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Station Cameras Capture Spectacular Earth Views

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Sep 9, 2011 7:47 am via: NASA
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Throughout the week, the six residents of the orbiting International Space Station have used their unique view of Earth to capture dramatic photos and video of Hurricane Katia in the Atlantic Ocean and the wildfires that have destroyed thousands of acres and hundreds of homes in Texas.

Aboard the station Thursday, Commander Andrey Borisenko and Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Ron Garan continued preparations for their departure and return to Earth scheduled for Sept. 16. They will undock and return home aboard the Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft, landing in the steppe of Kazakhstan.

The launch date for the next trio of station residents, NASA’s Dan Burbank and Russia’s Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, remains under review pending the results of an investigation into the cause of a recent cargo launch vehicle failure.

NASA has been following the investigation of the Progress 44 launch issue by its Russian partners. Roscosmos is sharing data with NASA which NASA also is assessing. This is an ongoing process and finding the cause is the beginning step. NASA looks forward to working with its Russian colleagues to fully understand what happened and take the corrective actions necessary to ensure the safe continuation of flights to the International Space Station.

Flight Engineer Mike Fossum worked with the Binary Colloidal Alloy Test experiment, or BCAT-5, which provides data on the performance of colloids. Colloids are a broad class of consumer and engineered products including paint, plastics, food, cosmetics and medicines that change state over time. The data provided may lead to improvement in materials fabrication processes.

Flight Engineer Sergei Volkov, with assistance from Samokutyaev, performed the Russian behavioral assessment TYPOLOGY, which measures a crew member’s psychophysical state and ability to withstand stress, to perform and to communicate. An EEG measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.

Volkov also performed a cable configuration check of the Russian telerobotically operated rendezvous system simulator. Samokutyaev spent time with IDENTIFICATION, an experiment that studies the loads placed on the station during spacecraft dockings, reboosts and spacewalks.

Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa performed a laptop-based robotics proficiency training session using the station’s Robotics On-Board Trainer, or ROBoT.

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