum also performed some regular maintenance on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device, part of the crew’s regular exercise equipment that simulates weight lifting.

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